Blog Posts by University of Phoenix

  • In an age when work follows you home on your laptop, and home life can intrude on office time in email and cellphone calls, it's hard to strike a balance between your career and the rest of your life.

    And yet, according to Leslie Baker, a licensed marriage and family therapist and instructor in the counseling program at the University of Phoenix Bay Area Campus, you can - and you must.

    "Identifying your priorities and setting boundaries are imperative in creating a better work-life balance," she says.

    Here are five steps toward striking that important equilibrium:

    1. Leave work at the office.

    Try keeping your laptop closed - and your work phone switched off - between the time you arrive home from work and the time you go to bed. Make it clear to co-workers that you're unavailable after, say, 6 pm and on weekends. And treat paid holidays as something other than a chance to catch up on your work.

    Likewise, Baker says, don't handle personal matters - making doctor appointments, phoning your

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  • At a cocktail party, you probably wouldn't approach someone you didn't know and ask for a job recommendation. You have to build relationships in life, and the same is generally true for your LinkedIn® network, says David Horen, project coordinator on the Phoenix Career Services™ team.

    "Using LinkedIn comes down to common sense," notes Horen, a former LinkedIn staffer. "People should be professional and treat their interactions online similarly to how they would behave in person."

    Here are five tips for proper LinkedIn etiquette:

    1. Connect with people you know.

    The networking site is designed for people to interact with those they already know. "You shouldn't have a bunch of people in your list of connections that you have never met," says Kathryn Scahill, career coach for Phoenix Career Services.

    If you try to connect with strangers too frequently, they may report you to LinkedIn support, which may notify you that your account has been restricted. Then, when you try to reach out, Horen

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  • Thinking about telecommuting? Although working from home can offer more flexibility than being in a traditional office, you still have to meet your employer's deadlines and expectations - and that takes discipline.

    "Today, telecommuting is something that enters many of our work worlds, [so] we should all create spaces at home that are conducive to working there," says Heath Boice-Pardee, EdD, associate faculty member at the University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies and community manager of the PhoenixConnect® academic social network.

    Here are Boice-Pardee's tips for being productive at home:

    1. Set boundaries.

    A potential drawback of not being in an office is having no line of demarcation between your work and personal life. One way to avoid this is to set firm boundaries.

    "Have a dedicated workspace," Boice-Pardee stresses, preferably with a door you can close to reduce noise and interruptions from the rest of the household so you can concentrate on your job. "When my family comes

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  • You just got an email from your boss telling you a new computer system is being installed next month, and you're expected to get up to speed on how to use it in two weeks.

    This news makes you:
    A. Excited. You love learning new things that will increase efficiency.
    B. Apprehensive. You were finally getting used to the existing system.
    C. Angry. You don't see why it's needed. If it's not broken, why fix it?

    If you didn't answer A, you might be more uncomfortable with change than you realize, says Erica Lankford, an instructor in the MBA program at the University of Phoenix Birmingham Campus. "If you want to thrive at work," she says, "you need to be able to accept that change is inevitable and embrace it in order to grow."

    She offers six ways to prepare for change:

    1. Join professional organizations.

    By signing up for work-related groups and regularly attending networking events with colleagues in your field, Lankford says, "you will start hearing a lot of different perspectives about what's

    Read More »from How to Embrace Change in Your Industry
  • Culture shock doesn't just affect tourists bumbling through a foreign land - workers can experience it, too. That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when your alarm goes off every morning, the sigh you let out as you park your car in front of the office and your flagging job performance could all be signs that you're experiencing organizational culture shock.

    Holly Rick, PhD, campus college chair for the School of Advanced Studies at the University of Phoenix Main Campus, suggests asking these five questions during your next job interview to determine if a company is a good fit:

    Are salaries and benefits on par with those of competitors?
    You should be paid what you're worth. If a potential employer is offering low pay and a slim benefits package, Rick has one piece of advice: "Run."

    In certain situations, however, it would be acceptable to take a position with a sub-par salary. "Sometimes," Rick says, "you have to take a step down to get to the next level in your career."

