When you were in high school, do you remember sitting down with your school’s guidance counselor, poring over the results of your vocational aptitude tests and personality assessments and then discussing the many career options available to someone with your unique talents? Yeah. Me neither.
Although the situation is improving, for many high school students, career discovery opportunities remain sparse. Their selection of a career or course of study is based on limited information and limited investigation. These students may enter a job or enroll in college without a real understanding of what they’ve chosen or why.
Does the situation improve for students who enter college or a vocational education program? Yes. Colleges and vocational institutions have a vested interest in ensuring that their graduates get job placements. Touting past students’ employability and income levels are major selling points for universities and trade schools.
If you are currently enrolled in an institution that offers career services or are eligible for services as an alumnus, I recommend that you take advantage of what your school has to offer. Your college career guidance center may be one of the best career development resources you ever encounter.
But, your college or vocational school’s career services center alone isn’t enough. The average person will spend more than 50 years in the workforce and may change careers (not just jobs) three times writes career advisor Martin Yate in his book, Knock ‘em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide. Your college career center can help you prepare for interviews and spruce up your resume but isn’t equipped to help you navigate those types of life changes.
Good news for those seeking long-range career planning guidance
So, where do professionals turn for career advice after they graduate? The good news is that professionals have lots of options for seeking career guidance.
The bad news is that professionals have lots of options for seeking career guidance.
Search for a career coach on LinkedIn and you’ll see a return of over 700,000 results! The number of websites presenting job banks, resume writing services, and interview tips multiply by the day – there’s an overwhelming amount of information to consume with differing points of views. The success of ebook publishing has opened the floodgates for authors of varying skill to publish expert advice on the topic of career selection and development as well.
Yet, with all these options, many working professionals and job seekers still can’t find the answers they need to their career development questions.
- How can I enter a new field with no experience?
- Which careers are good for someone with my interests and skills?
- My career isn’t moving, should I stay with the same company and wait for a promotion or move to a new employer?
- Will leaving a job that isn’t right for me after just a few months hurt my chances of employment in the future?
- Should I go back to school to get a degree if I want to pursue a new career path?
These are the type of questions that the Carmen team is working to solve. We want to help professionals and job seekers find the answers to these questions with data that backs our suggestions.