Getting your education online services provides some incredible benefits, but also some unseen challenges. When you understand these differences, it will be easy for you to make a choice regarding using this option. So far, distance learning has been selected primarily because there really aren’t many other good options for people who travel and must keep their employment.

But for those who have a choice, it is important to look at all the factors. First the upside of Distance Learning:

  1. Keep Your Job. And also keep money coming in. This is the most important factor cited by those using online education. Students do not have to interrupt their career, and they can absorb the financial impact much better.
  2. Choices. At last count, there were 179 institutions providing accredited online education. That’s a long ways from Phoenix University which was a trailblazer in this industry. Many of these colleges and universities are recognizable for their superiority in the traditional standard education campuses. This means the overall quality of the education will continue to rise, and the perception of a degree obtained in this fashion will continue to improve.
  3. Less Cost. The only real cost outside of credit hours for online education is a computer and internet connection. Housing, additional cost of facilities, on campus food, travel to and from are all costs that are not incurred in online education.
  4. Flexibility and Convenience. You decide when to take classes, which means you do not have to fit into the university schedule. You also set the pace at which you want to progress, going slower or faster than a standard curriculum. Setting a pace also includes the speed at which you complete each subject.
  5. Elimination of the classroom. The classroom has its good points, but it also forces everyone into the same mold. And the classroom environment is only as good as the attendees allow it to be. NOTE: Some online programs do require a physical presence at various points, so it is wise to check out what the requirements are in any program you are about to commence.
  6. It is all self-directed. While this allows the flexibility needed to balance job, family and school, it also has the potential to be a negative factor if you are a procrastinator, or have trouble setting and keeping your focus.

Now the challenges or downsides of Distance Learning:

  1. No social interaction. This can be a lonely program with no fellow students to bounce ideas off, or to just commiserate with.
  2. No instructor interaction. This too can be troubling. The good instructors force students to think and see issues from multiple perspectives. This will be a real challenge to some folks pursuing Distance Learning.
  3. No other traditional support functions. No library, no laboratories, no group think tanks. Most all of the students’ resources will likely come from the internet, which gets better and better. Come to think of it, I go to the internet almost exclusively for “library searches” now.
  4. Less credibility to your sheepskin. This is changing slowly, but you will encounter some hiring decision makers to “debunk” online learning and discount it severely. This situation is much better today than even 5 years ago, but it still has a ways to go.
  5. No campus atmosphere. And I say, who cares! If I already have a career, I’m likely beyond needing the student cheering section at the football game.
  6. It is self-directed. Just as this can be a positive and a blessing; it too can be a black hole for people who just can’t stay on the mission. With no one setting the deadlines, it will be all up to you!

Whether you fashion yourself one of those creative types who believe they do their best work in the last minute, the analytic and scientific core academic demands of nursing or medical school are less accommodating. Truth is, it’s better to leave the “pull it out of your hat at the last minute” strategies to rock stars and reporters.

While creativity and innovative thinking are appreciable strengths in any field, the rigorous academic demands of nursing and medical school will require first and foremost your mastery of time management. The professional and ethical qualifications and academic mastery required for entry into a medical discipline cannot be achieved in a series of “all nighters”.

Besides, the evidence is clear that no matter your profession the negative side effects of procrastination — increased stress, inattention to detail and, by-and-large, work that is beneath one’s capabilities — will outweigh and overshadow any perceived benefits of the “rush” in the long run.

Why We Procrastinate

Procrastination often boils down to a lack of prioritization; Our plates are so full we simply don’t know which project, assignment or personal demands to tend to first. Especially for students in nursing and medical school, family, career demands and internships often compete for a share of a student’s limited time.

For some, an in depth inventory of the personal factors contributing to chronic procrastination — a procrastination profile — may aid in identifying the issues underlying the decision to “put off today what can be done tomorrow”.

Procrastination Profile

Here are some questions chronic procrastinators should ask themselves:

  • Does the process of organization — the thinking, prioritizing, planning and acting in accordance with these plans prove difficult? (People with A.D.D./A.D.H.D. may fall into this category)
  • Do these tasks seem so overwhelming that even minimal efforts seem futile?
  • Do hostile feelings towards someone cause you to want to punish them by putting things off?
  • Does establishing a routine and schedule cause feelings of rebellion that leads to self-sabotaging your routine and schedule?

Prioritization — The Arch Enemy of Procrastination

Though not impossible to prioritize and procrastinate at the same time, prioritization raises the often unconscious urge to procrastinate to conscious level. Experts say this recognition is the first step toward breaking the habit.

This is where some tough decisions need to be made.

Indefinitely postponing the annual family trip to the beach or your weekly poker night with friends in order to concentrate on more pressing concerns (an overdue research paper for instance) is not easy at first.

However, by prioritizing, we put ourselves in a position of power and announce to the world “we” are in charge of our lives and how we run them. Employers, friends and, yes, even loved ones will (eventually) grow to respect this.

