2008 May - Career Fuel2008 May - Career Fuel

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Issue: May 2008
In This Issue:



The Military: Here's the Drill
Aerospace & Defense: The Sky's the Limit
Aerospace Exploration
Yes, Sir! Eliminating the Um
Resource Corner

The Military: Here's the Drill

There was a time when joining the military was a last resort for teens whose lives weren’t going in any particular direction, and for others, the choice to join was not their own.
Today, teens ARE choosing to join the military because of all the benefits they have to gain. The U.S. military includes the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Together, they offer full- and part-time training and opportunities in more than 4,100 different military jobs, along with a great environment for developing the essential qualities for a successful life.

Cross Into the Blue
Although the Air Force entices recruits with the lure of flying fighter jets and Stealth bombers up in the “wild blue yonder,” only a small percentage of recruits become pilots. Most of the servicemen and women fill the many earth-bound positions ranging from intelligence experts to administrators who run the shop each day. In addition to offering a wide range of career opportunities and benefits including financial aid packages and ways to earn a degree while you serve, the Air Force gives more lifestyle perks than other branches of the military. You get your own room and on your time off, you can hop aboard a military plane and fly to any American base in the world. Visit http://www.airforce.com.

An Army of One
The Army’s motto, “an army of one,” is widely known. But, the best-kept secret about this branch of the military is that it isn’t all about learning to operate tanks and missiles and helicopters—although that still is a high priority. Today, some of the Army’s hottest jobs are in the high-tech and communications areas. And, because this is the largest branch of the service, advancement can be quicker here. Savvy soldiers who are planning for their future recognize that the high-tech training they receive in the Army—the most powerful ground force in the world—will make them attractive to employers later on. Visit http://www.goarmy.com.

Lifesaver and Guardian of the Seas
Few know all that the Coast Guard does. The biggest job of this smallest branch of the military—smaller even than the New York City Police Department—is to run the Homeland Security program to prevent terrorist attacks. Each day, the Coast Guard also saves 15 lives, conducts 90 search and rescue missions, assists 117 people in distress, protects $2.8 million in property and protects the waterways against drugs and other illegal shipments. Perhaps the friendliest people in the military, the Coast
Guard also interacts with the public more than any other branch of the service. Visit http://www.uscg.mil.

The Few, the Proud
Some of the toughest men and women in the military, marines are trained to survive in the most hostile situations and are the first ones sent into the world’s trouble spots. Because they have to be prepared to go into battle or to serve as a peace-keeping force on enemy territory, marines are constantly working to stay at their peak, both physically and mentally. People who thrive on constant challenges and love a good adrenaline rush might decide to become one of “the few and the proud.” The marines even have a Musician Enlistment Option Program for graduates with musical talent. Visit http://www.marines.com.

Not For Self, But for Country
Would-be sailors are lured to the Navy by the romance of the sea and the chance
to play a real-life game of Battleship. Those who enlist are won over by the many job opportunities available on deep-sea submarines, which are used for salvage and research, and the enormous aircraft carriers used to keep world order. The downside— being confined to a boat for weeks at a time with 6,000 crew members—is balanced by the opportunity to get the kind of training you want, have 30 days of personal leave time and disembark at foreign ports. Visit http://www.navy.mil.

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Aerospace & Defense: The Sky's the Limit

Perhaps your career mission is to serve and protect—and also to make a profit and be entrepreneurial. You’re in luck! The aerospace and defense industry contributes a lot to the economy and security of the nation. According to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, the industry generates some $150 billion in sales each year in the U.S., driven in part by the booming market for cutting-edge homeland defense products and services. Sometimes people decide to use their skills in the private sector after serving in the military…and others choose to make it their career path from the beginning by studying, say, aeronautical engineering, or training as an aircraft mechanic.

The A&D industry involves the companies that make everything from fighter aircraft for combat and simulation trainers for military convoys to commercial aviation products and services like the jets we fly in on vacation (think Boeing). They also run the airlines on which we choose to travel and build the rockets we may someday board to travel to the moon. Much of the more sophisticated A&D is based on electronics expertise and technology. DRS Technologies is one example of a New Jersey defense contractor. The Parsippany-based company makes military equipment, including ground-based thermal imaging systems used by the Army.

