With the new year upon us, I wanted to let you all know what is in store for Career Decisions Made Easy. Here are some of the things you can look forward to:

*Tons of guest blog posts in the works from a wide array of qualified and experienced parents, college students, and professionals all with the aim to help you, our readers!

*More sample interviews from working professionals- no hold bar insight into their likes, dislikes, and other details of their jobs.

*Giveaways! Books and products to help you!

*More and more resources and articles.

*More blog highlights and reviews.

We want to thank all of our readers for your support! Let's all gear up for the new year!

Finding the Cheapest Text Books... could it possibly be easy?


We Compare Books large button

Attending college can be quite the expense but often a necessary means to your career goal. The tuition itself can be such a struggle but thankfully we have student loans, grants and scholarships. Then once we get to college we have a huge list of textbooks to buy and suddenly you need even more money. Searching for the lowest prices can be time consuming but I recently stumbled upon a site that does all of the work for you!

It is easy to use and literally compares all of the prices out there to give you the lowest. Once you search for your book you’ll also find the store, price, condition, shipping price and total price. Everything you need is right there to click on. Such a smart site and no fees for using it!

So as you pursue your college studies and work towards your career, be sure to find cheap textbooks with one click… and spare yourself endless searching for the best deal!

Blog Highlight: Moments in Time


Blog Highlight:

Moments in Time


As we all search for the career that is best fit for us, many of us will pursue higher education and immerse ourselves in the college life. Among the millions of students trudging through the hard work and dedication that college requires, is an English major named Kelvin Oliver who is on his way to becoming a teacher.

In over 150 posts so far, Kelvin writes about his daily interactions with college life, his different ideas, and his view on the world from a student perspective.

In one of my favorite posts, Kelvin writes:

“We are here doing what we do for a reason. Maybe the dreams or goals that I aspire to achieve may be too big for me or often times maybe I may get the weird look or feedback of people thinking I may be crazy. I know not everyone wants to be a teacher and not everyone will feel the same way I do, but hey, that is just me. I know there are those who may not want think or dream the same things I do, but that is just me. Maybe I'm thinking about actually want to be person that wants change, but there are others who may not be on the same page. I am not the person I use to be, but I'm the person that is evolving to the person I want to be. Sometimes it is said to be the change you want to be and I don't know that not everything will change, but coming to the realization of true reality and the purpose is something to think about.

There is something I must remember is to stay positive, keep my faith and moral values at heart, and know the reason that I should not fall but keep on going. I didn't want to continue onto the University for nothing. I'm not wasting my time and money for nothing. There's a path I have decided to take and that's a path that is not taken.”

Read more of Kelvin’s eloquent, real, and inspiring posts on his blog:

Moments in Time


Confidence in Finding Your Dream Job


Fundamentally, there are two types of people in the world: those that have confidence and those that do not.

Is this an oversimplification? Most definitely. I make no claim to the contrary. Human beings are too complex to describe as being simply this or that. Science can play all they want at trying to quantify emotional and psychological responses, but let's be honest: people do not fit into nice little categories.

But for the sake of argument today, let's say that they do. While this is a little more behind the scenes principles rather than processes that we go through, it's important that we all understand the reasoning behind the success of some people and the failure (or lack of success, if you don't like the term) of others.

Simply put, principles will always trump processes. No contest. There's nothing on Earth that can make a person that doesn't believe in himself into a success. Certainly, you can hand them money through winning the lottery. Or get a nice inheritance. Or happen to cash out of a company at just the right time. But where does that get him? Every study done has shown that people that have money (re: success, though I would argue this) simply handed to them do not tend to hang on to it very long. There are plenty of horror stories of people who have won millions, only to lose it within a few short years and wind up back at their previous standard of living or lower.

As the saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Success or happiness cannot just be handed to you. Doesn't work that way. Anything worth doing has always required time, sacrifice, and dedication.

So what does all this have to do with choosing a career? Everything.

