Look within; Work abroad

Mixture of expats and Chinese natives enjoy harbor park
Malaysia is a popular location for expat workers

Our thoughts and experiences are sometimes limited by our physical boundaries. If we are born and have lived in the same country, it is highly likely that we will spend our working years in the same area.

Yet, there are endless opportunities for US educated professionals in the worldwide job market. The offerings often include benefits.

In one job announcement at a Malaysian location, the HR specs include the requirement for the applicant to have a Master’s degree, and in turn, housing and transportation expenses are provided in the hiring package.

I met a former US citizen in Central America who works there for a company that deposits his wages into his Massachussets USA checking account. He uses his debit card to collect his wages, yet at a much better rate of exchange because he can access Guatemalan ‘Qs.”

Military men and women and their families who are stationed abroad, know well the advantages of living in most countries with valued benefits.

Working abroad is not for everyone. I recommend that you consult with loved ones and others who are knowledgeable about work and personal lives outside of the USA.

For those who are open to an expanded career space, consider the factor of enhanced marketability. Most employers are keen on you if global jobs are part of your reportorie.

Your opportunities for quality overseas work assognments increase if you know the native language of the country you will reside in as what’s known as an “expat” or US citizen working and living abroad.

One new expat told me she is beginning a new career in Vietnam, teaching English. Another individual is saving money based on his move to an Asian country where his living expenses are more favorable than his former US costs.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

Open letter to parents, advisors and ‘first time in college’ students: Your career begins with your college choice

Begin with the end in mind.
Who wishes for her/his prospective college or university student to enroll in academic programs that produce results on the road to nowhere? I don’t. That is why I have spent a few decades helping to educate parents, academic advisors and on-their-own students about thinking through their decisions on which colleges and universities are a match for the students’ overall goals and objectives.
There are also economic reasons why it is important to get it right. The sad statistics about the college drop outs remains at an alarming high. https://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickhess/2018/06/06/the-college-dropout-problem/#2d73a60a5fd2

If financial aid loans are involved in the drop outs’ matriculation, repayment is a problem and that adds up on the default rate of loans. Ask CEOs like Ce Cole Dillon whose company, Student Loan 411, is helping countless numbers of ex-college students to wade out of their debt. https://vimeo.com/258723383

My focus in this blog is on the importance of ‘looking before leaping’ to achieve ‘happily ever after’ results.
Why you should care what happens after college graduation
Going to college is no longer a cheap buy: The average 2017-18 price tag was $25,290 for public and $50,900 for private higher education institutions, according to the College Board. https://www.collegedata.com/cs/content/content_payarticle_tmpl.jhtml?articleId=10064

With that annual figure growing each year, an increasing number of parental and foundation funders are asking the ROI or return on investment questions about universities and colleges’ tuition, housing and food expenses.
As one who believes in the value and lasting benefits of attaining a well-rounded higher education degree and socialization, I sought the same questions when my children were preparing to attend college. I also learned that my recommendations were not always in line with what my children wanted to achieve. My bottom line is and remains: What will a college and university do to enhance one’s career opportunities?

1. Despite the pressure of parents and others for a student to become a “legacy” college entrant, if that student is unsure about her/his academic interests and career goals, consider a two-year program at a community college. It is a cheaper buy. While I served as a dean at a university in Florida, I actively recruited and welcomed students who wished to transfer into our bachelor’s degrees’ programs. Graduation and other success rates at four-year institutions by associate degree graduates is impressive. https://thesubtimes.com/2018/05/25/community-and-technical-college-transfer-students-shine-at-universities/

2. It’s okay to choose a four-year program. It’s even smarter to graduate in four years. I chose a historically black college in Atlanta, Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University). Many in my family chose larger, majority institutions. We all meet at the finish line as my siblings and cousins, aunts, uncles and parents graduated and are happily engaged in various careers. Please make sure that the program’s results match the preparation expectations of the students and hopefully, her/his supporters.

