There is much being written about health and fitness contributing to your career success and life in general. Thinking about a career change it is critical for you to come across as healthy — both physically and mentally.Businesses will hire healthy applicants over those deemed over-weight or with other signs of unhealthy behaviors — other things being equal. This is a fact of life, the main reason being the cost of healthcare. “Employers, of course, are concerned about obesity in the workplace because of the associated price tag. Obese employees cost U.S. private companies an estimated $45 billion annually in medical expenditures and work loss, according to a new report by The Conference Board, a nonprofit business membership and research organization given equal experience and one over another exhibiting weariness and signs of desperation.”When looking for a new job, just as important as your networking, research and other tasks are health breaks – for both mental and physical fitness. These preferably should be part of your daily job hunting plan. The benefit of the exercise break is that it gives you a better mental perspective as well. A bike ride, jog, or workout at the club clears your thought process and gives you uncluttered time to think and develop new strategies for your search. Networking is also a benefit of the club. A workout leaves you invigorated and prepared to jump back into your job hunt – with new vigor and vitality – and a fresh perspective.You must be persistent with your search and not let up until you land the interview you are looking for, but finding that ideal position is one thing and getting hired a completely different story. Let’s face it, there is discrimination in the job market. Recruiters don’t want to parade in unhealthy looking applicants to meet hiring managers and companies don’t want potential healthcare cost exposure, as previously mentioned. This is a big concern especially for older applicants. You must demonstrate that you have a healthy, energetic persona or you will not make it to through the first level interview.Consider a fitness program as critical to a favorable outcome of your career success. It should be scheduled into your daily routine just like all other work (life) related tasks. It could be an evening Zumba class, a morning jog, a noontime walk or bike ride, or whatever else is convenient for you – but it must be done with regularity to provide the benefits you desire. Healthy diets also contribute to wellness. Stressing over job prospects, bills, the kids, etc. can cause you to overeat, snack on junk food, lose sleep, or drink too much alcohol. Regular exercise has other benefits like better quality of sleep time, improves self-esteem, and contributes to a healthier lifestyle. Be certain you get plenty of sleep before job interviews to come across as alert and bright. Appearing fit, with a healthy glow and a positive attitude, will help open doors for the ideal career you desire.
Have you been called a “couch potato?” Does the title “cream puff” fit? Never exercise? Then there is a simple solution to get you back into shape. It’s called Yoga. I know what you’re thinking! You have to stand on your head, twist yourself into a pretzel, or have incredible strength to do Yoga. Those are myths that came about because Yoga originates in India, a place greatly misunderstood by most Americans. The exposure most of us have had to the ancient culture and exercise forms of India is what they see in movies and TV shows. That view of Yoga is design to entertain people watching films and sitcoms and not to inform them about the truth. Many people who have seen factual information on India in a documentary don’t realize that the Yogi presenting the art form was a master and doing poses that show off his prowess or excite him the most. Also, the amount of information presented was only a small portion of what is actually available on the subject. Thousands of books, instructional videos, and classes have been created in the more than 1,000 years since Yoga was first practiced. Finally, any experts touting the benefits of Yoga as an exercise form seem intimidating because they have transformed themselves into super humans with years of hard work and dedication. When these instructors show previews of their training secrets in an infomercial, they combine a wide variety of poses to excite the experienced as well as the novice.Take away the ancient names and the poses for experienced practitioners and you have a great starting point for the average Joe or Jane. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, breath in while extending your arms above your head, and looking up to the sky until your back is arched. That starts most peoples Yoga workout. The routine continues by slowly leaning forward and exhaling until your finger tips are pointing at the ground and your face is pointing toward your legs. Getting the picture? Yoga has a beginning for the novice practitioner that involves nothing more than the ability to follow simple instructions, be able to breath in and out, and a desire to improve one’s fitness level. Also, because Yoga novices need only shorts and a t-shirt to get started, anyone could get off the sofa right now and begin improving their health. Go to “Free Zone” in your cable on demand section and look under health and fitness. Yoga workouts are their in a wide variety of styles. Many of them are for beginners.If the choices available on demand aren’t palatable then look for free Yoga instruction on the internet (yogaclass.com). It is also easy to purchase a DVD (amazon.com) or download a Yoga workout that instructs beginners (exercisetv.tv). Some cost as little as $1.99! Yoga is also a great starting point for the newcomer to health and fitness because of the variety. Many people stop exercising because of the boredom involved in doing long and repetitive workouts. Who enjoys chugging along on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike for an hour or more? Not most people. It is estimated that Yoga forms from around the world include a total of 20,000 unique poses. Since one hundred carefully and gently employed poses more than make up a good beginning workout it is to see how a newcomer can find stances that are easily executed and enjoyable. Currently a lot of fitness professionals are talking about plateau. That simply means doing the same workout for too long causes its effectiveness to decrease over time. One hundred divides into 20,000 two hundred times if you create each workout from poses not used in another workout. Start mixing your favorite poses with stances you haven’t yet used and you could probably exercise everyday of the rest of your life without doing the same workout twice.Another advantage to Yoga is its effectiveness. Strength, flexibility, and balance are all being worked simultaneously. Most other forms of exercise, like weight lifting, only work one aspect of fitness at a time. A second reason people quit exercising is the lack of results. Why bother if no improvement is occurring? It’s a waste of time! One of the modern world’s top complaints is not enough time to get everything done. Avoid weight loss pills and their side effects. Give up on those useless exercise contraptions that promise miracles. Stay away from Doctors too willing to do complicated and dangerous procedures. Get in far better shape with a simple, enjoyable, and effective method known as Yoga. Copyright Paul Weiss 2009
