Teaching recent college graduates about careers. Parents you need to get your adult children help!

While Career Counseling Connecticut works with all age groups, and each age range has unique challenges, it makes sense that recent college graduates are the ones with the greatest needs in relation to understanding career development.  Our education system has not helped their cluelessness.  Many seem to emerge with the thought that they can sign up for a job, as it is the next step of their structured K-12 to college to job entitlement.  Others will say things like: “I have these good qualities, why won’t someone hire me.”

I tell them a story that I made up but of which I took from one of my many readings on career issues.  Thank you and credit to the original thinker!

You are on a train from New London to New Haven to Stamford with your elderly aunt.  It is crowded so you have to separate.  You sit in the middle to two people.  We’ll make them men just to make the pronouns easier.  The one on your left is incredibly nice.  The one on the right is incredibly rude.  You start talking between the three of you.  The one on the left is charming, brilliant, modest and it turns out has degrees from the finest schools.  Harvard economics undergrad, Yale law school, a doctorate from Princeton in philosophy.  He started a not-profit that saves refugees.  Your elderly Aunt slumps over in the aisle where she is sitting.  Your new wonderful seatmate jumps up and starts tending to her.  The rude guy pushes him out of the way and you say “what are you doing, my friend was trying to help?” And, the rude guy says, “I’m a doctor.  He’s not.  Who do you want to help her?”

I explain to my young clients that they are the “hiring person” in this situation.  Who will they hire?  The person with the skills for job.  All those good qualities of the guy on the left are irrelevant in this situation.

I also use a shared Uber ride as an example, except I make the guy on the right someone who dropped out of high school.  The car breaks down in the middle of nowhere.  The nice guy starts fiddling with the engine and the rude, seemingly uneducated guy pushes him out of the way and relays that he is a car mechanic.

Skills.  You need to convince someone based on your skills.  What skills do you have?  What skills do you want to develop?