Career help: the best college graduation gift

Connecticut, career counseling
Congratulations and welcome to your career!

Sounds like a shameless plug, I know!  But it is also true.  The number of college graduates leaving college without a career building job has risen steadily in the last decade.  There are a variety of factors.  Some are completely out of a college student’s control such as fewer training programs at major corporations.  But one factor is under the student’s control: creating a career vision.

Outside of distinct specialties such as accounting or pre-med, a college major is not a career vision.  Even those seemingly practical economics majors often have no idea what they want to do for their careers.  Few are going to become economists.

During senior year, in broad strokes, there seems to be two types: those that are doing everything possible to land a job after college and those that are “just getting through senior year.” I often meet with the latter about six months after college graduation.  The typical pattern: college graduation in May, followed by some time for “decompression”, usually through July 4th.  Then, the realization sinks in that that summer job in retail or at the beach is going to end and September will roll around with no place to go.  The recently minted college graduate starts a “job search” but without any distinct vision of what he/she wants.  Starting and then stopping due to the frustration of getting no responses from the Indeed and Monster job search engine black holes, the college grad (and their parents) start to get anxious.  They get into snippy fights due to their frustration and then they don’t talk about career issues for a while.

Sometime in October-December, the parent calls and almost always says: “I should have contacted you last year.”