Is Your Young Adult Missing Out on Establishing a Career?
An article appeared on the Los Angeles Times on Monday, October 25, 2010 entitled Recession to Echo Loudly for the Young. Because of the current recession and what many people call a “jobless recovery,” it has definitely been more difficult for new college graduates to get that all important first job in the career field of their choice. Many young people are literally being left behind as others begin to build their careers.
After all the hard work and financial resources that college demands, there is nothing more depressing than returning home either unemployed or under employed in a “McJob.” It’s one thing to be the bottom rung of a ladder you want to be on…but it’s another thing to be at the bottom of a career field you don’t even like or wouldn’t normally choose!
Because it is so competitive, Young Adults in college need to begin their career journey early in their college career. There are many activities they can engage in that will help them clarify their career goals and make the contacts that are so pivotal in their future job search.
While it is commendable to concentrate on their studies, many college students make the mistake of doing this to the exclusion of all else. Grades do matter — especially for that all important first job out of college — but a high grade point average is only one factor necessary in landing the job.
The Advantages of Career Building Activities
As I work with my clients who are in college, I have them engage in a number of Career Building Activities. Depending on their major and career goals these activities could include:
- Networking with their teachers and professors who can give them further career information and valuable contacts in their chosen field.
- Using a variety of sources to conduct as many Information Interviews as possible to gain valuable career insights and those all important contacts.
- Participation in all appropriate college sponsored Job Fairs.
I am working with a young man, 23, who is just finishing his junior year in college majoring in Hospitality. He has completed several important career focused activities that will make job hunting next Spring very fruitful:
- Jaik has been working in a local restaurant as a busboy and waiter since he was 14. Through his dedication, customer service, and experience, he has proven to the owner that he can take on new “management” duties that include food ordering, scheduling, and menu planning. She now feels comfortable with him managing the restaurant in her absence.
- Jaik has been contacting and interviewing Food and Beverage Managers from a variety of businesses. To date, he has talked to representatives from the Hyatt and Westin hotels; also PF Chang’s and the Cheesecake Factory restaurants. Not only is he learning job responsibilities and how business hiring practices work, he is making terrific contacts for his future job search!
- Jaik and I are currently preparing for a major Job Fair for his field. He will be “dressing for success” with a new suit, updating his resume; and is practicing his marketing script and interviewing skills.
My Career Program is designed to build insights and self-awareness that allows the Young Adult to begin the very significant step of linking their personal and academic experiences with the World of Work. This step is crucial as they look towards graduation and a great beginning to a new career!