Thursday, July 5, 2012

Coker Career Center is place for Good Career Advice For Students

In several of my Coker College Communication classes we discuss the types of jobs students might do with the knowledge we are developing in the course. Sometimes we even start the class by finding jobs the students might want some day and seeing how the skills required might relate to course content. While I am a believer in the value of learning for the sake of learning, I do understand that a very real reason for a college degree is a job and a life style that is satisfying. In the Communication classes, we try to emphasize both sides of this education coin.

Don Philabaum, an entrepreneur, writer, thinker and father, just published a new book called THE UNEMPLOYED GRAD AND WHAT PARENTS CAN DO ABOUT IT. 2012. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, you might try the web site: The author is targeting parents whose vested interest in their child's education is acute. He is also targeting parents because he knows students are not at the mindset to be focusing on a career or job that is, at best, four years away -- though parents want students earning their own just as quickly as possible. While he continues to refer to parents as you in this book, the material about the changing job market and the tools that job seekers should employ appear to be relevant to anyone looking for a job or a new job.

The major rule that Philabaum provides for parents is to URGE your student to utilize the services of the college's career center from the time they set feet on the campus. He provides detailed strategies for this use and that checklist is one of the coaching tools available from the book. Deanne Tyner  Frye, who heads up Coker's Career Center, would be ecstatic if students took this advice -- it would mean she could spend more time doing career thinking with students and less time making students aware of the services offered.

Philabaum makes a good case for starting the job and career search early. His first major statement is that every year graduating students join about two million other graduating students in the USA entering the work force -- and, by the way, that does not include the rest of the world.

The book, which is more than 250 pages, is replete with lists and checklists, etc. For this blog I am going to highlight the author's Seven Building Blocks of a career or job-search strategy:

1 -- Use the career center to explore career options
2 -- Explore options that are compatible with interests
3 -- Create a personal career profile
4 -- Develop a written job-search strategy
5 -- Create a written career plan  (my least favorite of the building blocks)
6 -- Develop fundamental job search skills
7 -- Build a professional network

Now, a lot of those terms may be abstract for many people but the author does do a good job of making them much more concrete for the reader. The book provided me with additional material that I will be sharing with students and could be of interest if you are wondering about career planning for yourself or for a new college student.

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