Skills spotlight: Customer service and 12 related jobs

By Susan Ricker

Customer service

In a world where every customer interaction is caught on camera, video, microphone or social media, it takes a special group of people to work in customer service. Rarely do they hear from satisfied customers who enjoy the products and services that company offers; instead, customer service workers tend to interact with those who have a problem.
But that gives workers in customer service a very special set of skills that can be used in a variety of other occupations. Every organization wants its users, clients and customers to have a good experience and continue to buy from them. And those workers who are able to change a disgruntled customer’s mind or help solve a problem hold a unique set of skills that can be used in a variety of other occupations.
Read on to learn about the skills workers in customer service hold and the related jobs you can consider applying those skills in.

Important qualities in customer service
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes what skills workers need to perform their jobs exceptionally. For workers in customer service and the following related positions, here are the skills you’ll need:
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Listening skills
  • Patience
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Decision-making skills
  • Empathy
  • Organizational skills
  • Compassion
  • Time-management skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Instructional skills
  • Speaking skills
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Emotional stability
  • Writing skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Self-confidence
  • Stamina
To apply those skills, consider any of these 12 jobs that demand exceptional customer service.

1. Bill and account collectors* try to recover payment on overdue bills. They negotiate repayment plans with debtors and help them find solutions to make paying their overdue bills easier. Listening to the debtor and paying attention to his or her concerns can help the collector negotiate a solution.

2. Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers, also called 9-1-1 operators or public safety telecommunicators, answer emergency and nonemergency calls. Dispatchers must stay calm while collecting vital information from callers to determine the severity of a situation and the location of those who need help. They then give the appropriate first-responder agencies information about the call. Dispatchers keep detailed records about the calls that they take. They use computers to log important facts, such as the nature of the incident and the name and location of the caller.

3. Receptionists perform administrative tasks, such as answering phones, receiving visitors and providing general information about their organization to the public and customers. Receptionists are often the first employee of an organization to have contact with a customer or client. They are responsible for making a good first impression for the organization, which can affect the organization’s success.

4. Social and human service assistants help people get through difficult times or get additional support. They help other workers, such as social workers, and they help clients find benefits or community services. They may follow up with clients to ensure that they are receiving the services and that the services are meeting their needs.

5. Training and development specialists create, administer and deliver training programs for businesses and organizations. To do this, they must first assess the needs of an organization. Once those needs are determined, specialists develop custom training programs that take place in a classroom, computer laboratory, or training facility.

6. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders or other behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help the client recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors. Furthermore, they help clients rebuild professional relationships and, if necessary, reestablish their career. They also help clients improve their personal relationships and find ways to discuss their addiction or other problem with family and friends.

7. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work with offenders who are given probation instead of jail time, who are still in prison, or who have been released from prison. They work with and monitor offenders to prevent them from committing new crimes, and create rehabilitation plans for them to follow when they are no longer in prison.

8. Computer network support specialists, also called technical support specialists, usually work in their organization’s IT department. They help IT staff analyze, troubleshoot and evaluate computer network problems. They play an important role in the daily upkeep of their organization’s networks by finding solutions to problems as they occur. Solving an IT problem in a timely manner is important because organizations depend on their computer systems.

9. Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in dining establishments. They are responsible for ensuring that customers have a satisfying dining experience. The specific duties of servers vary considerably with the establishment in which they work.

10. Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals. They also respond to information requests from the media and help clients communicate effectively with the public.

11. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies and other organizations. They contact customers, explain product features, answer any questions that their customers may have and negotiate prices.


12. Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture and cars, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

10 Highest-Paying Jobs That Don't Require A Bachelor's Degree

Take an alternative route to a high-paying career

By Business Insider 

If you think you need a bachelor's degree to have a lucrative career, think again. Yes, it's true that those with a bachelor's typically earn more than those without one - but it's certainly not always the case.

A new report by the career-guidance website CareerCast found that there are plenty of high-paying jobs - including commercial pilot and registered nurse - that don't require four years of college. They do, however, require specialized training.

"There's no question that college graduates with four-year degrees are very likely to earn almost $1 million more in compensation through the course of their careers," says Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast. "However, for the many people who are unable to earn that degree because of the costs, financial obligations, or other reasons, it's still possible to have a very rewarding, challenging, fulfilling career that pays well.

"These jobs offer great opportunities for those job seekers," he said. "To land one of these jobs, you'll need to compensate with good old-fashioned hard work and some post-high-school training,"
CareerCast evaluated 200 professions across a variety of industries and skill levels to determine the highest-paying jobs that don't require a four-year degree. It gathered data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, trade-association studies, and other sources.

