Career Coaching Notes: Career Counseling vs. Career Services

I love being a Career Counsleor. I enjoy the long conversations that I get to have with students as they navigate their educational and professional paths. I love running into them on campus and being introduced to their friends as they share stories of how helpful our appointments have been. Most of all, I revel in the emails and thank-you notes that I receive after they’ve landed that first job or internship. In a simpler world, I’d wear clogs to the office every day and conduct my appointments from a dimly lit room while sitting on a beanbag chair. But these are not simpler times; there are parts of this job that require much more effort and precision.

Aside from counseling, working in career services includes maximizing the potential of office management software, writing learning outcomes, developing strategic plans, and collecting first-destination data. We shouldn’t have the luxury of disassociating with aspects of the job that we don’t find as fun as one-on-one meetings with students. “I don’t ‘do‘ social media”, or “I’m not big on assessment” are not acceptable responses given the changing needs of students and employers.

We’re no longer in the placement phase of the 1940’s, nor are we in the counseling era of the 1960’s, 70’s, or 80’s. We’re in the hyperactive world of virtual resources and global perspectives. We’re in the middle of a war zone, fighting a battle of tradition versus trajectory.

Being a career counselor means being sensitive to student needs; being a career services professional means meeting those needs by any means necessary. Growing your career center staff, partnering with faculty to offer a wide range of career courses, and embedding a career development competent in first-year seminars are only a few ways to get on track with current trends.

Are you prepared to join in on the fight? Are you prepared to be a career services professional? Comment below and share with us how your career center is fighting (and hopefully winning) the battle against ineffective traditions!

Lessons Learned at #NACE14

ongDavid Ong, Director, Corporate Recruiting, Maximus, Inc.
Twitter: @dtong2565
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/dave-ong/0/604/513

It’s been two weeks since the 2014 NACE Conference, and I’ve finally recovered from the profound lack of sleep that I experienced in San Antonio. (For those of you that weren’t there, the non-stop networking combined with the excitement in the city from the Spurs NBA title win turned our hotel complex into a never-ending celebration chamber!)

With my batteries now re-charged, here are a few general observations from the conference:

1) Our profession is in a very dynamic phase—Is it just me, or was anyone else just in awe of how many critical issues and trends are hitting simultaneously. From First Destinations to OFCCP to Big Data to STEM Education……It’s clear that the game is changing big time! The conference was the perfect opportunity to exchange ideas with my peers, my customers, and our affiliate members.

2) Our future looks bright—If the conference first-time attendee session was any indication, we’re in great hands. The new attendees seemed so highly engaged, inquisitive, and truly excited about being NACE members and they wanted to know how to get more involved, which bodes well for all of our members. Every year this group gets bigger. Case in point: We typically split the newcomers into groups of about 15 people, and we assign past or present NACE board members to facilitate discussion. To our shock, we actually ran short on NACE board representatives! (Kudos to our terrific conference co-chairs Maura Quinn from Liberty Mutual and Fred Burke from Baruch College for stepping in to facilitate!)

3) We have some great leaders at NACE—How can anyone not be impressed by the performance of our fearless leader, Dan Black of EY? The guy attended almost every organized event, chatted with virtually everyone he met, enlightened (and entertained) us with his “Early Show” interviews of NACE award winners. He threw down the ultimate challenge to our members with a new member outreach proposal. He also did a great job with the passing of the torch to President Sam Ratcliffe of VMI, who did a wonderful job of welcoming first-time attendees and gave us an enlightening glimpse into the college recruiting future. Like many of you, I’m really psyched to see what Sam has in store for all of us now that he’s the president!

One last comment….There is real power in blogging—I’ve got to be honest….When the folks at NACE asked me to consider writing this blog, I was a little hesitant. Questions like “What am I going to write about?” “Will anybody read it?” and “If they read it, will they fall asleep?” all entered into my head. Thankfully, the NACE conference changed my view of blogging after I had several encounters with attendees who recognized me from the blog photo (Note to self: Pick up a gift for our company photographer.) and asked to take a selfie with them, which promptly got posted on social media outlets (Other note to self: Learn to take selfies from above not below.) I heard from other NACE bloggers that they had similar experiences to mine, so a huge thanks to those of you that took the time to let us know that you’re enjoying this latest communications outlet from NACE!