The aerospace and defense industry faces some real challenges in the future, in large part because it needs workers. For instance, many pilots are reaching retirement age. Airlines and other businesses in commercial aviation are desperate to get some good information out there about their industry so people see that becoming a pilot is a viable career path. The same holds true for mechanics, manufacturing personnel and engineering talent. The aerospace and defense industry has a vast and diverse selection of jobs to consider—everything from designing fighter aircraft for the big players like Lockheed Martin and providing global aviation financial services for companies like GE Commercial Aviation Services to being in charge of aircraft sales and acquisitions for companies like PrivatAir that provide private aircraft to wealthy individuals and businesses. Aerospace and defense is worth a test flight during your career exploration.

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Aerospace Exploration

Not sure where to begin your aerospace and defense career research? Hoover’s suggests the following as the most viewed aerospace and defense companies that manufacture and/or distribute aerospace or defense products and/or provide aerospace or defense services. Check out their Websites for more specific job info (and remember, lots of smaller entrepreneurial companies are also contributing in a big way to this industry):

General Electric Company (http://www.ge.com)
The Boeing Company (http://www.boeing.com)
Motorola, Inc. (http://www.motorola.com)
Honeywell International, Inc. (http://www.honeywell.com)
Lockheed Martin Corporation (http://www.lockheedmartin.com)
Northrop Grumman Corporation (http://www.northropgrumman.com)
United Technologies Corporation (http://www.utc.com)
Parker Hannifin Corporation (http://www.parker.com)
Raytheon Company (http://www.raytheon.com)
General Dynamics Corporation (http://www.generaldynamics.com)

Most Viewed Aerospace & Defense Maintenance and Service Companies:

The Boeing Company (http://www.boeing.com)
Lockheed Martin Corporation (http://www.lockheedmartin.com)
Raytheon Company (http://www.raytheon.com)
L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. (http://l-3com.com)
Ball Corporation (http://www.ball.com)
ITT Corporation (http://www.itt.com)
SAIC, Inc. (http://www.saic.com)
Goodrich Corporation (http://www.goodrich.com)
BAE Systems, Inc. (http://www.baesystems.com)

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Yes, Sir! Eliminating the Um

If you’re planning a military-related career, then you best brush up on your “Sirs” and “Maams.” Learning to communicate properly will help make you a successful officer and a gentleman (or gentlewoman, as the case may be). Steve Adubato, a well-known TV host in New Jersey, is an expert in all things communication—especially the spoken word. In his column “The Bottom Line,” which he writes for NJBIZ, a weekly business paper, he points out that many communicators suffer from “um-itis,” that irritating habit of using useless phrases and non-words such as “um,” “ah,” “like,” “you know” and “OK.” He suggests, um, the following insights and advice to clean up your communication act:

  1. Only the most aware communicators actually hear and monitor the way they speak. Most professionals are thrown off by listening to themselves on audiotape, or worse, seeing and hearing themselves on video. “Is that what I sound like?” is a common response. We are often oblivious to our “um-itis” because it is easier not to face it, much less work to improve our communication in this area.
  2. Deciding that you are going to stop saying “um” or “ah” could make you even more self conscious; “I am glad to…ah…be here…oops…sorry, I didn’t mean to say that.” The goal is to avoid correcting your communication in mid-sentence. This will only draw more attention to your use of irritating fillers. Rather, work to reduce, if not eliminate, the use of these counterproductive fillers by offering practical alternatives.
  3. As a communicator, there are many alternatives to using these distracting fillers. The biggest is the use of deliberate and practiced pausing. We don’t understand or appreciate the power of pausing. It is an incredible communication tool, if used effectively. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a master at the art of using a dramatic pause. However, you can start small. Tell yourself before your next presentation or sales call the following: “I’m going to take my time — I will pause more and be more deliberate when I speak.”

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Resource Corner

  • Explore http://www.njnonprofits.org, the center for Non-Profits, to learn more about nonprofits in New Jersey, related salaries and job opportunities.
  • Visit http://www.idealist.org for listings and information about nonprofit sector jobs.
  • Curious about internships or volunteer/paid positions at Womanspace? What are you waiting for? Go to http://www.womanspace.org for more info.
  • Keep your fingers on the pulse of the news, information and opinions for the online nonprofit community by visiting Nonprofit Online News at  http://news.gilbert.org.
  • To find out how you can apply for a grant to start your own venture, visit http://www.youthventure.org.

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