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As a resource to all current and prospective students, Allied Schools, Inc. has developed this blog to provide relevant information to students, job-seekers and professionals alike. Use this blog as your "career guide," turning to Allied Schools for industry updates, career trends, and job search advice. We thank you for visiting!

Feng Shui is the Chinese art of positioning objects in homes and offices to create positive energy flow.

Recently, Feng Shui has gained popularity among many homeowners nationwide and as a result, the practices of Feng Shui have found their way into the workplace. More and more building managers and office workers are considering Feng Shui practices and beliefs when arranging work areas and office space.

Below is a list of a few simple Feng Shui practices that anyone can utilize to create positive energy flow in their work space. Use them in your office and see if you notice a change.

Reduce Clutter Clutter creates chaos. Chaos in the workplace is never a positive state of being. To reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace, free your space of clutter. This involves clearing unnecessary items off your desk and keeping your area clean of dirt and dust. This will help create a positive energy flow and reduce the chaos and anxiety at work.

Never Let Files Pile Up Having piles of files and folders on your desk blocks the energy flow of your work space. File away as many folders as you can. If you must have piles of paperwork and folders on your desk, place them to sides of your work area. It’s important to keep the space immediately in front of you clear. By doing so, you will improve the energy flow in your work space.

Leave the Cactus at Home As decorative as they may be, having a cactus on or around your desk actually directs negative energy to your work area. The needles of a cactus act as tiny arrows that allow negative energy to flow and build up in your environment. To reduce negative energy, do not place a cactus in or around your work space.

Bring a Black Briefcase According to the beliefs of Feng Shui, black symbolizes money and income. Using a black briefcase for work will harness financial gain and promote financial prosperity. Also, choose a black briefcase with metal clasps. In the beliefs of Feng Shui, the combination of black and metal is harmonious and will bring positive energy your way.

Sit with Your Back to the Wall Having a wall behind you creates a feeling of support, and supportive energy is very important in the office. Sitting with your back to a wall will help you focus on your work and avoid office politics.

Creating a positive work environment is beneficial to the success of your career. Practicing Feng Shui in the office creates a harmonious work space and helps you harness positive energy. Even if you are a bit skeptical about Feng Shui, try the tips above and see if your office life is affected. You never know how Feng Shui will change your life.

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Casual Fridays are a blessing to the business world.

It's an opportunity to lose the tie and dress slacks and put on jeans and tennis shoes. However, casual Friday isn't a free-for-all. There are certain attire standards to follow. Going beyond the norm can cast a shadow on your professional appearance and possibly hinder your career.

Read the following casual Friday attire guidelines below and make sure your Friday wardrobe is not over the top.

Jeans - Jeans are a casual Friday staple.

They have been accepted as part of the standard causal Friday wardrobe for years. However, tattered, dirty, or faded jeans are not acceptable. Even though current fashions are incorporating such looks into new designs, it's not a good idea to wear jeans like this to work. Your boss might not understand the fashionable aspect of your jeans. Stick with traditional styles and make sure your jeans are in good condition. It's not worth upsetting your boss over the latest trendy look.

Shoes - We all have our favorite pair of broken-in tennis shoes. Unfortunately, they're probably also a bit worn. As comfortable as they may be, don't wear your worn-out tennis shoes to work. It's important to wear clean shoes on casual Fridays.

Chances are management will frown upon wearing tattered and dirty shoes at the office. You might not think twice about wearing your most comfortable pair of shoes, but it could be misinterpreted that you don't care how you represent the company. Clean up those shoes before you wear them into the office.

Shirt - Different companies have different guidelines for casual Fridays. Some allow T-shirts while others require at least a collared shirt. In either case, make sure your shirt is business friendly.
Keep the questionable T-shirts at home - the last thing you want to do is upset management.

Furthermore, no matter what shirt you wear, make sure it's clean with no stains or tears. It's probably also a good idea to tuck your shirt in, unless it's a shirt designed to wear tucked out. A lot of this may seem like common sense, but take a look around the office on the next casual Friday.

You'll probably see a few people breaking several of these casual Friday rules.

Even though it's called casual Friday, you still need to maintain a professional appearance in the office. Managers expect their employees to dress in a way that represents the company in a positive light, regardless of the occasion. Dressing too casual will most likely upset management and could hinder your career.

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Job sharing is a unique arrangement where two people function as one. Both individuals divide the work, allowing each person to work part-time.

Since neither party works as a full-time employee, the two individuals often divide the salary and benefits equally. The idea behind job sharing is that it creates a lower turnover rate and allows workers more flexibility between their professional and personal life.

Each individual involved in a job share arrangement can decide which hours are best suited to his or her schedule. When implemented properly, job sharing is the answer to maintaining a professional life while raising a family. Because of childcare demands and the need for a more flexible work environment, this two-party position is becoming more prevalent in the workforce today.

However, job sharing can become a troubling situation if the two individuals involved are unable to cooperate or communicate effectively. Job sharing requires constant communication between each job share member. Each individual needs to know what duties he or she will perform. When communication and cooperation breaks down, certain responsibilities fall through the cracks while other tasks are duplicated. If not properly monitored, a job sharing situation can turn into a nightmare.

That's why it's very important for each party involved in a job share situation to keep in constant communication with each other in order to maintain proper work flow and order.

Job sharing is ideal for individuals looking to balance a career and a family. It provides flexibility, convenience, and a steady income. As the work environment continues to loosen its traditions, more and more job sharing situations should arise, giving many people the opportunity to enter the workforce.