10.
Verizon-Downtown Manhattan Restoration
AP
Communications Equipment Mechanic

Annual Median Salary: $54,530

Education Required: Postsecondary nondegree award

Many trade schools and junior colleges offer vocational programs designed to teach the skills necessary to become a communications equipment mechanic. The BLS reports that completion of one of these programs typically comes with either official certification or an associate's degree.

> Find a job as a communications equipment mechanic


9.
A mechanic checks the engine of a VFW 61
Getty Images
Aircraft Mechanic

Annual Median Salary: $55,230

Education Required: FAA-accredited Aviation Maintenance Technician School

These schools teach those working to become aircraft mechanics the skills necessary for the job. Passing an FAA exam is a requirement.

> Find a job as an aircraft mechanic


8.
DIGITAL IMAGE-01/24/02-SINAI TECHNOLOGY-Images from a series of displays at Mt. Sinai Hospital's Sur
Getty ImagesRespiratory therapist, left, and a surgeon, right, demonstrate how to resuscitate a patient.
Respiratory Therapist

Annual Median Salary: $55,870

Education Required: Associate's degree and state licensing

Programs for training and certification in respiratory therapy exist throughout the country. Anyone trying to become a respiratory therapist must be certified by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

> Find a job as a respiratory therapist


7.
Increased Security In NYC Continues One Day After Explosions Occurred During Boston Marathon
Getty Images
Police Officer

Annual Median Salary: $56,980

Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent and graduation of police academy

Aspiring police officers must pass rigorous physical fitness tests, take extensive training in law enforcement, and graduate from a police academy to serve.

> Find a job as a police officer


6.
Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS)
NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr
Electrical Technician

Annual Median Salary: $57,850

Education Required: Associate's degree

Postsecondary schools offer vocational programs geared toward those learning to be electrical technicians. These programs teach skills like circuitry and computer repair.

> Find a job as an electrical technician


5.
Plaid Flannel Shirt Clothing Store Fashion IMG_7681
stevendepolo/Flickr
Retail Buyer

Annual Median Salary: $60,550

Education Required: High-school diploma

While requirements may vary depending on the hiring company, an entry-level applicant can work as a buyer with a high-school diploma. After gaining experience, one can find advancement opportunities by earning certain certificates, including a Certified Purchasing Professional and Certified Professional Purchasing Manager credential.

> Find a job as a retail buyer


4.
GOOGLE
APA web developer at Google.
Web Developer

Annual Median Salary: $62,500

Education Required: Associate's degree

Training in various web-building disciplines is required for aspiring web developers. This includes HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other coding techniques, as well as some graphic design. Most can be obtained through associate's programs.

> Find a job as a web developer


3.
School Medical Needs
AP
Registered Nurse

Annual Median Salary: $65,470

Education Required: Associate's degree and state nursing license

According to the BLS, nurses can launch their careers either with a bachelor's degree in nursing science, an associate's degree in nursing, or certification from an accredited nursing program. No matter the chosen route one takes, all nurses must receive state-issued licensing and pass the National Council Licensure Examination.

> Find a job as a registered nurse


2.
Cattle Industry in Texas
Getty Images
Farmer-Rancher

Annual Median Salary: $69,300

Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent

While training to be a farmer is largely gained on the job, the BLS reports that "farm and land management has grown more complex," which has prompted more farmers to pursue bachelor's degrees. The BLS also reports, however, that government programs exist to help aspiring farmers gain training and a foothold in the industry.

> Find a job as a farmer-rancher


1.
Southwest Air pilots
Muffet/Flickr
Commercial Pilot

Annual Median Salary: $73,280

Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent; commercial pilot's license from the FAA and Airline Transport Pilot certificate

Whereas airline pilots typically need a college degree in addition to their FAA pilot's licensing and ATP certification, commercial pilots - who fly aircraft for reasons such as charter flights, rescue operations, firefighting, and aerial photography - can begin their careers with a high-school diploma and the proper licensing and certification.

> Find a job as a pilot

15 Jobs For Writers

Writing opportunities have expanded with the Internet


Writer
Getty Images


There's an ongoing debate asking whether or not the book is "dead" or becoming irrelevant as today's digital age opts for screens over paper, but make no mistake: language, writing and communications are more prevalent than ever.

The Internet has created an ever-expanding space demanding content, and we have more formats than ever to share ideas and more products than ever to advertise and explain. It's a good time to be a writer.

But if you're not sure how to harness the power of your written communication skills, read on to learn about what it takes to excel in this field and the many jobs you can thrive in.

