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Want To Further Your Career? Here’s How To Do It!

There is no one in the world who wants to continue to be at the bottom of their career. There are very few who get into a junior position in a company and choose to stay there because they know how to do it. They aim for the top spot, the CEO seat. They want to be the department manager, pushing themselves to the top of their career and not settling for anything less.

If you find that you are staring at the same four walls of the cubicle that you stepped into a decade ago, then you need to give yourself a shake.

You cannot complain about your job while continuing to walk the same steps day in and day out. It’s just not okay to stay stuck – especially when you’re not okay with being stuck where you are! You could be advancing slowly, or you could have a possible future in the company in which you currently work. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t progress. Progression is what gets you from the current workspace to something better, more satisfying and – often – with better pay.

You deserve to have the very best future you can have, and that’s why we’ve got some excellent tips to help you to further your career. Don’t stay stuck in a position you hate when there is a whole world out there for you to conquer and do well in. Let’s check out those tips!

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Career Development | Want To Further Your Career? Here's How To Do It!

Give Yourself Some Goals

Setting goals is a standard tip for anyone who is looking to do better in their career, but you need to think about this carefully. Goals need to be listed to keep you focused, and as you move upward through your chosen industry, you should consider making your goals smaller. Yes, your overall goal may be to own a company, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t set small goals to get you where you need to be. If you know what you want, break it down as to how you plan to get there and achieve each of those little steps.

Get Educated

What do you need to have under your belt to get where you need to be? It’s a big question to ask yourself, as if you don’t have the right piece of paper in some roles, you may find that you can’t get very far. For example, your IT degree may get you so far in the industry, but upskilling to a Masters in IT Security? That could get you so much further than you ever expected. Education is often the key you need to get you to an entirely new life. The more you learn, the more you can achieve, so check out what education you need to get to that next step.

Ask – Don’t Demand

If you feel like you are being wasted in the position that you are in, ask for more. Your employer is supposed to be supportive of your goals, and you will find that you may need to ask for the things that you want if you want to get ahead. It’s in their interest to help you to get that step up and do better. After all, your skills are going to help them to be successful. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do better and get higher in your organization, and most employers covet that level of ambition. Keep working hard and approach your manager with a list of reasons you feel you are ready for a promotion. You need to be able to argue your point correctly and talk through your reasons if you hope to have a good outcome.

Rethink Your Resume

How does your resume look right now? You want to ensure that you look like an attractive candidate for any job for which you apply. If your resume is looking pretty bare right now, start looking at ways you could improve it. Are there courses you could attend to thicken it? Are there better options in your job? Could you be doing more? Add to your statement of service, too, and make your resume look slick and ready!

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Career Development | Want To Further Your Career? Here's How To Do It!

Know Your Passion

No matter what you are passionate about, it would help if you went after it. If you are not working in an industry for which you feel passionate, then get out of it. Nothing is stopping you from going after your passions, except you. Find out what they are and figure out what skills you need to be successful at it. Then go and get trained, educated, or whatever you need for it to go well.

Accept “No” Graciously

You want to step up and further your career, and that’s going to come with a ton of rejection. However, it would help if you didn’t allow this to be a problem for you. Take their no and use it to fuel your goals. Never take that first rejection as the only answer for you – push forward and follow your heart to success.

Start A Side Hustle

Any job that you want will require your focus. A side hustle in that specific field will give you all the fuel that you need for success. Start small and work around your permanent job. Over time, you’ll be able to build up and do more. Eventually, your side hustle could be your only hustle, and that is what will propel you forward!

Communicate Your Needs Well

One of the biggest secrets to success lies in the way in which you deal with other people. If you know how to communicate well, you can build connections with the right people in your field and get the job offer, raise or promotion that you need.

Right now, you feel stuck, with nowhere to go. You need to pull your socks up and make life happen for you. If you want a better career, go and do what you can to get that career. There is nothing out there stopping you – except you.

The Importance of Education in Furthering Your Career

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | The Importance of Education in Furthering Your Career | Online DegreeContinuing with your education can lead to a more thriving career and financial security. While job experience plays a vital role in the job market, furthering your education gives you better opportunities to advance your career and lead a more comfortable lifestyle. Apart from having a high school diploma, it would help if you had a college degree and skills development to secure a good-paying job.