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Starting a new job is an exciting experience. However, getting acquainted with your new coworkers can be a bit nerve-wracking. These are the people you will be seeing five days a week, eight hours a day, so you don't want to start off on the wrong foot.

Below are a few tips on how to effectively ease into a new work environment. These tips will help you better adjust to your new setting and find ways to interact with your coworkers. Follow these tips closely and you'll have an easier time adjusting to your new job. In no time you'll become a part of the company team!

Make the First Move

When you're the new guy, other employees may be too busy to officially welcome you to the company. Don't take offense to this. After all, it's a business and everyone has a job to do. Rather, take the initiative and introduce yourself.
A new face at the office doesn't always mean a new employee was hired. In fact, some of your coworkers might not even realize you're a new employee. Introducing yourself will show that you are a friendly and approachable person.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask

As the new guy, you might feel uneasy asking simple questions such as how to get office supplies or where the restroom is located. If you want to blend in to your new setting quickly, you need to ignore your nerves and ask questions with confidence. Don't be afraid to ask a coworker a question, especially if it's regarding a new project.
However, you do need to read the situation before making an inquiry. It's not wise to interrupt a meeting or a phone call just to ask where the copier is located.
Find someone who appears to be available to answer your question.
Asking a question is also another way to break the ice. If you have a question, find someone you haven't met yet, introduce yourself, and then ask your question.

Accept Lunch Invitations
As the new guy, you may be asked to lunch by a group of coworkers. This might be their way of introducing themselves to you. A good guideline is to accept a few lunch invitations when you first start a new job. Even if you're prone to bringing your own lunch, go out with your coworkers a few times at first. This will give you the opportunity to get to know them better.

Being the new guy at a company will always be an awkward situation. However, by following the above tips and guidelines, you'll be able to quickly turn that awkward situation into a comfortable work environment.

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Career Guidance:

Networking is the key to success in a marketplace filled with new technology and ever-changing skills. Every job seeker needs to have a Rolodex of contacts they can turn to for ideas, references, and possible job leads. Studies have always shown that "knowing someone" is the key to getting that dream job. For many people networking is one of the most difficult tasks involved with job hunting. We like to stay in our comfort zone going out only for the occasional cup of coffee or lunch meeting. Sound familiar?

The staff at Allied Schools knows that our career training will give you the tools that you need to succeed! However, knowing the ABC's of networking will give you the upper hand:


Whenever you come into contact with a person who is willing to assist you, always show your deepest appreciation. People tend to help others only when they feel their efforts are being appreciated. In today's fast-paced impersonal world, a simple thank you note or gesture of gratitude goes a long way. No matter how technologically oriented our world gets, people still need people. Honing your people skills will give you the corporate edge. Appreciate others and they will in turn appreciate you!


Don't be afraid to be bold. Get out there and shake a few hands. The only way people are going to know who you are is if you initiate contact with them. It can be intimidating; we've all gone through this. Getting out of your shell and being bold in your interactions with others will help you build a diverse and strong network of contacts. No matter how insignificant your relationship with a person may seem, you never know when the most basic of relationships will yield the richest of results. As the old adage goes, the squeaky wheel gets the attention.


When you get right down to it, the only true asset any of us has is our word. Without our word we are nothing, and without character we cannot become a model for others. In the networking world, people recognize those that have character.

Now, that doesn't mean that you tell jokes or have the most "colorful" personality. Character means that you do what you say, and you mean what you say. Networking with people you cannot trust or depend on is a pointless endeavor. Your job as a job seeker is to make people know that you are a person of character. You are a person they can depend on, and you will stand true to your ideals!

Now that you have the ABC's of networking, start on your networking activities with confidence and a clear objective. Allied is here for you every step of the way giving you the tools and techniques that you need to succeed in the day and years ahead.

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Career Guidance:
Like it or not, technology is here to stay. No matter what job you hold, you are guaranteed that technology will be a part of your every day work activities. Making technology your friend is the greatest gift you can give yourself. The right training and comprehensive courses such as Allied's Appraisal Licensing and Home Inspection courses will give you the technical know-how that is needed to succeed in your given career.

In order to advance within your career however, you must be willing to grasp technology and adapt to the industry technology standards. Learn to run the computer or the computer will run you!
Every industry has its standard set of technology products.
From restaurant inventory systems to home inspection simulator systems, every workplace will contain technology tools to help make your job more efficient.

Technology is meant to make your job easier, not harder. When applying for a job it is important to convey a "tech friendly" attitude to your interviewer. Let them know that you are not afraid of change and that you welcome the opportunity to learn new software programs and tools. Oftentimes interviewers will use your willingness to learn new computer programs as a gauge to see how willing you are to learn in general.

When you begin the job hunt be sure to prepare yourself before your first interview or placement test. If you are expected to know a computer program fully upon hiring, go the extra mile to test yourself beforehand. No one wants to voluntarily take a test, but if it means securing a job, it is definitely worth it.

Here's a small example. If you are applying for a job in the administrative assistant field and you are expected to have advanced knowledge of all Microsoft® Office programs, don't enter into your interview unsure of yourself. You never know when your prospective employer will ask you to take a skills test, or ask you detailed questions on how a program works! In order to be prepared, take all of the classes you can ahead of time to perfect your computer skills. Offer up your Microsoft Office® knowledge before your interviewer even asks. Don't be afraid to show what you know, and don't be afraid to admit to yourself if you need practice beforehand.

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