Graduates: understand your employment options
It is graduation time here in Bermuda. What are you going to do with the rest of your life? University, trades, industry, service organisations?
Finally, finishing school is a major milestone: the beginning of perpetual independence, control over yourself, your future, your choices, your belongings, your lifestyle, your opinions, and dreams (but then they have always belonged to just you).
These ideals and dreams all take money.
Reality means that in order to accomplish the dreams, sometimes, we need to take stepping stones and sidesteps to get there. You will need to fund your reality. Only you can do that — not your parents or grandparents, or friends. Just you. Your destiny is up to you and what you decide to make of yourself.
I will ask again, what do you think you will do with the rest of your life? Chances are, and statistics show, that an individual entering the workforce today will have at least seven major job changes.
Translated this means that the career you want may not be the one you start with. The mental planning challenge is to use each position to work and fund your way around the obstacles until you arrive at the extraordinary career you have dreamed of. This is Life 101 and it seldom moves in a straight line. How you handle these challenges determines your degree of success.
And yes, to sound mercenary, if you want to make money, you have to go into the money business.
Bermuda is unique in many ways; our economy operates in a highly specialised niche market. There are also employment opportunities to be considered in the recurring services industry along with those specialised industries that conduct business here.
What do I mean by this?
The lament these days in the media from various spokespersons, and graduates themselves is that they have returned home to Bermuda and cannot find employment. I do not have any first-hand information regarding these statements, although it has also been said that graduates are not choosing professions that have readily available positions here.
Rather than debate the topic, let us take an informal review of the constantly stable employment positions that are here. These are positions that have to be extended to guest workers because there are simply not enough qualified Bermudian tradesman or professionals available.
Insurance, reinsurance and insurance broking. According to careers in finance www.careers-in-finance. com: insurance is a trillion dollar business that employs three million people in the United States alone.
Areas of interest are: actuaries, underwriters, catastrophe modellers, insurance brokers, asset managers, and claims representatives.
Required skills are heavy on math, statistics, analytical thinking, communication skills, and ability to take initiatives. Education through university is key, with advanced training provided by many companies. Insurance industry businesses in Bermuda still stand ready to assist any young graduate willing to work hard to become a success. Many young Bermuda residents have excelled at these opportunities within this industry, taken serious sets of industry exams and have become qualified professionals in actuarial science, or a chartered property/casualty underwriter.
There never seem to be enough Bermuda citizen residents to meet requirements for the following positions:
Accountants and book-keepers, auditors, investment advisers, financial sales representatives, private bankers, brokers, pension administrators, trust administrators and trust officers, credit risk and mortgage officers, portfolio managers.
With tremendous commitment and hard work, a beginning position within these categories can lead to qualified professional status such as certified public accountant, chartered accountant, chartered financial analyst, trust & estate practitioners, and certified financial planner. These certifications (licenses) are not six-week classes with a little certificate presented at the end, but rigorous extended education, experience and exams under nationally standardised testing centres, certifying on successful passage that you are recognised as top qualified professionals in your field. Having these designations on your CV, opens doors to many other related finance industry positions. Required skills include heavy on maths, international finance and tax, excellent communication verbal and writing skills, attention to detail and big-picture thinking.
Paralegals, corporate secretaries, specific industry attorneys, divorce support personnel, legal research, transcribers.
Medical field professionals and healthcare personnel
Dentists, doctors, pharmacists, registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPN), healthcare aids and orderlies, dental technicians and hygienists, medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, occupational therapy technicians and related. Skills needed focus on chemistry, physiology, understanding of equipment and procedures, medications, patient care and functions, ability to work in difficult and rewarding environments.
Teachers, teachers aides, tutors. A passion for learning and sharing knowledge.
Trade and industry technicians
Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, auto mechanics, computer technicians. Attention to detail, knowledge of electronics, computers, mechanical / electrical engineering, excellent communications skills for working with the general public.
Management, culinary, marketing. Love Bermuda and its place in the travel market.
If you have not decided on your major in university, planning before you head off to the greatest adventure (not to mention the significant cost) is critical. You owe it to yourself and your family to fully understand what your employment options will be here in Bermuda. Take the time to do your research.
Call local employment agencies to see if they will be kind enough to give you a few minutes of their time. They know exactly what jobs are in demand, what the salary ranges are, and what the minimum education requirement standards are that must be met in order to be a candidate in the future. If you can gain that information, you will have heads up over other students who return with a degree that is not marketable for our economy.
And, if you are able to make contact with an employment agency, be appreciative. Take them a bottle of wine, or some flowers. You want them to remember you when you return a successful university graduate.
They may have the perfect job, just for you.
Good luck and God bless.
Martha Harris Myron CPA PFS CFP (USA) TEP is Director of Tax Services at Patterson Partners Ltd and a professional member of the American Citizens Abroad Tax Advisory Council. http://www.aca.ch Patterson Partners Ltd. provides of integrated cross-border tax, estate, investment advisory and related strategic planning services through entities in Bermuda and the United States. For additional information, please contact email@example.com or call 296 3528 http://www.patterson-partners.com
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