    Read More »from How to Evaluate Organizational Culture
  • Do you have what it takes to become a manager? "There's a fallacy in business that good workers always get promoted up to management, and this just isn't the case," says Robert Balcerzak, a management consultant and area chair of the MBA program at the University of Phoenix Indianapolis Campus. "You have to seek those opportunities out yourself."

    Here, he and other experts share their tips on how to make the leap from cubicle to corner office:

    Be upfront.

    "The first thing anyone who wants to become a manager should do is let it be known that you want to manage," Balcerzak advises.


    Watch your image.

    Managers lead not just with their work, but also their behavior, he says. "Good managers are respected because they project the image of leadership, and they do it consistently," he points out. That means dressing and acting the part - even before you have it.

    Michael Lee, a banking manager and area chair for the MBA program at the Idaho Campus, agrees. "What will get

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  • In the age of digital sophistication, job seekers are employing all kinds of gimmicks on their résumés - from infographics to portraits - to get attention.

    While some of these fancy features may give you an edge, it's important to do your research first to make sure your résumé matches the culture of the company you're hoping to impress, according to Cassandra Jackson, instructor in the MBA program for the University of Phoenix Detroit Campus and human resource manager for the city of Detroit. Many of these tricks only work in specific fields and for less-conservative companies.

    So how do you know if the gimmick is right for you? Jackson weighs in on five résumé tricks and what to consider before using them:

    QR codes

    Quick Response (QR) codes are those square bar codes that are showing up on products and ads. The codes can be scanned by smartphones to quickly connect users to a website.

    By creating a QR code and placing it on your résumé, you can easily direct

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  • Here's some news you're bound to "Like": Facebook - the same site that hosts your embarrassing pictures from last weekend - could help you climb the corporate ladder. And why not? With an estimated 1 billion users on the site, there's a fair chance that the company you work for - as well as the one you want to work for - has a presence there.

    Follow these five tips to transform the Facebook® social network into a career network:

    Enable your News Feed's "Subscribe" feature.

    If you want to use Facebook for career networking, you need to keep your personal and professional lives separate, according to Noland Hoshino, a graduate of the University of Phoenix MBA program and co-founder of digital and social communications company [B]cause Media.

    "You can activate a Subscribe feature on your personal account and select the type of content [anyone outside your circle] can see," he explains. Subscribers will only see your public posts, keeping your private life just that -

    Read More »from 5 Career Advancement Tips for Facebook
  • If you've been toiling in a shrinking industry, don't panic. There may be options for a second act to your career. Here are five surprising industries that are seeing a lot of growth:


    Human resources
    Consider yourself a true "people person"? Use your people skills in the expanding human resources sector, suggests Sandra Abbey, an MBA program instructor at the University of Phoenix Southern Arizona Campus and senior director for the Tucson Airport Authority. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects growth in this industry to reach 28.3 percent between 2010 and 2020.

    How to get a leg up: A human resource management certificate may help provide you with the skills you need to seek a new career in corporate HR.

    Teaching ESL
    Recast your interest in providing service to others into the growing field of teaching English as a second language (ESL), Abbey says. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there has been a monumental swell in students who speak a

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  • If your interaction with faculty members is limited to just the time you're in their classes - and just to discussions about the coursework - you may be missing out on important networking opportunities.

    "Any time students can build a rapport with faculty members from the get-go will help them in the long run in various ways," says Amanda Hendricks, external scholarship manager at the University of Phoenix Center for Scholarship Excellence. She offers five tips on how to develop these key relationships:

    Take advantage of office hours.
    "Whether you are attending school in a virtual or physical environment, you have to find ways to connect with faculty members if you want them to notice you or advise you academically," Hendricks says. Start establishing that connection during office hours or through emails. That foundation, she adds, will ease your anxiety when you need advice, such as on where you should go to graduate school.

    Earn a faculty recommendation.
    "Family and

    Read More »from 5 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Instructors

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