Dear Coach Joan: Career Advice
Results from a recent survey done by Great in 8 Coaching to query recent college grads about their thoughts on their upcoming employment prospects and career development needs revealed both disturbing and instructive findings. Disturbing because the #1 thing of each young person’s mind was a big four letter word starting with an F. That word is FEAR. The results were also instructive as they gave me vital and actionable information that I will use to guide my career coaching work with this audience.
The survey was designed with multiple choice questions and for each topic area there was an optional space to add additional thoughts. For nine out of ten of the question categories only about 10-20% of the respondents chose to write in additional thoughts. But for the one question about their career prospects and what was on their minds, 95% wrote in about their fears. I’d like to share a few representative quotes:
“I fear not finding a job in time to pay my rent.”
“I’m scared that I won’t be ready to pay back my student loans.”
“I know I can’t measure up to candidates with real work experience.”
“I don’t have the contacts that can get me in the door and I know that’s needed in this job climate.”
“My college didn’t prepare me for the real world and the real world is scary–how can I find a place in it?”
“Since no one calls me back or responds to my resume how will I ever get a job?”
Where is youthful exuberance and the unbridled enthusiasm and confidence typically seen in past generations of emerging adults? It’s sad that these young people are so filled with fear and seeing what looks to them to be a no-win employment environment.
Well, I know I have my work cut out for me as a career coach. A major emphasis of my work will be on building confidence. And real confidence is based on real skills. I know it’s not an easy job market by any measure, so I will guide this young people with the best of competitive career strategies and yes, have them practice optimism and enthusiasm…it’s the rare person who is granted the job offer without those traits.
For full survey results, feel free to contact me and I’ll send them to you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org