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Wondering about a future career? With such low unemployment in the U.S., this is an excellent time to explore jobs that match your interest and skills. I asked three Nebraskans to talk about their careers – they each are in hot jobs as classified by the Department of Labor. Who knows, one of these careers might be right for you, too!

Check out what the following people said about their careers, in their own words.

  • David Cannon is a Network Engineer at FES
  • Jason Nekola is a Service Technician at Blankman Services
  • Grace Mainelli is a Registered Nurse at Nebraska Medicine


What are the benefits of working in a high-need job?

David: Job opportunities.  It takes a while to find a job that fits you, but there are lots of choices.

Jason: I always have work, there is no fear of being laid off because the demand for my services is high.  As a union worker, it is not hard to find work.

Grace: There are always jobs available and in diverse areas! In the last four years, I’ve worked on regular med surgical floors, in the operating room, in the ICU, and on the specialty IV access team. There will always be a job with the hours and the experience you want if you work hard for it!

What opportunity for growth is there in your career field?

David: Technology is continuing to grow and new jobs are being created that didn’t even exist before.  Things like Intune that didn’t exist before 2007.  It is a specialized part of SCCM.  SCCM didn’t exist before 1994.  When you consider an average American works for 45 years of their life, you can see that new careers can happen.

Jason: If you are a good worker, you can always get raises. In the larger shops, you can become a foreman, and with a master’s license you can start your own business.

Grace: There are tons of opportunity to do more in nursing. Whether it be a supervisor, manager, or going back to school to be a practitioner. 

What skills are needed to excel in your job? 

David: You have to be able to interact with users and managers.  You need an open but logical mind.  When I first started learning about computers, my teacher had us do an exercise to help us grasp what a computer was like.  She had us write out the steps for a person to open a door and walk through it.  Then we traded these directions with a classmate and one by one, attempted to follow them to the letter.  Nobody made it through the door.  Nobody even got the door open! It was pretty hilarious.

Jason: As a service tech, I need trouble-shooting skills, and the ability to speak to customers. My job skills include electrical, refrigeration, plumbing, basically a little of everything. Now I can fix about anything at home.

Grace: Critical thinking skills, compassion, organization, and teamwork.

What do you like most about your work? 

David: Being challenged.  I am given an issue by a user.  I have to fix it.  How I go about it is entirely up to me.  Once the problem is solved, I have to ask myself, could this be done better?  It usually can.  I also love the people I work with.  They are funny, witty, and willing to help at a moment’s notice. 

Jason: I like to help people – and I get to fix things while I’m doing that. It can be like solving a puzzle, and I like the challenge. The days fly by when we’re busy, which is most of the time. Also, I like the people I work with. We are a small company so it’s a tight-knit group. Trades are in high demand – especially in Omaha – so we keep busy and can get overtime on weekends and evenings.

Grace: I love my hours since I get four days off a week to be home with my family, and I love that it’s something new every day with each new patient. I am always learning something new that helps me be a smarter and better nurse.

What advice do you have for students interested in your field?

David: Take the certification classes.  They are proof of your skills.  Telling someone you can use this or that isn’t as powerful as handing them a certificate.   In IT, you are given problems from all over the place.  Google will be your friend.  There are seven billion people on this planet, so there is a good chance someone else has come across your problem.  If they haven’t, always remember to post your solution!  It helps the next person. Never stop learning.  If you do, you can’t move up or on, and always, ALWAYS, Test it.

Jason: If you want a good-paying job with good hours, and you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, it’s a great job. I learn something new every day. In the summer when it’s 100 degrees outside, customers are so grateful when you show up.

Grace: Tour the colleges with nursing programs and let them show you why they love their program, it shows when they are passionate about the program! If you’re unsure, try being a CNA, it will give you experience and a look at what being a nurse would be like!