Are you like many engineers; highly trained to solve technical problems but not as confident with your people skills? There is a big difference between engineering design and business management. In the engineering profession engineers are constantly studying to stay current on the latest technologies and engineering strategies. For many engineers it is extremely difficult to transition from engineer to manager. Since business and management are not usually classes in engineering college, engineers are expected to obtain their business skills through experience and continuing education. Unless you have a MBA, you will probably find it difficult to locate qualified continuing education sources with management courses tailored for engineers.Most of the State Licensing Boards require Professional Engineers to renew their professional licenses periodically with a minimum number of continuing education units. These units are usually Professional Development Hours (PDH) or Continuing Education Units (CEU). One PDH is equivalent to one hour of course education, and one CEU is equivalent to ten PDH or ten hours of course education. To obtain these units of continuing education the professional engineer will attend or teach the seminars, classes, or courses, write articles, or sit on professional boards or committees. The majority of engineers obtain their credits by attending conferences or seminars.Nearly all of the states that require continuing education credits accept business or managerial courses as long as they are related to engineering. In other words you can not take a class in “How to start your own Retail Business” and expect to receive continuing education credit for renewing your professional engineering license. But you can take a course in “Engineering Business Marketing Techniques” and receive full credit.In addition, most State Licensure Boards do not pre-approve courses for continuing education credit. This responsibility is usually left to the engineer to understand the state codes and to screen the courses appropriately. The Board will either accept or decline the courses after the engineer has submitted the license renewal application and listed the completed and credits received.Engineering managerial courses can include topics on Engineering Business Plan, Engineering Operations, Engineering Marketing, Financials, Proposals, Leadership, and many others. To acquire the necessary continuing education units, engineers can find these courses in the following sources;Community College and University Continuing Education Courses – These institutions regularly offer courses on numerous topics. Since the courses have to appeal to a wide audience, they usually do not cover technical topics that would be of interest to engineers. You can find business topics, but these courses are very general. Management courses that can apply to engineers my have words like “professional services” and “technical industry” in the course title.Vendor Seminar (Lunch Presentation) – This has been one my favorite sources. It usually starts by a product vendor giving you a call. He will ask if you would be interested in a presentation at your office. If you are interested you may say “Yes, but I will need for the presentation to be made at my office during lunch our hour. The attendees will be my engineers and designers, and I will need for you to bring lunch.” Your team will listen to the vendor’s presentation, review his products and literature, ask technical questions, and enjoy lunch. Each of your Professional Engineers gains about 0.5 PDH.On-the-Job Training – Some firms actually have monthly training sessions for their engineers and support staff. The subjects can be on a wide array of technical, ethical, and managerial topics. As long as the subject covered, who made the presentation, who attended the training, date of the training session, and time spent training is documented, these sessions can count as continuing education.Seminars – These courses are often held in a hotel conference room for a few hours to several days. Usually the courses offer continuing education credit of 8 PDH per day. If you have to travel to attend the seminar, your additional expenses beyond the cost of the seminar will include lodging, air fares, rental car, and dining. A three-day course can easily exceed several thousands dollars. Also take into account that during this time you will not be working on any contracts, your company will loss billable hours.Convention and Conferences – These events offers the attendee a multitude of course topics. Attending one four-day convention, you can easily obtain all of the continuing education credits needed to renew your professional license. Like seminars if the convention is away from your home town, you will have additional expenses including lodging, air fares, rental car, and dining. Also since you are away from your office, you will loss billable hours. Again, a convention can cost you or your office thousands of dollars.Home Study Courses – These courses have been around for a long time; long before the computer. The course material is sent to your home. You study the material, answer the quiz, and return the quiz. A week or two later a Course Completion certificate is sent to you. These types of course are being replaced by Online Courses as discussed below.Online Seminars – This is becoming a very popular program. Seminars that are online are often quite a bit less expensive than actually attending a seminar. Not only are the courses cheaper, but the attendee also saves due to no traveling, lodging, dining, or other expenses. Of course, the attendee will have to find a quite area to sit-up the computer and speakers, and to post a sign on the door saying “Do Not Disturb”. Once the seminar is completed you receive a Certificate of Completion with the number of PDH or CEU earned.Online Courses – These courses are much like the home study course but everything is done over the internet. You can take the course 24/7, and you usually have instant access to the quiz and the certificate of completion. These courses are the most economical and convenient for the engineer. You can just about study any topic; technical, ethical, or managerial. Most websites tend toward the technical topics. While only a few websites specialize in the business of engineering. Since most of these courses are written by engineers, it is understandable that most of the courses are technical.Most engineers have excellent technical skills, but not necessarily the same level of expertise in business management and marketing. It is the responsibility of the engineer to develop these management skills through continuing education. Continuing education can be obtained through Community Colleges, Universities, Professional Training Programs, Professional Organizations, and online training courses. In most states continuing education courses qualify for continuing education units (CEU) or Professional Development Hours (PDH).In this article we have discussed the different sources for engineering continuing education. The transition from engineer to manager can be difficult, but there are resources available to obtain the necessary knowledge. Acquiring the necessary management skills can be the difference between a good and a bad manager.