Find a job to suit your personality
Many college students have known that sinking feeling: Senior year rolls around and you realize the major you've chosen no longer interests you.
Or, even worse - you've graduated and entered the work force, but find yourself staring at your computer monitor in your accounting office wondering why you aren't a fashion designer.
The best way to detect what field suits an individual is by taking personality tests, according to Laurence Shatkin, author of the recently published "10 Best Majors for Your Personality."
"People are more conscious than ever of getting a payback on their investment when it comes to school," Shatkin said. "Quarterlife career change or burnout is becoming a bigger phenomenon than the midlife crisis, an indication that people are in the wrong field."
The six major personalities that Shatkin describes in his book, each with a list of career suggestions, are: realistic; investigative; artistic; social; enterprising and conventional.
Rather than expecting someone to have a disposition of one extreme or another, like introverts and extroverts, Shatkin said people often find themselves within a range on the hexagon explained in his book.
Parking fees increasing as well
For drivers cranky about surging oil prices, climbing parking fees may be the final straw that broke the camel's - or in this case, the car's - back.
Colliers International, a real estate services company, said monthly parking costs for companies it oversees appear to be rising steadily. Daily rates seem to be increasing as well.
With the economy pinching consumers' pockets, people may curse their vehicles and altogether avoid going into the city for shopping or entertainment, according to Ross Moore, senior vice president and director of market and economic research for Colliers International.
"Parking is an expense that we don't give much thought to, but we all hate paying for it," Moore said. "Still, it's something people are beginning to pay attention to as other expenses, like gas prices, are building. If I was a parking garage operator, I would be reluctant about raising rates at this point."
While North American cities like New York and Boston seem expensive to park in, prices there pale in comparison to typical monthly rates in cities like London, Sydney and Hong Kong, Moore said. The company found monthly rates in London, for instance, to be nearly double the cost of New York.
How to help your kids get a job
You taught them how to tie their shoelaces and helped them with their homework. But how involved should a parent be when it comes to their child's job hunt?
John Salveson, co-founder of executive search firm Salveson Stetson Group, said offering advice and guidance into the workforce is the most important tool a working parent can offer.
"Finding a first job has become much more difficult than when many of us embarked on our careers," said Salveson. "Parents who want to help their children should be prepared to play an active role in their kids' first job searches."
The company offers these tips to parents of job seekers:
» Recognize that you are your child's greatest resource. Coach them on how to make the most of networking and how to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Consider role-playing and mock interviews to help them prepare for job interviews.
» Connect them to a trusted independent mentor. To avoid becoming an overbearing or pesky parent, get them in contact with successful business friends and colleagues who can be advisers with an outside perspective.
» Keep in mind that your child's career path may look markedly different than yours, and that they are likely to hold more jobs of shorter duration as they find what occupation fits them comfortably.
"Remember that at age 22, there aren't too many career mistakes they can't rebound from," Salveson said.