The ever-changing responsibility of managing and evaluating the buying and selling of goods is a task typically associated with business professionals, but that's not all they do. Many ring up sales at bustling shopping malls or greet guests as they check into hotels and resorts. The business world goes beyond the realm of financial analysts and accountants to include customer-driven professionals like cashiers and receptionists--a reality evidenced in many careers that made U.S. News' Best Business Jobs list.
The business sector is on track to add close to 3.8 million jobs over the next few years, the U.S. Labor Department projects. Here's more about six business jobs that should see abundant growth in the coming years:
1. Meeting, Convention & Event Planner. The coordination of weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and graduations often falls squarely on the shoulders of event planners. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment growth of 43.7 percent for event planners by 2020.
2. Receptionist. Receptionists are usually the first to pleasantly greet patients at a clinic or job interviewees in an office. Their profession is expected to grow 23.7 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS.
3. Customer Service Representative. Customer service representatives alleviate the concerns of dissatisfied buyers by fielding complaints about why a product fails to work properly. The BLS predicts the customer service representative profession will grow 15.5 percent by 2020.
4. Cashier. Cashiers keep a cool demeanor during hectic shopping seasons, rapidly ringing up sales with ease within a small window of time. There will be approximately 250,000 new cashier openings between 2010 and 2020.
5. Real Estate Agent. Real estate agents follow the latest housing-market trends to provide home buyers with the guidance they need. The BLS projects a 12.2 percent employment growth for real estate agents by 2020.
6. HR Specialist. Making sure the right candidates are hired and vetted for the right jobs is a crucial aspect of a human resources specialist's job. This field will add 61,600 new jobs and 36,700 replacement jobs by 2020.
Whether you're joining a venture or starting one of your own, it never hurts to brush up on pointers to aid you in that journey. Consider these six tips for building a successful business career:
1. Get your feet wet. Diana Venditto, owner of eventi planning, says learning through immersion is the best way to prepare for her profession as well as other business careers. According to Venditto, a senior designer and planner, it's crucial for prospective event coordinators to work for a vendor prior to pursuing a planning career. "You need to go work for a caterer and do some serving," she says. "You need to go work as a florist, and just learn a little bit about all the different vendors. That's kind of what I did--just to make sure [event planning was] really what I liked, what I wanted, and to make sure I could handle it because it's a lot of hours."
2. Avoid taking on too much, too soon. It's important to pace yourself. There's always a learning curve when starting a new career. Allotting time for learning and growth can be your most helpful asset.
3. Maximize your flexibility. After finding your ideal business job, "Make sure you have the patience and the willingness to work, the care, and that you're ready to do everything that's asked of you," says Darnell Rollins, a guest service rep for the JW Marriott hotel in Washington, D.C. As an Elite Marriott Awards Ambassador, one of Rollins' main responsibilities is to review the records of the hotel's elite ambassador members and those of returning guests--work that fuses customer service, attention to detail, and long hours.
4. Conduct a proactive search. A great business idea or opportunity won't likely fall into your lap. But combining desire with action can help you attain your goal. Taking your destiny by the reins, Rollins says, is an essential key to success. "It's up to you to get involved and get your foot in the door," he says. "You can't procrastinate."
5. Put the customer first. A business is only as strong as the commitment of the clients who support it. That's one reason maintaining an even temperament is a must. Rollins says this is especially true in customer-service driven jobs. "You have to show that you want to work in the hospitality business and with people," he says, "whether they are nice or mean."
6. Learn about the latest business trends. Whether you follow the stock market or routinely read the finance section of your favorite newspaper, it's important to stay attuned to what's new in the business sector. Blake Morar, owner of Destin Real Estate Company in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., says staying up-to-date on business news is crucial in his field."In a lot of cases, people look at facts and figures at a glance," he says. "Their recommendations for buyers and sellers are based more on emotion than it is the reality of things." Morar says this is a mistake, especially for real estate agents, since a large part of their job involves evaluating markets. He encourages prospective agents to "become a student of the business," learning all they can about the process prior to jumping in with both feet.
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