3. Asking for the right data and getting answers to queries involving curricula vis a vis careers, are vital components in the degree selection process. I always make myself available for parents and students and others to ask questions of me about academic programs, career choices and graduate school. At a recent gathering of prospective graduate students of the Medill School of Journalism, a family member pulled me out of a small circle and quizzed me on whether the “expensive cost of attending this school is worth it.” I responded with a resounding “yes” with my story combined with career placement data that I could recall. I also matched him with our websites and included the names of famous alums who would aid in his pursuit of one of the most legitimate queries. Note that most public universities are required to report similar data. Also, accreditation agencies of university and college degree programs are also requiring graduation, matriculation rates, and career placement rates. Some academics “hate” the phrase “placement rates” yet will answer your queries another way.

4. Check the walls — the virtual and on-site. In most specialized programs, there are regular postings about career and internship preparation, announcements about alumni visiting campus, career and graduate school recruitment visits and more. Do this during the academic school year because the summer months and holidays may not yield as much content.

5. Email, text and call alumni to ask about their career choices and how your desired university or college program helped those alums along the career paths. In the majority of situations involving prospective students, alumni LOVE talking about their college days.

6. Talk to employers about the post-graduation and entry-level preparation and expectations of college and university graduates. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/10/the-role-of-higher-education-in-the-changing-world-of-work

7. Read the ‘fine print’ that is right before each of on a daily basis. Listen and read and learn from the general and specialized media stories, marketplace trends and global developments regarding career choices for the college bound or university enrolled student. When I arrived for my first day of work as a dean of journalism and graphic communication, I was provided with a “gift” from our mass media funders. They wrote a collective letter to university presidents, provosts and deans to inform us that they would no longer support out-of-step programs. https://knightfoundation.org/articles/open-letter-americas-university-presidents.

Journalism funders call for ‘Teaching Hospital’ model of education

8. It’s okay to change your mind. I did. My oldest son did the same. He did chose Florida A&M University over other options that included the Georgia Institute of Technology. During the hot summer days when I was 17 years old, I debated on which university or college to attend. I was accepted to three colleges. I paid my housing deposit to Howard University. Yet, just before I booked my travel from Chicago to Washington, D.C., a Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) alumna informed me that there was an equally strong communication program at Clark. When I placed both programs side-by-side, I chose Clark and became a “legacy” graduate. It led to my next important career preparation and that was at the Medill School of Journalism @Northwestern University. With my degree specialization in financial journalism, my career and later my doctorate in international business, have provided me with an outstanding the journey.

9. When final choices are made, consider the financial investment of travel to and from home to the college and university, the fees and tuition, location and whether the “helicopter” or “drone” parent syndrome is also involved in the decision-making.

It is not easy selecting which is the best college or university to advantage one’s career choice, yet it is worth the early investment.
If you are still unsure, request a year extension on attending a college or university also known as a “gap year.” Make sure your college or university offers such a program. You save your place in line while exploring a career, educational experience or a related adventure and perhaps gain some more research on whether the university will fill your career and life’s desires and needs. https://studentloanhero.com/featured/gap-year-disadvantages-important-pros-before-college/.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

Need a job? Try the low-hanging “fruit.” Job seekers apply here …

Here’s a well-known secret: The best jobs are found on the websites of professional associations. If you are still looking for work, check out the professional associations in the field(s) of your intended career. It’s the low-hanging fruit for your labors.

For example, if your major was journalism, communications, graphic communication, publishing, documentary or digital journalism, check out the Society of Professional Journalists’ website. Currently, I live and work in Region 5 and here’s what I found by reading news highlights:

1. The weekly newspaper Planet Jackson Hole in Jackson, Wyoming, is looking for a Staff Reporter to join its “small but scrappy newsroom.” The publication is looking for a versatile journalist who can report on multiple beats.

2. The Northwest Signal, a daily newspaper in Napoleon, Ohio, is searching for an energetic sports writer who is eager to grow and develop within the sports department.