If you're going to find that dream job of yours, you're going to need to have confidence in the choice that you have made. Second guessing yourself is a surefire way to erode confidence and cause doubt. Thomas J Stanley, author of the enormously successful The Millionaire Next Door series that studies the wealthy, made a very interesting observation. He noted that millionaires were in the habit of making decisions and, having made that decision, stuck with it. They didn't let self doubt creep in and dissuade them from the path that they were on. Once they had make their choice, they never looked back.

Now, granted, many of us may never become millionaires. You may not want to. The drive for wealth is simply one of many paths that people can take in this life. It's not for everyone. You may find fulfillment in writing novels or expressing life through art or helping others overcome mental or emotional problems or designing bridges or working to make the community a better place. All of those are good and noble goals that have nothing to do with becoming millionaires, and each of them are capable of helping you have a fulfilling life, if that's what does it for you.

But you have to decide first for yourself if it does. And only you can make that choice.

In my experience, the only way to make a choice or decision in confidence is through knowledge. As corny as it sounds, the old catch phrase from the GI Joe cartoon series of "Knowing is half the battle" is pretty applicable here. Until you know what you want to do, it's impossible to decide exactly what to do with your life.

That's really the aim behind Conversations: Find Your Niche!: to provide you with inside knowledge of work force professionals and gain a greater understanding of what it really means to work in a particular field. Without that knowledge, you won't make it anywhere fast.

What Stands in Your Way of Finding Your Dream Job?


Everybody wants to do something that they love. Who wouldn't?

Problem is, most people aren't living the dream. Surveys have shown that 84% of Americans wished they were in another job. You ask me, that's a pretty horrifying stat. That means that the odds of you, me, and most everyone we knew is likely to not find their dream job.

This, of course, begs the question just why so many people don't end up doing what they want to do. Ever hear that great line about preparation? "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Simply put, people that seem to be the luckiest are the ones that have prepared themselves to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. I'm a firm believer that whatever we prepare ourselves for will come (within reason, of course; I doubt I'll be sprouting wings any time soon). This applies to everything in life from education to job opportunities to our personal lives. If you want something bad enough, you'll do whatever it takes to get there.

So everybody wants to get into their dream job, right? On one level, yes, yes they do. They're more than happy to say it. To this I say, "actions speak louder than words."

If you really want to sit down and decide how you're going to find the job that fits your values, your talents, your personality, there's going to be some work involved. Believe it or not, it's that fear of work that's actually keeping so many from finding that dream job that makes them feel like they're doing something worthwhile.

To a great degree, finding that dream job means doing some self-discovery. After all, you can't know what job will fulfill you the best until you know what fulfills you personally.

So how do you do this? You start by sitting down and writing out a few things about yourself. Take a few minutes by yourself, free of distractions, and be completely honest. What do you like to do? What are you good at? What kind of personal goals do you have for yourself? What are your values? What do you wish you could do? What aren't you good at or dislike doing? (Identifying things that you don't want to do also helps in narrowing down possible job fields)

After you've made this list, get in touch with your parents or siblings or close friends (somebody who knows you really well) and ask them what your strengths are, what you're good at. By the same token, ask them what you're not good at. Again, knowing what you don't excel in is an essential part of narrowing things down.

Now compare this list with what you worked up. You may be surprised what they see in you that you didn't see in yourself. I know I certainly was.

For those of you still in high school or college, talk to your favorite teachers, the ones you connected with best. They've seen at least hundreds, if not thousands of students go through their classroom and know how to identify aptitudes in people.

Talk to a guidance counselor while you're at it. If you've gotten an idea of what you may be interested by this point, they have access to internships, job shadowing, or other chances to look into specific fields.

Even aptitude tests are useful as far as they go. Remember, these are not designed to tell you what job will work best for you; all they do is tell you what you're good at. You'll have to do the homework yourself to find how those skills or talents best line up with a career.

There are a lot of tools out there to help you find your dream job; it's your job to pick up those tools and put them to work for you.

