Career Counseling

The best career advice from this year’s graduation speeches

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This year's headline-grabbing commencement speeches have been high on thinly veiled critiques of the Trump administration and big on dire warnings about the state of American democracy.

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson cautioned graduates at Virginia Military Institute about the end of American democracy if Americans don't “confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders.” Michael Bloomberg talked at Rice University of the threat from “our own willingness to tolerate dishonesty in service of party and in pursuit of power.” And 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, raising a Russian ushanka hat as part of a Yale University tradition, said Sunday that “we're living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy,” telling students “to stay vigilant, to neither close our eyes, nor numb our hearts or throw up our hands.”

But not all of this year's graduation speeches are quite so political or cautionary. A few — though not many — seemed to remember that they were speaking before a group of people who were about to embark upon life as adults who will have to navigate the politics of the workplace, the complexities of new relationships and the decisions of adult life. (Oprah Winfrey to USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism graduates: “Invest in a quality mattress. Your back will thank you later.")

Here, some of the best advice offered by this year's commencement speakers so far that graduates — or anyone — can apply to their work and careers:

Oprah Winfrey, chair and CEO of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism at the University of Southern California

Winfrey, whose past speeches have drawn speculation that she might be planning a run for president — a rumor she has squashed — got plenty of attention for her calls for graduates to vote in her speech at USC on May 11. But after offering a litany of practical wisdom (“Eat a good breakfast,” she said. “Pay your bills on time. Recycle.") she also added some clear advice for graduates' time in the workplace.

“The number one lesson I can offer you where your work is concerned,” said the media titan, “is this: Become so skilled, so vigilant, so flat-out fantastic at what you do, that your talent cannot be dismissed.”

She also countered the typical “do what you love” advice that fill so many graduation speeches with something else. “You need to know this: Your job is not always going to fulfill you,” she said. “There will be some days that you just might be bored. Other days you may not feel like going to work at all. Go anyway, and remember that your job is not who you are. It’s just what you are doing on the way to who you will become. With every remedial chore, every boss who takes credit for your ideas — that is going to happen — look for the lessons, because the lessons are always there.” (Read More...)

Preparing For Life After Graduation

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Photo: iStock

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As college graduation season is nearly upon us, students and parents alike are beginning to focus more intensively than ever before on what’s required to land a great role in an exciting field – one with good compensation and room for growth – in today’s ever-changing job market.

In my career coaching work, and as a parent myself of grown children who are forging their way to creating professional lives they’ll enjoy and find rewarding, I know there are hundreds of questions that new graduates needs answered, in terms of how to best position themselves for success in the working world.

To help answer those pivotal questions, I was thrilled to catch up this week with Austin Belcak. Belcak is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people leverage unconventional strategies to land jobs they love without connections, without experience, and without applying online. His strategies have helped people get hired at Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and more

I recently interviewed Belcak in my Finding Bravepodcast on How To Land a Dream Job at the Salary You Deserve, and was riveted by his personal story of how he turned his failure (to land ANY employment at all after graduation), to creating phenomenal success, along with his tips for graduates who feel they don't have the experience and connections that others have. (Read More...)

 

5 Things College Career Counselors Wish Students Knew

  Career counselors know students are new to job searching and are happy to start from the beginning.

Career counselors know students are new to job searching and are happy to start from the beginning.

Authored by Robin Reshwan, founder of Collegial Services, a consulting/staffing firm that connects college students, recent graduates and the organizations that hire them and a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE).

How students can begin their professional development with on-campus resources

The college career center is a magical place on campus that’s solely dedicated to assisting students with the pursuit of internships andcareers after graduation. While it may vary in title, the college career center typically offers resources, events, job postings and advice during the academic year. In my business, we work with more than 70 career centers throughout the United States. Often, the dedicated staff in these departments see similar trends when students make the transition from college to career.