Nowadays, thanks to accelerated online degrees, you don’t have to waste your valuable time to earn an extra degree or diploma. Many online courses allow students to cover the same curriculum as traditional colleges but within a shorter period. For example, instead of spending around two years to earn your associate degree from a traditional college setting, you can obtain the same degree from online educators within months. Here are the benefits of education in advancing your career.

Gain Knowledge

A good education can make you more competitive and enhanced. The education you get from online degrees will equip you with the skills you need at your business or workplace. For instance, with a business administration degree, your understanding of various accounting and financial aspects will become much better.

A management-based program can make you a better leader capable of resolving conflicts at work. In other words, the knowledge you gain is both practical and factual. Furthering your studies broadens your skills and solidifies your experience.

Secures Your Future

Technological advancements have led to more downsizing trends in many companies across the globe. In the spirit of automation and making work easier, every tech-savvy brand wants to reduce human labor. So, if you haven’t positioned yourself strategically, you may become a victim of the next downsizing in your workplace.

Getting an online degree is one way of securing your future at the workplace. If it’s inevitable that your employer has to lay off a few people in your department, your degree may save your neck.

Makes Your Life Better

Unfortunately, society is prone to labeling people according to their educational background and financial status. If you want to earn more at your current job or and a more lucrative job opportunity elsewhere, you need to further your education.

A 2014 Pew Research found out that college graduates with degrees earn around $17,000 more than their counterparts with high school diplomas each year. The amount you make may be what is holding your lifestyle back. So, an online degree can earn you more respect, become more confident, and improve your lifestyle.

Boosts Your Soft Skills

Education can help boost your soft skills, such as teamwork, organization skills, management, and critical thinking. You’ll gain subtle ways of creating influential presentations and come up with effective management styles. Established brands are always looking for employees with sharpened skill sets in these areas. Moreover, once you find a way to boost your soft skills, it might become much easier to climb the career ladder.

Enhances Your Work Ethics

Pursuing higher education can pose a huge challenge to young employees in terms of planning or scheduling. It takes a lot of work, determination, and persistence to pursue a degree while doing a full-time job successfully. But, if you succeed, you’ll be able to demonstrate enhanced work ethics to your colleagues and employer at work.

If done right, you can attract the attention of your superiors at work and be rewarded accordingly. Every employer or manager loves working with employees who have the initiative and drive to expand their skills. It’s a sign that such an employee is willing to do something that will benefit the company as it gives the management hopes that you’ll perform better.

Aside from getting a lucrative job opportunity, a good education can improve your overall discipline. The unique skills you acquire from your training will eventually have an impact on your quality of life. The college academic setting is a great environment to help you expand your skills and gain the knowledge that’ll prepare you for a better career opportunity.

How to Get SQF Certified: The Only Guide You Need to Read

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | How to Get SQF Certified: The Only Guide You Need to Read | SQF CertifiedCurrently, there are over 30,000 food and beverage processing plants in the United States.  That’s according to the latest data from the Census Bureau’s economic census in 2012.

Any establishment that’s involved in the production, manufacturing, processing, storing, transporting, distribution, or selling of food or beverages should have a rigorous and reliable food safety management system. One of the surest ways to guarantee food safety is by becoming SQF certified.

SQF certification is highly recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative. It’s the chief production certification in the manufacture, distribution, and agent management of food. By becoming SQF certified, you’re demonstrating your commitment to providing your supply chain and clients with products of the highest quality.

In this comprehensive guide, we tell you all you need to know about SQF certification, including how to get certified. Read on to learn more.

What Is SQF?

First off, SQF stands for Safe Quality Food. The SQF program is a food safety management certification scheme that controls food safety risks. The program is developed and managed by the SQF Institute.

As soon as you’ve finished implementing your food safety management system, a third-party certifying body audits and certifies it.

Why Should You Get SQF Certified?

Over the years, an increasing number of food establishments have been taking on the challenge of obtaining SQF certification. But what is SQF certification good for? Below are four reasons.

To Build Trust

The modern consumer only buys food they trust. Retailers and foodservice providers refrain from selling products that don’t guarantee their customer’s safety. Having an SQF certification, therefore, can help put your clients’ minds at ease.

