For many of Seattle’s Class of 2012 Spring Bachelor’s and advanced degree graduates, the shift from “student” to “employee” will be their first major career transition.
With so few jobs and so many graduates, getting interviews will be an immediate hurdle that many will be unable to overcome.
In the months leading up to graduation, the students turned to their Career Services offices to learn about career options and for help creating
in community colleges, universities and VoTech schools are overwhelmed, which means that personalized career counseling, résumé and job search guidance will be almost impossible to provide.
Generic job search guidance and résumés that look like everyone else’s make it impossible for new applicants to distinguish themselves from each other.
A former career services professional with one of the universities in Seattle shared this article with me. While its scope is nationwide, the implications for Seattle graduate schools are unmistakable.
Recently the Council of Graduate Schools and the Educational Testing Service prepared a joint report (“Pathways Through Graduate Schools and Into Careers”). Writing about the report in her April 19, 2012 article “Graduate Schools Need to Improve Career Counseling, Report Says” (http://chronicle.com/article/Graduate-Schools-Need-to/131595/) appearing in The Chronicle of High Education Stacey Patton noted “Graduate deans told the report’s authors that their students are not very knowledgeable about career options. While some graduate schools provide information or programs regarding career options, career guidance has not been a high priority among universities. Who was – and who should be – responsible for providing information about the full range of career options was not clear from the survey.”
Career Services can only do so much to provide career guidance to the new graduates. Without question, the responsibility for being informed and prepared to transition careers from the “World of Academia” to the “World of Work” rests squarely with the new graduates themselves.
Because taking stock in the form of a full personal inventory to identify the real skills, abilities and accomplishments of their university years is not something most new college graduates have ever taken the time to complete, ional inventory and wrestle with questions like “WHAT have I accomplished?” “HOW did I do it?” “WHY did I do it?” and “WHAT were my results?” – they tend to narrowly identify options open to them.
don’t know what they bring to the world of work because they
What if Freshmen had been trained to maintain a comprehensive and continuously evolving personal inventory of the traits, skills, abilities and accomplishments they developed during their college careers – at the undergraduate as well as the graduate levels? For your career begins when you start college, or it can.
Knowing yourself, how much better prepared would you be to make informed choices regarding career options?
Ms. Patton quotes Cathy Wendler, co-author of the report and Principal Director of Research at the Educational Testing Service as saying, ”To date, there has been little research to identify whether graduate students understand the relationship between their studies and future career options. . . .”
In order to “understand the relationship between their studies and future career options” students should first understand themselves, know their “stories” that will be of interest to potential employers, and be able to speak authentically and comprehensively on what they bring to the “World of Work.”
What would it mean for YOUR career launch or transition if you could easily and comprehensively answer this question: “What do YOU bring to the ‘World of Work?’”
Don Burrowsis a résumé strategist, workshop leader and lead author of Burn Your Résumé! You Need a Professional Profile™ – Winning the Inner and Outer Game of Finding Work or New Business (http://amzn.to/GDwKYo). He and co-author Deborah Drake can be reached at www.YourProfessionalProfile.com