3. The Free Press in Kinston, (correct spelling) North Carolina, seeks an experienced multimedia reporter willing to jump head-first into delivering breaking and developing news in the community.

For my job seekers who may be a part of the “non-believers” that there are thousands of job opportunities for you, or for parents and other loved ones of those recent grads and perpetual career changers, here is my sample “proof in the pudding” listing of professional associations that allow anyone to browse for work … at zero cost:


(All fields searchable by job type, location, etc.) searchhttps://workforcenow.adp.com/mascsr/default/mdf/recruitment/recruitment.html?cid=94c49b92-4ebf-4202-bd27-7c12598fc8c4&ccId=19000101_000001&type=MP&lang=en_US

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

Filling in the holes: Haiti’s gifts

Photo description: Work designed and created by an unknown Haitan artist who gifted our family with the piece. It is the single art on my table.

Remembering and honoring the strength of Haiti and this country’s resolve to save the United States in her time of need.

Discouraged job seekers: Start here

https://goo.gl/images/CvV9Hd. Are you sitting at home in front of your computer searching for jobs to fit your current career goals? Are you like one of my mentees who just told me that she cannot find a job where she is located? Or are you like another mentee who is networking and has lined up potentially two jobs while finishing his graduate degree?

I ask my mentees to remain strategic in their job searches. I offer a bunch of other job hunting tips that are rapidly forgotten. Layely, I am sensing a collective, heightened anxiety haze coming over some folk who are going around in circles to locate job possibilities, fix their resumes, start or improve personal websites and prep for the first round of interviews. Today, I am focusing on helping the almost discouraged job seeker in my career fields.

Here’s my top FREE and proven effective job sites for communications (digital media, PR, education) folk:

First pick is Careers.journalists.org, the free job site of the Online News Association. This free offering is my favorite source for entry-level to career professional quality jobs in digital media, public relations and affairs, higher education and other related communications areas. I recommend joining this association. It is best to join if you are still a student because your $25 annual fee is “Open to high school, college and university students, including undergraduate, graduate and associate degree students, with an interest in journalism produced for digital distribution. (Graduate students who are employed full time and students in certificate programs are not eligible to be Student Members.)”- ONA.

Next pick: careers.poynter.org. It is the free site of the journalism industry’s career prep and training. When I taught a course for senior students in college, I listed several free or low cost poynter.org courses for them to utilize to sharpen their skills. What’s also great about this site are the categories of jobs to aid the career seekers:
PR & Advertising
Graphic Design
Online Marketing
Sales – General
Media & Broadcasting
Web, Graphics & UI
Application Development
Media Technology

Final pick: Your college or university’s career website that pertains to your major. For instance, as a graduate of the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, I have a free career source for life. I have never used the career site because my graduate 🎓 degree from Medill has been more than enough to open doors and opportunities during my blessed career journey. If your school does not have a current and relevant job site for you, then seek help from other universities and colleges. Some are open to getting every graduate or career professional gainfully employed.

Also, there are many professional association conferences that boast of on-site job fairs. You usually have to 💰 to attend the conferences, this the free search is not in play. Ceck those associations’ sites for potential hints at which employers are attending the conference and then check those websites.

The point is to find free job sites that are also linked to your current career choice(s). There is no excuse for anyone to remain at home and grumble or express panic because you cannot find your best job. You may have to relocate to the new job. Yet, first things first: Locate your top 10 job possibilities. My next post will provide you with tips on how to effectively read job postings so that your resume and experience lines up with to get you noticed by your future employer.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

My Memorial Day memories: Former slaves honoring the dead

I was among the few chosen ones.

I don’t recall ‘sleeping in’ on Memorial Day as a child growing up in Omaha, Nebraska. I do not know how it happened that I was awakened early each Memorial Day Monday to accompany my maternal great-grandmother, Edna Robinson, and at least two other family members to the cemeteries. We arrived early to greet the morning dew upon the grassy knolls. Our task was to place fresh plants near the grave markers of our loved ones.