Why We Work - Laying the Foundation for Your Career


Let's talk for a minute hear about why we work. Not something that we stop and think about very often, is it? Oh, sure, there's the usual answers: pay the bills, pay the mortgage, pay tuition, pay for the car, pay for gas, pay for X/Y/Z. But that's all superficial when you really dig into it.

Truth is, there's something deeper to why we work. Everybody has the innate desire to do something more with their lives, to make a difference somehow. Nobody wakes up and decides that they want to be a below average human being. That's not in the nature of being alive. Given the opportunity, we all want to make our mark.

That is why we work. Nothing meaningful has ever been accomplished by sitting around doing nothing. Why would it be otherwise? It goes against the very laws of nature.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell once put it: "Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile."

For an Englishman that passed away nearly 70 years ago, he was definitely on to something there. Not to go all philosophical or anything like that, but any serious student of happiness understands that being happy requires that we do something. What that something is up to you--that's not something that a book or your parents or your spouse or your best friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/guidance counselor can tell you.

Beyond the obvious of getting off the couch and doing something, I think that Sir Grenfell had a great point at the end: when we do something, it should be worthwhile. Worth something. Something besides watching the latest episode of Lost or playing Halo or gossiping about the neighbors.

Now don't get me wrong--I'm not suggesting that we all become Mother Teresa copycats and do nothing but charity work. That's just not realistic, and nobody was Mother Teresa except Mother Teresa.

Each of us is unique in our talents and skills. What makes me happy may drive you crazy. And that's okay. There's no set definition of what is the perfect person. The fact that we're all different is what makes the world go round. Those differences mean that we all have a place where we belong and excel.

So what makes us waste our time doing something that we don't love or at the very least enjoy? I really want to hear what you think about this.

De-spelling Myths About Choosing Your Career


Choosing a career is not an easy task. Unfortunately, not many people put much time or thought into what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Some just think that getting into a field for the money is more than enough. Granted, money is certainly one part of it, but that's hardly going to make you happy down the road.

Dawn Rosenberg McKay of About.com wrote an excellent article detailing the myths of choosing a career that is a great read. Basically, it all boils down to doing something that you love (or at least like).

CBSNews.com Article: Bleak Job Outlook For College Grads


Great article by Erin Petrun which includes tips for finding a job!

Take the time to check it out!

More great information on http://www.smartmoney.com/



Welcome to Career Decisions Made Easy

We all know that a few lucky people seem to be born with a mission and know exactly what they want to do with their lives. The vast majority of us are not so fortunate.

Whether they are ready or not, young people everywhere need to make a commitment to a course of training that will lead to a profession by the time they graduate from high school. If the fact that 84% of Americans in the work place say that they are NOT working in their dream job (2007 Careerbuilder.com survey http://www...msnbc.msn.com/id/16795881/) is any indication, many people need to put more effort into the "What should I do?" question than just taking an aptitude test.

We live in a free country. Other than ourselves, no one is stopping us from finding a line of work we can truly enjoy.

What we're about:

This blog is about prevention as much as it is about fixing a problem. By openly sharing our work experiences and lessons learned, we can help each other not only find a good career match, we can help others avoid choosing something they won't be happy doing. That is a service that 84% of the workers and young people entering the work force will appreciate forever. There aren't many other ways we can make such a profound contribution.

If you have ever had a job you had no enthusiasm for, you know that helping both young and not-so-young people avoid the trap of simply drifting into or staying in a job they aren't suited for is a battle worth fighting.

What you will find and how to contribute:

We hope to publish posts on this blog that will be helpful to you as you decide on a career or research career fields. We welcome discussion and comments to the posts! We will also begin to archive resources that will help you on your journey. Feel free to suggest resources that you've found helpful as well.

*Also consider joining our blog as a "follower" (right side bar) to be updated on new and helpful posts as they are published!

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Career Decisions Made Easy!


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