Here are the things that college career counselors wish every student knew:

1. The career center exists. Statistics vary among campuses, but in general, the majority of college students do not visit the career center nor participate in any of its events during their academic career. This is a shame on so many levels.

First, most students go to college so that they can be employed after graduation. Not checking out the center dedicated to supporting this goal is the same as paying for a class and never actually attending. You may be one of the few people that can ace the test without ever seeing the material, but most of us need at least a little preparation to pass. Read More...

 

Integrating (and Actually Using) Career Advising Data on Campus

Authored by Dominique “Domy” Raymond, Senior Program Director, National Engagement & Philanthropy at USA Funds

As a friend in higher education recently noted, many, if not most, campuses have a “Mr. Potato Head” approach to career advising and job placement services, which often appear to be last-minute, bolt-on activities for students. But, are there ways to seamlessly align career advising throughout a student’s college experience? What career advising and outcomes data do schools need to collect and integrate into their academic programs as well as their career services? Read More...



From College to Career: Her First Job After Graduation

Authored by Diane Propsner is an advocate of women’s colleges and blogs about their advantages on her blog site. She has an undergraduate degree in biology from a women’s college in Pennsylvania. Her career involves recruiting within the life sciences and technology as well as providing coaching services for job seekers.

I don’t know about you, but I always get tickled pink when I learn about a person getting hired, maybe it’s the recruiter in me. And there’s something extra special when it’s the first job after college.

For this blog post, I decided to check in with several women’s colleges to see what jobs their newest alumnae have landed; and I’m so glad I did. Getting acquainted with these young women is always inspiring. And knowing they are well prepared to embrace any career they choose makes me smile. Building on a solid academic education, including opportunities for developing skills and leadership abilities, they also had the career services support necessary, including strong alumnae networks to tap into. Read More…

10 Future Trends in College Career Services

Co-authored by Farouk Dey (@faroukdey) and Christine Y. Cruzvergara (@ccruzvergara)

Something has been brewing in college career services lately; a movement for change in the way we think and the way we do our work to help students transition from college to careers. More than a third of programs presented at the 2014 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conference involved the themes of change, transformation, and future trends. Leaders from small and large, public and private, and rural and urban universities around the country are leaning forward and leading the emerging paradigm shift in college career services.

Evolution of Career Services

This is not the first major evolution of college career services. Changes in societal norms and economic conditions preceded each of the last four paradigm shifts, and this time is no different. Read More...

 

Rethinking the Role of College Career Centers for Humanities Graduates

Authored by Dr. Brian C. Mitchell Director of the Edvance Foundation

Numerous studies indicate that the skills produced by a quality liberal arts education correspond precisely to what employers seek beyond technical training. The ability to articulate, write, apply quantitative methods, use technology, and work in a collaborative setting will continue to shape the parameters of the skill set needed in the 21st century.

So, why do liberal arts graduates, especially humanities majors, suffer from inaccurate and inconsistent portrayals of their attractiveness to employers?

There are likely several reasons behind this inconsistency.

Liberal arts graduates, especially in the humanities, do not as easily transition into first jobs as students also trained, for example, in STEM disciplines, teaching, nursing or business. For many of these humanities students, the move to employment typically includes additional education at the graduate or professional level. Some of them are uncertain about career paths while others received limited guidance as their graduation day approaches. Read More...

College Career Services and Their Role in Boosting Post-graduation Employment

Authored by John Gower

One element of a college education that many students may not initially consider is that of career preparation. Academic coursework and professor interactions provide students with an analytical framework to solve problems and subject matter knowledge. The role of career services, however, is to help translate that knowledge into the next step after college – namely, employment or graduate school.

The results speak for themselves: utilizing university-affiliated resources is the most effective way to obtain a job.

An analysis of over 68,000 undergraduate responses at 16 American public and private institutions revealed that 56% of students reported a school-related resource or opportunity as the primary factor in obtaining employment after graduation. Read More...