I vividly recall Grandma Robinson’s words to me and others as she used her tender hands to dig out spaces to place each new plant in the ground. Even though my mother or cousin would bring along tools to help Grandma Robinson with her mini excavations, (the worms would always greet us and seek to find new, cool hiding spaces)she would turn them down.

Grandma Robinson believed in honoring our ancestors by using her hands or a nearby stick, if available, to tend to the soil. While busy in her planting, Grandma Robinson often recalled how former slaves started the tradition of Memorial Day as a way to pay tribute to the black soldiers returning home from the war.

“They forgot about the colored soldiers,” Grandma Robinson always said without specifying the “who” in her recollections.

But I figured out who she was speaking of as I read more and more about Memorial Day, yet did not see the historical references that I first heard from my grandmother.

Grandma Robinson told me a lot more about the importance of remembering those who many forget upon their deaths. Through her example, Grandma Robinson taught me how to kneel upon the earth and dig into its richness. While in a kneeling position, we ALWAYS prayed in a quiet manner. She said prayers should be spoken in soft tones as we walk and work throughout the day. That was my first hint at how Grandma Robinson withstood the likely poor treatment while caring for other folks’ houses and children.

Each year as we returned to the graves of our loved ones, I would look for the plants we plotted in the previous years. Some were completely wiped out by the winter’s snow or other seasonal heat. Some plants were either trampled on or somehow pushed into the dirt where only a tiny flower bud peeped from the ground. Once Grandma Robinson saw a glimmer of life in one of our previously planted vines, she would carefully dig around it and gird it up to continue its growth.

We also did not leave a gravesite area without helping to pull back the grass overgrowth on graves with numbers engraved in cement to mark burial locations. That taught me to look out for my neighbors and honor them with the blessings that we had. Often, if we had a plant or two left over, Grandma Robinson would lead us to a burial site where someone she knew was placed beneath the earth. We always left the cemeteries with empty containers that once carried in the plants.

Learning is loving and respecting and doing. I got it all in my annual visit to the Omaha cemeteries to honor our dead and the legacy of the holiday.

Although I will not be in our maternal family’s home cemetery site in Springfield, Missouri to place a plant in the ground in honor of Grandma Robinson, I know that my family members will do so and thereby honor my grandmother and our ancestors.

Photo: Dr. Rex-wordpress.com

For more information about Memorial Day’s founding and its alternative observances by Confederate-loyal folk, see http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1900454,00.html
And more. Check out remembrances from your eldest family members.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

Pooling resources during Atlanta flight delays

“Stuck” in Atlanta at busy Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport? Not to worry.

My last lengthy flight delay occurred the Monday after Mother’s Day weekend. Thankfully, my airline notified me hours in advance of the postponement. I debated whether to extend my hotel reservation or swim my way through the delay. I chose the latter.

Reduce the stress

Jump in airport pools in Atlanta, Ga; Bangkok, Thailand; Detroit, Mich; Fort Worth. Texas; Munich, Germany; Orlando, Fla; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Qatar (western Asia); Singapore (southeast Asia); and Vancouver, Canada. Soon, JFK Airport will debut its rooftop pool in the TWA Flight Center.

My tips:

1. Always travel with your swimsuit or fork over $$$s for hotel-bought swimwear.

2. Check whether hotel day rates are available at onsite or nearby airports if you rather nap instead of completing pool laps.

3. Confirm the pool rules. My hotel at the Atlanta airport did not have a pool. Yet, my airport folio accompanied by a note by the front desk staff to the across-the-street hotel, yielded me a cool pool afternoon before boarding a flight that evening to chilly Chicago.

Not a swimmer or want other entertainment or relaxation? Check with airports on your next destination just in case your flight is delayed. Up for shopping, videos, gyms and elaborate play areas? Get stuck in Chicago’s airports.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

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