- Today’s Grads Are Facing a Very Different World
Twenty-five years ago there were 65 universities from which 100,000 individuals graduated in 1980. By 2014 the number of universities in Canada had grown to 195 which awarded 290,000 degrees – an increase 190%. In the same time period, the real growth in Canadian GDP was 81% – the growth in the number of university graduates was more than doubled the growth in the Canadian economy. The economy has not been able to absorb the increase in university graduates.
- Superior Job Search Strategies and Tactics Are Required
Twenty-five years ago, a passable resume and, mediocre networking and interviewing skills would get a good job. Not so in today’s highly competitive job market. Success requires out performing others.
The bar has been raised. It’s like golf. Former champions like Arnold Palmer were very successful largely on innate skills. Today’s champions including Jason Day and Rory McIlroy have an entourage of coaches and trainers. They are in as good physical condition as most Olympic athletes. They work on their game relentlessly. They are driven and committed.
- Today’s Grads Lack the Requisite Knowledge and Skills
Recent university graduates do not know how to go about getting a job. They rely on applying to internet job postings which is largely unproductive. They do not know themselves – their transferrable skills, attributes, interests and goals. They do not know how to identify appropriate industries, companies or roles that are a good fit for them. They do not know how to write a compelling resume or how to network. Tweeting is not networking. And they do not know how to interview effectively. It is not that they are not smart or motivated – they have simply never been taught these skills.
- Universities Provide Little Assistance
Universities typically do not view their role as having the responsibility to help their graduates find jobs. Their career centres are hopelessly understaffed relative to the student population. Furthermore, they are frequently staffed by recent graduates who have little life experience and minimal work experience beyond the universities.
- There is Too Much Erroneous/Conflicting Information
Googling “resumes” or “interviewing” will produce millions of hits. The problem is that much of the information out there is simply wrong. There are also too many conflicting perspectives and points of view. It is impossible to figure out what is good advice and what is not. To the best of my knowledge there is no simple, transparent method for identifying reliable advice without professional guidance
- Grads Need Emotional Support
Getting a great job is difficult – it usually takes a lot of hard work. There is an element of serendipity involved however, as Mark Twain said “The harder I work, the luckier I get”. It can be discouraging when people don’t respond to networking invitations or when job interviews don’t result in job offers. A coach helps theme deal with the ups and downs of the process and stay focused and motivated.
- Grads Need Accountability
Executing an effective job search campaign requires focus, commitment and tenacity. In the absence of accountability there can be a tendency to procrastinate or even abandon the process. A coach cannot force a client to do anything but can foster action by setting mutually agreed goals and providing feedback on progress.
- Parents Shouldn’t Help
Parents’ should not get directly and actively involved – therapists don’t treat their own children. What worked 25 years ago does not work today – it is an entirely different ball game. Parental involvement can become a source of conflict that will spill over to other aspects of your relationship with them.
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