It can come as a shock when you realize that years of university preparation do little to prepare nursing and medical school students for that first day on the job.

The ability to function as a member of a team, to radiate empathy in a highly stressful environment, to impart compassion and hope in even the most dire medical circumstances; these are skills neither taught,nor mastered, in the confines of a classroom.

Public Educator programs understood this lesson long ago. That is why they require candidates to complete one year of student teaching before they can be certified.

Many nursing and medical schools, and the health care employers for whom their students will one day work, feel students deserve the same opportunity to test the waters before diving into the deep. An increasing number of nursing and medical school programs are now designing programs to better prepare their students for the real world of understaffed hospitals, and the chaotic environment that can so often accompany them.

Internships

In an effort to integrate more real-world experience into nursing and medical school preparation programs, universities are beginning to offer a wide range of internship options as part of their mandatory program requirements.

Around the third year, many nursing and medical school programs begin placing students into local hospitals and clinics to observe and work alongside experienced medical professionals. Here, students learn the nuts and bolts of patient care, and how to establish their own unique “bedside manner” — the ability to listen to, and empathize with, their patients in a personal way. These clinical “shadow experiences” provide a realistic view of what a career in nursing or medicine is like from day-to-day.

At the same time, students can use this opportunity to begin to explore a variety of career paths within medicine such as surgery, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, family practice, and internal medicine. This invaluable opportunity allows students to discover their strengths and interests before committing to a medical specialty.

Although you may have a clear idea of the field you want to pursue, experts recommend keeping an open mind, especially during the “real world” internship period in the third year.

Residencies

The final years of nursing or medical school are focused solely on exposing and deepening the student’s understanding of the “real-world” of a medical practitioner.

After completing all of the required coursework, nursing and medical school students will spend three to seven additional years in a residency, where they will gain extensive experience and training in the specialty they have chosen.

After graduation, students will spend at least three years in a graduate medical program. It is during this time that a license to practice must be obtained.

Experts say this comprehensive approach of career exploration, personal development opportunities, and “real world” service experience is crucial to preparing nursing and medical students to be successful in the very competitive field of medicine.

It’s no secret; careers in nursing and medicine consistently rank as some of the most rewarding, secure and financially lucrative professions around. However, the calling is not for the faint of heart.

Accepting responsibility for the health and well being of others is a serious matter and requires candidates who are just as serious about learning.

Once accepted into a nursing or medical school program, candidates will endure a rigorous curriculum heavy on the basic sciences—anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, pathology, and pharmacology. In addition, a heaping wallop of behavioral and social psychology and the basics of compiling clinical and health profiles round out the first two years of study.

Many students also juggle part-time or full time jobs along with their courses. Make no bones about it; medical school is tough. Students are expected to master voluminous amounts of specific information at a high rate of speed. Balancing school, work and some vague semblance of a social life can be one of the most challenging aspects of nursing or medical school.

Luckily, we have some answers to help keep some sanity in what can quickly become an overwhelming routine.

Time Management

It’s Friday evening and some friends have invited you to a party. It would be a chance to get better acquainted with some of your classmates outside the rigid confines of the classroom or anatomy lab. You’d like to go, but that paper you been putting off for three weeks is due on Monday and you haven’t even gathered all of your sources yet.

In your mind you had planned to “cram” the paper into this weekend, but that was before you knew about the party. Procrastination may help you get your work done, but it leaves little room to accommodate for the unexpected.

Chances are, if you’d managed your time better, you’d have the option of going to the party without facing serious academic repercussions.

Effective time management strategies can help balance the scale between school and social life. Though, for those unfamiliar with these practices, the very idea can seem more trouble than it’s worth.

According to the experts, the time invested will pay off in the long run. Managing your time with some sort of day runner or easy to use calendar on a daily, weekly and finally, semester-by-semester basis will afford more options in the long run.

Tap Your Resources

Built in to any university nursing or medical school program is a tremendous support network that is yours for the taking. Nursing and medical schools are known for the counseling, guidance and mentorship programs their faculty and staff provide to help you succeed. Ask your guidance counselor or admissions officer for more information about these services and how to contact them.

Ultimately, your time is yours. Understanding your learning needs and preferences will help you devote the time necessary to the subjects that need more of your attention. A commitment to managing your time will help avoid sacrificing all social life at the altar of your nursing or medical school program.

In general nursing and medical schools are committed to their students and to helping them succeed. More than 95 percent of all students enrolled succeed in earning their M.D. degree.

There is a lot more to getting hired for any six figure job than just how great or long your list of education and previous employers is. Your attitude and the way to carry yourself is just as important if not more so.

Passion persuades! The passion you have for your career, or lack of it is easily picked up by any executive recruiter or hiring manager at all stages of the application process. From an employers point of view, it is much better to hire a less qualified yet capable candidate that is passionate and highly motivated than someone with experience that has lost the joy, interest and excitement for their career.