Important qualities for all writers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls out specific qualities that writing positions can require, and here they are, rounded up, to give a comprehensive look at the many facets needed to become an excellent writer:
  • Creativity
  • Detail oriented
  • Good judgment
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Language skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Objectivity
  • Persistence
  • Stamina
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Determination
  • Persuasion
  • Social perceptiveness
To apply those skills, consider any of these 15 writing jobs.

1. Copy editors* review copy for errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling and check the copy for readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy. They suggest revisions, such as changing words and rearranging sentences and paragraphs to improve clarity or accuracy. They also may carry out research, confirm sources for writers and verify facts, dates and statistics. In addition, they may arrange page layouts of articles, photographs and advertising.

2. Publication assistants who work for book-publishing houses may read and evaluate manuscripts submitted by freelance writers, proofread uncorrected proofs and answer questions about published material. Assistants on small newspapers or in smaller media markets may compile articles available from wire services or the Internet, answer phones and proofread articles. Executive editors oversee assistant editors and generally have the final say about what stories are published and how they are covered.

3. Executive editors typically hire writers, reporters and other employees. They also plan budgets and negotiate contracts with freelance writers, who are sometimes called "stringers" in the news industry. Although many executive editors work for newspaper publishers, some work for television broadcasters, magazines or advertising and public relations firms.

4. Assistant editors are responsible for a particular subject, such as local news, international news, feature stories or sports. Most assistant editors work for newspaper publishers, television broadcasters, magazines, book publishers or advertising and public relations firms.

5. Managing editors typically work for magazines, newspaper publishers and television broadcasters and are responsible for the daily operation of a news department.

6. Public relations specialists, also called communications specialists and media specialists, handle an organization's communication with the public, including consumers, investors, reporters and other media specialists. In government, public relations specialists may be called press secretaries. In this setting, workers keep the public informed about the activities of government officials and agencies.

7. Journalists for print media conduct interviews and write articles to be used in newspapers, magazines and online publications. Because most newspapers and magazines have both print and online versions, reporters typically produce content for both versions. Doing so often requires staying up to date with new developments of a story, so that the online editions can be updated with the most current information.

8. Technical writers create operating instructions, how-to manuals, assembly instructions and "frequently asked questions" pages to help technical support staff, consumers and other users within a company or an industry. After a product is released, technical writers also may work with product liability specialists and customer service managers to improve the end-user experience through product design changes. Some technical writers help write grant proposals for research scientists and institutions.

9. Copywriters prepare advertisements to promote the sale of a good or service. They often work with a client to produce advertising themes, jingles and slogans.

10. Biographers write a thorough account of a person's life. They gather information from interviews and research about the person to accurately portray important events in that person's life.

11. Generalists write about any topic of interest, unlike writers who usually specialize in a given field.

12. Novelists write books of fiction, creating characters and plots that may be imaginary or based on real events.

13. Songwriters compose music and lyrics for songs. They may write and perform their own songs or sell their work to a music publisher. They sometimes work with a client to produce advertising themes, jingles, and slogans and they may be involved in marketing the product or service.

14. Playwrights write scripts for theatrical productions. They produce lines for actors to say, stage direction for actors to follow, and ideas for theatrical set design.

15. Screenwriters create scripts for movies and television. They may produce original stories, characters and dialogue, or turn a book into a movie or television script. Some may produce content for radio broadcasts and other types of performance.

> Find a job as a writer

Skills spotlight: Written communications and 15 jobs for writers

By Susan Ricker

Written communications

There’s an ongoing debate asking whether or not the book is “dead” or becoming irrelevant as today’s digital age opts for screens over paper, but make no mistake: language, writing and communications are more prevalent than ever.
The Internet has created an ever-expanding space demanding content, and we have more formats than ever to share ideas and talent and more products than ever to advertise and explain. It’s a good time to be a writer.
But if you’re not sure how to harness the power of your written communication skills, read on to learn about what it takes to excel in this field and the many jobs you can thrive in.

Important qualities for all writers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls out specific qualities that writing positions can require, and here they are, rounded up, to give a comprehensive look at the many facets needed to become an excellent writer:
  • Creativity
  • Detail oriented
  • Good judgment
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Language skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Objectivity
  • Persistence
  • Stamina
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Determination
  • Persuasion
  • Social perceptiveness
To apply those skills, consider any of these 15 writing jobs.