To Manage Risk

A robust food management system enables your company to manage food safety hazards effectively. You get to create an environment where you can consistently produce safe products.

To Retain Current Customers

An increasing number of companies want their suppliers to become certified as well. To remain competitive and retain existing customers, food companies are now taking SQF certification very seriously.

To Broaden Your Market Reach

The top multinational manufacturers and retailers now demand that companies that supply them with products become SQF certified. If you’ve been thinking of doing business with these large companies, getting certified is an excellent place to start.

The SQF Certification Process

So how does one get SQF certified? Below is a step-by-step guide.

1. Understand the SQF Code

The first step to achieving SQF certification involves learning about the program and the SQF Code. There are many ways to do this. Below are some suggestions:

  • Take an online training course on how to implement SQF systems
  • Train yourself using SQF documents available for free online
  • Visit a licensed SQF training center to attend a course on implementing SQF systems
  • Attend a seminar or information day on SQF certification
  • Take an online exam on implementing SQF systems

2. Register Your Food Company With the SQFI Assessment Database

Now that you have a good grasp of what the SQF program and Code are all about, it’s time to register your company with the SQFI assessment database. You’ll need to pay a registration fee based on your company’s gross sales. You can check out the registration fee structure online.

3. Appoint a Chief SQF Practitioner in Your Company

An essential SQF requirement before certification is for your company to have an individual who’ll serve as the internal expert on SQF. You may need to organize for SQF training for one of your employees to take up this role.

4. Choose the SQF Certification Level

Generally, companies can choose from three levels of SQF certification.

  • Level 1 is meant for low-risk products: this level incorporates essential food safety controls
  • Level 2 is a fully certified HACCP food safety scheme that is benchmarked by GFSI
  • Level 3 involves a comprehensive implementation of the safety and quality management systems

5. Getting Quotes from SQF Certification Bodies

This step entails contacting a reputable SQF certification body to get details of the certification audit and get quotes.

6. Conduct a Pre-Assessment

This step aims at identifying any gaps that may stand between your food safety program and the level of certification you desire. A pre-assessment can be done by your SQF practitioner or an external SQF auditor. While this step is optional, it can significantly benefit your company.

7. Book an Audit With a Certification Body

There are licensed SQF certification bodies scattered around the country. Choose one near you and contact them for an audit of your company.

8. Go Through Certification Audits

Once you’ve settled on a credible certification body and invited them to audit your company, they’ll focus on facility assessment and document reviews.

What Next?

Upon the completion of all the steps above, the SQF body will now make a certification decision. If your company achieves a “C-complies” audit rating or higher, you’ll be awarded an SQF certification.

How Does Long It Take to Get Certified?

The preparation for SQF registration can be quite involved. You’ll need to build a food safety management system, document that system, and implement it within your organization. On average, it takes between 8 and 12 months to get ready for certification.

Of course, the time frame for certification may be longer or shorter than the average, depending on your company’s specific circumstances.

Once your facility has been audited, you’ll get a certification decision from the SQF certification body within 45 days. After you’ve been certified, you’ll get a certification number from the SQF Institute. This number is unique to your organization’s site.

SQF Certification Costs

The process of achieving SQF certification comes at a cost, both in terms of time and money. We already mentioned that the preparation for SQF certification could take up to a year. In this section, we’ll tackle some of the areas you’ll need to spend money on.

An SQF Practitioner

As stated earlier, every organization that wants to get SQF certified must have an internal SQF practitioner. That practitioner must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a full-time member of staff in your company
  • Have gone through a HACCP based course
  • Have a good understanding of the SQF code
  • Know how to implement and maintain Agricultural And Manufacturing Best Practices
  • Understand the requirements for implementing and maintaining the SQF system.

You can consider hiring an expert who’s already certified and has industry experience or choose to appoint one of your existing personnel and train them. If you choose the latter, you’ll need to budget for the training and certification expenses. Factor in how much you’re going to be paying the employee in terms of SQF practitioner salary.

An SQF Consultant

You may be wondering why you have to pay an SQF consultant when you already have a full-time SQF practitioner in your company. Well, chances are your full-time SQF expert will need assistance when developing an SQF program or in perfecting certain aspects of the program. This may require you to engage the services of a third-party consultant.