Even from the beginning with your cover letter your passion can shine through and help give you a better shot at that six figure job.

Employers and executive recruiters can sense how enthusiastic you are about the position and your career from your writing even if you do not see a big difference. However, you will definitely feel the difference when you are writing it.
If your six figure job cover letter is convincing enough to get your resume read, then employers should find that same passion carried through to your resume both in the form of the opening paragraph and in your job descriptions and any additional information. One big part of the six figure job hunt that far too many applicants overlook is their voicemail messages. If hiring managers or recruiters do not like the message either because of the content, dull tone of your voice or because you have a ring back tone they will likely just hang up and toss your application in the shredder. It may seem harsh, but that is how it really works. Make sure your voice mail message is upbeat and positive. Record it with a smile on your face and leave out anything that could be considered negative in any way.

While joking is sometimes OK, saying I am currently away from my desk, or hiding underneath it just says that you cannot handle pressure and will duck responsibilities

Of course, the in person interview for your six figure job is perhaps the most important moment to turn on the passion for your career and the hopes for landing the job in question.

Be upbeat, alert and let the excitement for your job show through in your voice. If you are not at your best first thing in the mornings then make sure you schedule your interview for the time of the day you feel most energized. Pump yourself up before the interview by blasting your favorite music in the car on the way there.

There are numerous ways that exercising can help you land your next 6 figure job.

Things are definitely tougher when looking for any new job these days, so any extra leverage or advantages you can add to your arsenal will definitely help.

One of the most basic and obvious benefits of a regular fitness program that any successful professional can recognize is just looking better. While it may not seem fair, the bottom line is that perception and looks do play a huge role in getting jobs (whether you are male or female) and it is well worth the investment.

So what type of exercise or fitness routine should you be using and how much time and how often should you be working out to improve your career and chances at a new 6 figure job?

Generally three to five times per week is considered a good routine at between 30-60 minutes each session. However, the studies show increased benefits specifically for those working out on workdays. So getting in the habit of exercising or hitting the gym for at least an hour Monday through Friday would be ideal. Think this is too much time? With the facts showing that this type of fitness program can actually help you work more efficiently and harder it could actually be the most well spent hour of your entire day. You should choose a form of exercise that you really enjoy and can stick to or constantly change it up. It could be as simple as playing tennis or running, to taking a yoga class, to taking up an extreme martial art.

Certainly, different sports and forms of exercise have their advantages in different industries, while different levels of levels of seniority such as golf for example, which can also offer big networking opportunities for 6 figure jobs.

In addition to the cosmetic, health, performance and networking benefits of regular exercise it also makes for much more powerful resumes and interviews when it comes to 6 figure jobs.

Why? Use statistics. Being able to state on your resume that official statistics show that your fitness routine makes you a 70%+ better performer and dedicated worker has to look great and at least pique a hiring manager’s interest when reviewing applicants for 6 figure jobs.

Plus, it also opens doors at firms who are specifically looking for candidates that take their health seriously, which is likely a much higher percentage than you imagine.

In the current employment environment, employers are becoming even more picky about things that you would never expect when it comes to hiring for six-figure jobs.

On top of this, employers are also spending more time and research and analysing what makes top performing employees and are weeding out the rest.

Besides the cosmetic benefits of regular exercise that can definitely play a role in getting hired for six-figure jobs (as much as it is denied), your workout habits may soon be as equally as important as any other part of your resume. Why? Recent studies by researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK have shown that on workdays that employees exercised 72% said they had better time management, 79% realised increased communication and mental performance, 33% felt more motivated to work and 28% were able to work without unscheduled breaks.

With these kinds of performance enhancements, what employer would only want applicants that worked out daily for their six-figure jobs?

Who would you hire if you were an executive recruiter or hiring manager for $100k plus jobs? This isn’t the only area that employers are tightening up on, but it is one that you need to be aware of and prepare for. So next time you are preparing your resume and getting ready for six-figure job interviews, don’t skip over your exercise routines. The studies were not on any specific type of exercise, so do not be too concerned with getting that right, just use common sense.

On top of the direct performance increases related to working out, the other benefits include health and longevity as well as trending towards other healthy choices like giving up smoking. Obviously these have many intrinsic benefits for six-figure job employers that can mean thousands of dollars in difference from not having to replace or retrain employees early or cover sick days out.

So can employers really discriminate against those who do not workout?

While they will not come out and directly tell you that you have been turned down because you do not work out, it will be a factor that is given even weight (sorry for the pun). Those who do get hired, or are already employed in six-figure jobs can also find themselves being penalized for not practising a regular exercise routine. This can be as little as increased insurance premiums to being held back from promotions. So the next time you have trouble motivating yourself to get to the gym, just remember how much could be relying on it!