If you want to be one of the 30% of graduates who are happy in their careers, a great starting point is the book, NOW WHAT: The Young Persons Guide To Choosing The Perfect Career, by career coaching pioneer Nicholas Lore and colleague Anthony Spadafore.
Part workbook, part library and part Yoda on the mountaintop dispatching wisdom, Now What outlines the Rockport Career Design process in a way suitable for college students, twenty-somethings experiencing a quarter life crisis or high school students just starting to think about the working world.
The book begins with the description of the career design process and the essential elements in designing a career that is a great fit, such as figuring out your natural gifts and talents, understanding your personal values and a workplace environment that makes sense for you.
As a career coach myself, I know that one of the challenges for younger people is the lack of work and life experiences they have to help them discern their preferences. Now What tackles this with “The Career Design Toolkit” that takes the reader through a wide variety of exercises, quizzes and opportunities for self-reflection to help them better understand themselves and their needs.
Finally, section 3, the “Career Finder,” gives students a tremendous starting point toward different careers they might want to consider based on what they’ve learned thus far. For instance, an introverted thinker with high spatial ability might want to consider virtual-reality engineering, whereas an extroverted, highly structured feeling type might explore an interest in veterinary medicine. This is a treasure trove of information for young people who have no idea where to begin.
I use Now What in my career coaching practice on a daily basis and am extremely thankful for the right balance of sparking possibilities and narrowing options it provides. A must read for the young career seeker!
I recently had the pleasure of accompanying a close family friend who is a high school senior on a campus tour of the University of Maryland. And boy did I get an education.
Students are STRONGLY encouraged to apply by November 1, “for best consideration, for merit-based scholarships and invitations to special programs. Students who complete their applications by this date will be mailed a decision letter by late January.”
This is not the same as an early decision program, where you must sign a contract that obligates your attendance if you are accepted. You have until May 1 under “priority consideration” to confirm your attendance.
The regular application deadline is Jan 20, with notification of acceptance to be received on April 1.
What is critical for would-be students to know is that the acceptance rate for students applying early is 40% as opposed to 15% for those applying by January. The University begins filling the class with those early applicants and so less spaces remain as time goes on.
Therefore, maximize your chances of acceptance at your top school choice by finding out what early admission programs they may have and taking advantage of those programs. Good luck!
Happy Birthday, KNITFreedom! We remind clients that creating a career is a DESIGN process where you choose and combine the elements that you are looking for and few people took that to heart as fully as Liat who essentially created an online knitting school. “Last September I quit my job, set up my home office, outlined Become a Knitting Superstar, set up my camera, and started filming – the rest is history!” She is a tour de force so if you are looking to untangle your latest projects, or have always wanted to learn, check her out at: www.knitfreedom.com
Over the past few years I have talked countless clients in the midst of a quarter-life crisis off the ledge of law school. Not because law can’t be a dynamic and fulfilling career choice for some people, but because so many disillusioned college grads choose it for the wrong reason. Why?
Being a lawyer is very different from playing one on TV. There are two kinds of problem-solving abilities: diagnostic and analytical reasoning. Analytical reasoning involves a step-by-step method of problem solving, whereas the diagnostic reasoner is the natural critic. He or she can just look at a situation and see what is not working. On television, lawyers tend to run around in snazzy suits and short skirts, quickly discovering clues and solving crimes. This involves a lot more diagnostic than analytical reasoning. A lot of bored lawyers have high diagnostic reasoning in common.
Pressure from well-meaning family members: Mom or Dad or Uncle Frank or Grandpa was a lawyer and they always thought their favorite son/daughter/nephew etc. would be a wonderful attorney. If the student in question also has a personality type that leads them to dislike conflict, they are both more reticent to contradict people they care about and more likely to dislike a profession that centers on crafting a convincing argument.
They hear the clock ticking and feel they don’t have the time to make a more considered decision. Their chosen field of undergraduate study didn’t get them the job they wanted. Or worse still, it DID get them the job they wanted and they are sorely disappointed. Fear and panic that time is running out to make their mark in the world, and they perceive their peers as leaving them behind. They’ve told me things like, “All my friends are going to law school….It’s only $50/75/100,000 dollars and three years – that’s not that bad. Even if I don’t want to be a lawyer, it never hurts to have a law degree in your back pocket.”
If you are a college graduate sincerely thinking of pursuing a pricey and time-consuming law degree, there are a world of resources available to you. Think about what kinds of problems you like to solve and how you like to go about it. How about work-life balance issues? Are you willing to work the extreme hours it takes to make partner? Most importantly, are there other choices out there that are a better match for your natural gifts and talents? Practice those lawyerly skills of research and analysis. Look to precedent – what activities have you enjoyed in the past?
By all means, go to law school but only if it is an ideal fit.