The costs of hiring an SQF consultant can vary. Typically, consultants charge you hourly rates based on their level of experience. The final cost will depend on:

  • The scope of the project
  • How elaborate the process is
  • How much your internal SQF practitioner can accomplish without third-party help

Re-Certification Fees

After you’ve obtained SQF certification, you’ll need to get re-certified every year to remain compliant. The cost of recertification varies according to the size of the facility, the number of HACC plans you have, and how many employees you have.

Site Preparation Costs

The biggest chunk of time and money goes to preparing your site for SQF certification. Generally, you must ensure that your physical building and the equipment you use pose no physical, biological, or chemical contamination risk to your final product.

Some of the things you’ll need to invest in include:

  • Suitable materials for various surfaces—the materials you use should not be corrosive—similarly, they shouldn’t be easily breakable or wear down, ending up in the ingredients or final product (avoid copper, wood, glass, and rigid plastics)
  • Proper floor drainage—if any of your processes involve the use of water you need to set up drains at the right places to let the water leave (bacteria and other pathogens thrive in damp conditions)
  • Ease of cleaning—keep potential contaminants away from your surfaces and equipment (in part by ensuring the materials used for your surfaces and equipment are easy to clean)

Other site preparation costs involve ample lighting, proper ventilation, enough storage space, and appropriate water quality. The site must also be able to keep the final product safe from pests and other contaminants from the outside environment.

Getting SQF Certification Is Good for Your Business

Getting SQF certified isn’t something that only giant suppliers should do. Every organization that deals with food can benefit from this certification. The SQF Code helps you boost your food safety management system, which is good for both your business and your clients.

Would you like to read more great content like this? Please keep visiting our blog.

Understanding Psychiatry: What Does a Psychiatrist Do?

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Understanding Psychiatry: What Does a Psychiatrist Do?In the United States, there are about 28,000 psychiatrists employed, and there is actually a shortage of them.

The job outlook for psychiatrists will continue to grow, but many people still aren’t entirely sure what they can do for people.

Are you asking “What does a psychiatrist do?” Read this article to learn more about what psychiatry is and how it is helpful.

What Exactly Is Psychiatry? 

First things first, psychiatry is a branch of medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental and emotional illnesses. They can also help with behavioral disorders as well.

A psychiatrist is technically a medical doctor, like an M.D. or D.O, except they specialize in mental health. Psychiatrists are qualified to help treat physical and mental symptoms of psychological problems.

Many people seek psychiatry services for all kinds of reasons. It can range from having panic attacks to thoughts of suicide to hearing voices or to hearing hallucinations. It can also range from just feeling sad, anxious, stressed, or not being able to function.

The Difference Between a Psychiatrist and Psychologist 

If you are trying to find help for any of these problems, you may be trying to decide whether you want to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

As we said earlier, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor, meaning they went to medical school and did a residency. They also got special training in psychiatry to be able to treat you as best as possible. They can also prescribe you medicine and other medical treatments.

However, on the other hand, a psychologist doesn’t go to medical school. They get an advanced degree, normally in clinical psychology. They will have extensive training and can help treat mental disorders with psychotherapy.

But a psychologist cannot prescribe you any medication, so if you think you need medication, you may need to see a psychiatrist instead.

How to Become a Psychiatrist 

If you don’t need treatment but want to become a psychiatrist, there are certain steps that you will need to take. It takes a lot of work to become a psychiatrist, but it’s important to do because you want to make sure that you give your patients the best care possible.

If you want to become a psychiatrist, you need to complete medical school. After you do that, you’ll also need to take a written exam and get a state license to be able to practice medicine.

After that, you will have to do four years of psychiatry residency. During your first year, you will work with all kinds of patients and all kinds of different medical illnesses.

For the next three years after that, you will work on learning how to diagnose and treat mental health issues and learn the different types of psychotherapy. You will have to learn how to prescribe different medications and what they can treat as well.

After your residency is over, you’ll need to take a written and oral exam that is administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in order to become board-certified.

After you get certified, you’ll need to get re-certified every ten years.

What Does a Psychiatrist Do?

If you go to see a psychiatrist, you may want to know what you should expect from your appointment.