1. Copy editors* review copy for errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling and check the copy for readability, style and agreement with editorial policy. They suggest revisions, such as changing words and rearranging sentences and paragraphs to improve clarity or accuracy. They also may carry out research, confirm sources for writers and verify facts, dates and statistics. In addition, they may arrange page layouts of articles, photographs and advertising.
2. Publication assistants who work for book-publishing houses may read and evaluate manuscripts submitted by freelance writers, proofread uncorrected proofs and answer questions about published material. Assistants on small newspapers or in smaller media markets may compile articles available from wire services or the Internet, answer phones and proofread articles. Executive editors oversee assistant editors and generally have the final say about what stories are published and how they are covered.
3. Executive editors typically hire writers, reporters and other employees. They also plan budgets and negotiate contracts with freelance writers, who are sometimes called “stringers” in the news industry. Although many executive editors work for newspaper publishers, some work for television broadcasters, magazines or advertising and public relations firms.
4. Assistant editors are responsible for a particular subject, such as local news, international news, feature stories or sports. Most assistant editors work for newspaper publishers, television broadcasters, magazines, book publishers or advertising and public relations firms.
5. Managing editors typically work for magazines, newspaper publishers and television broadcasters and are responsible for the daily operation of a news department.
6. Public relations specialists, also called communications specialists and media specialists, handle an organization’s communication with the public, including consumers, investors, reporters and other media specialists. In government, public relations specialists may be called press secretaries. In this setting, workers keep the public informed about the activities of government officials and agencies.
7. Journalists for print media conduct interviews and write articles to be used in newspapers, magazines and online publications. Because most newspapers and magazines have both print and online versions, reporters typically produce content for both versions. Doing so often requires staying up to date with new developments of a story, so that the online editions can be updated with the most current information.
8. Technical writers create operating instructions, how-to manuals, assembly instructions and “frequently asked questions” pages to help technical support staff, consumers and other users within a company or an industry. After a product is released, technical writers also may work with product liability specialists and customer service managers to improve the end-user experience through product design changes. Some technical writers help write grant proposals for research scientists and institutions.
9. Copywriters prepare advertisements to promote the sale of a good or service. They often work with a client to produce advertising themes, jingles and slogans.
10. Biographers write a thorough account of a person’s life. They gather information from interviews and research about the person to accurately portray important events in that person’s life.
11. Generalists write about any topic of interest, unlike writers who usually specialize in a given field.
12. Novelists write books of fiction, creating characters and plots that may be imaginary or based on real events.
13. Songwriters compose music and lyrics for songs. They may write and perform their own songs or sell their work to a music publisher. They sometimes work with a client to produce advertising themes, jingles, and slogans and they may be involved in marketing the product or service.
14. Playwrights write scripts for theatrical productions. They produce lines for actors to say, stage direction for actors to follow, and ideas for theatrical set design.

15. Screenwriters create scripts for movies and television. They may produce original stories, characters and dialogue or turn a book into a movie or television script. Some may produce content for radio broadcasts and other types of performance.

Companies hiring in May

By Susan Ricker
DefaultRGB

May will be a busy month for job seekers. Not only are high school and college students graduating and looking to enter the work force, but this month also notes the beginning of seasonal employment. To start off your job search right this May, learn more about what’s happening in hiring and which companies have openings right now.
Those workers who are interested in a summer gig will need to move quickly as seasonal jobs fill up fast. And keep in mind that a temporary role may have the potential to lead to something more permanent. Check out these do’s and don’ts for turning a seasonal role into permanent employment.
Recent grads may want to enjoy a final summer off, but entering the workforce early makes for less competition come fall. It also brings with it a paycheck that can fund some big summer plans. For resources on first jobs and internships, as well as information specific to recent grads, CareerRookie.com has answers and advice worth following to start a successful career.
All this comes at a time when the economy is displaying strong signs of growth. April’s jobs report showed unexpected numbers, with an increase of 288,000 jobs and a drop in the unemployment rate to 6.3 percent. And while those numbers send a mixed message as the labor force changes its size, the higher number of jobs added sends encouragement that positions are continuing to come back after the recession.

With those workforce happenings in mind, check out these five companies hiring in May.

1. Aventure Staffing
Industry: Engineering, technical, sales, finance, light industrial, health care
Sample job titles: Manufacturing engineer, design engineer, IT technician, inside sales manager
Location: Iowa
2. Capstone Search Group
Industry:
Insurance
Sample job titles: Chief underwriter, personal lines producing agent, loss control specialist
Location: Nationwide
3. Encompass Home Health & Hospice
Industry:
Home health, hospice
Sample job titles: Occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech-language pathology therapist, registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, licensed practical nurse
Location: Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia
4. The InSource Group
Industry:
IT, engineering
Sample job titles: Web developer, Java developer, CQ developer, project manager, systems engineer, integration engineer
Location: Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas

5. Jacobson Companies
Industry:
Logistics
Sample job titles: Warehouse supervisor, CDL driver (local or OTR), continuous improvement manager, customer service representative, general manager
Location: Nationwide

Search This Blog

Followers