Finding focus

Q: I have three degrees in business, including an M.B.A. in business finance that I received in 2000 but I have not been blessed with good job opportunities. I end up in jobs that require just a high school certificate or an associate degree. I would like to have a job in finance, the area in which I have established my career. My dream job is to teach at the college level.
— M. Michieka, Via the Internet

A: If you’re not getting the jobs you’d like, it isn’t because you’re not blessed, it’s because you’re not focused. Finance is a broad field. While it is possible to find opportunities in all areas mentioned, each would require a different approach and a different skill set (see “What’s Your M.B.A. worth” March 2003). You have to decide on one and focus your research, networking, and resumé in that particular area.

According to a report by Robert Half International, the financial positions with the greatest demand this year are internal auditors and staff and senior accountants. Those in cost accounting who are able to develop cost standards and evaluate production costs are valuable candidates. Employers are also seeking candidates who are familiar with new industry reporting requirements. The report also mentions that companies “are taking a deliberate approach to ensure they find the ideal person for each opening.” Don’t send out another resumé until you focus on what tangible, competitive skills you have to offer.