A psychiatrist will ask you what all of your physical and mental symptoms are, and they will come up with a diagnosis for you and a treatment plan in order to help you recover.

They can provide you psychotherapy treatment and/or prescribe you medication to treat it as well.

Some of the other things a psychiatrist can do include:

  • Providing urgent care for mental illness
  • Admit you to a hospital
  • Refer you to other doctors
  • Provide advice on lifestyle changes
  • Help you manage long-term mental health problems

A psychiatrist will be able to do so much more than this as well.

How to Diagnose Patients

When you go to see a psychiatrist, you may be wondering how they determine what to diagnose you with.

Since psychiatrists are technically physicians, they have access to all kinds of medical laboratories and run all kinds of psychological tests.

They can use these and look at the whole picture of the patient’s mental and physical state as well.

Their education and their training will help give them some insight into what you may be dealing with, and once they have a diagnosis, they will be able to give you a treatment plan as well.

Normally psychiatrists will base their diagnosis off the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This book has all kinds of descriptions and symptoms of all kinds of different mental disorders.

Different Types of Medications They Can Prescribe

A psychiatrist will be able to prescribe medication to help treat you if it’s actually necessary. Sometimes medication and psychotherapy are necessary to treat mental illness.

There are different categories of medications that can help treat different mental illnesses.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants are great for panic disorders, PTSD, and depression. They can also help treat anxiety disorders, OCD, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder.

Antipsychotic Medications

These medications can help treat psychotic symptoms that come along with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.

If you are experiencing hallucinations and delusions, these medications could help you.

Sedatives and Anxiolytics

These prescription medications are normally used to treat insomnia and anxiety.

If you have problems with these, you may want to see a psychiatrist to get these medications prescribed and to learn what lifestyle changes you can make to help with this.

Learn More About What Does a Psychiatrist Do?

Seeing a psychiatrist can be really helpful for some people. If you are thinking about finding one, ask your friends and family for some recommendations.

If you are still asking “what does a psychiatrist do?” after reading this article, don’t worry, we have more info for you as well!

If you enjoyed this article, make sure you check out the rest of our website for others just like it!

Careers For The Academically Minded

A lot of people can’t wait to get out of academia when they first set foot into it. However, there are some to whom the practices of finding sources, compiling information, and coming to conclusions is almost a rush. If you find yourself dreading leaving the libraries and computer halls of academia, then here are some careers worth considering.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Careers For The Academically Minded

Research

If you love hitting the books, performing experiments, and collecting data to help come to a conclusion, then sticking to the world of research might be just the solution for you. A career in research can be wildly different depending on, for instance, the field of academia you are in. For instance, medical research can involve either working in clinical research with live patients or in medical research, testing the effects of medicines but not on live humans. Similarly, a marine biology PhD could see you researching with data from a lab or at sea studying natural habitats.

Teaching

For some people, academia means education, the feeling of learning and teaching and helping the brightest minds of tomorrow reach their potential. For those who are academically minded, then it is more likely you will want to look at working as a professor rather than in high school or below, as it can involve staying up-to-date with and contributing to research in the field that you teach. The Bradley University website shows some of the steps and qualifications necessary in most cases to become a professor. While it can be tough to break into the world of teaching in college, the tenure you can eventually earn offers a lot of job security.

Data science

Love academia and researching but not the particular field of the sciences you’ve chosen to study? You don’t have to stick with it. In fact, data analysis and data science are becoming increasingly common career moves for those who started with a science education. It puts your skills of gathering, organizing and analysing data and applies it, in most cases, to business questions and problems rather than inherently scientific one. Data analysis is becoming an increasingly important part of the modern business world, and demand is shooting for people with the skills necessary to fill those roles.

Librarians

Don’t assume that working as a librarian simply involves shushing people. In many places, especially academic libraries, they play an essential role in helping organize a wide range of materials, from books to papers to research materials and publications stored from throughout history. Librarians also help researchers, students, and professors find the materials they need for their work, so they play an instrumental role in modern academia. Look to the Library Association website to see what it takes to become a librarian.

Those with an academic mindset have more options than you might initially think. Hopefully, the above examples give you some ideas of where you could take that keen mind and love for research and to make a real career out of it.