That’s it for now….Next NACE stop for me: the Summer of 2014 Board of Directors meeting in Boston.

You’ll find a list of NACE’s Board of Directors on NACEWeb. If you’re interested in becoming a member of the NACE Blog Team, contact Claudia Allen.

Introverts Guide to #NACE14

Chris Carlson

Christopher Carlson, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Booz Allen Hamilton
Twitter: @cciCarlson
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ccicrc

Taking a break from my social recruiting series to share some thoughts for my fellow introverts attending #NACE14.

On most tests, I am an “off-the-charts” introvert who takes after his father. There are people who write “don’t eat alone” and who encourage you to network, network, network. Not me. I don’t know about my fellow introverts, but I like a little quiet time to recharge the batteries before going back into a room of hundreds of people. I eat alone quite often, especially when I have been around a lot of people. It helps me relax and renew.

So, here are my introverted best practices for conference survival:

  1. Schedule quiet time throughout the dayGo to the NACE Conference Scheduler and pick out your absolute must-attend workshops and see if you can carve out some quality time for yourself in between those sessions.
  2. Be selective with your networking timeDon’t try to meet everyone, but in good introvert style, get to know a few individuals really well; connect with someone you want to get to know better.
  3. Don’t be afraid to find quiet corners at a receptionTry to entice someone to speak with you one-on-one rather than insert yourself in a circle of individuals talking. If you want, you can talk to me as I am usually quietly positioned in a corner.
  4. GO BIG at least once during the conferenceGrab a group of friends and get out on that dance floor and dance, I say, dance!
  5. Spend more time networking one-on-oneIt is easier to strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to you before/after a workshop than in a big networking session, so start there. Make a point to meet at least one new person and get to know him/her really well each day.
  6. Get outside and take a walkThe Riverwalk is an introvert’s dream come true, as there are many stretches with beautiful scenery and not a lot of people. I know from experience. It can be a very calming and relaxing spot.
  7. Above all else, spend time learning and connecting.  As introverts, we don’t have to meet everyone, just a few people who we will get to know very well.

Looking forward to seeing you all at #NACE14 in San Antonio! Look for me in a corner or at a table by myself and come say hello. Stay tuned for more insights into my journey into social recruiting as well as observations from the conference.

Don’t forget, I am presenting on Tuesday. The session is entitled “Everyone is a Recruiter” and will look at building social recruiting practices and engaging your employee base to help ensure success. (“Everyone Is a Recruiter” will be presented on Tuesday, June 10, at 3:30 p.m. See the #NACE14 Itinerary Builder for details.)

Attend Christopher Carlson’s session and take a selfie with him! A selfie with a session presenter is one of the 10 items to collect in the #NACE14 Scavenger Hunt!

 

Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

kevin grubb

NACE Ambassador Kevin Grubb
Assistant Director at Villanova University’s Career Center.
Twitter: @kevincgrubb
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevingrubb
Blog: “social @ edu”.

You and I know it: the job search is a hustle. It’s applying, it’s writing, it’s getting LinkedIn, it’s tweeting, it’s interviews, it’s dressing to impress… it’s all of the above. Even more than that, it’s about people. The people you meet at the places you go. It’s “networking,” which can be a difficult concept for students to understand.

Networking isn’t linear. I’ve heard students say, “That’s not really applying to a job.” Sure, talking with someone who doesn’t necessarily have a position open or even the ability to hire doesn’t feel the same as hitting “apply” online. But, your relationships could be the differentiator in your job search success.

When I talk about networking, one of my favorite phrases to break down is, “I was just in the right place at the right time.” (See also: planned happenstance.)

Being in the right place in the right time isn't only about luck. (Image credit: flickr.com)

Being in the right place in the right time isn’t only about luck. (Image credit: flickr.com)

Some of the best career success stories I’ve heard from students are cut from this cloth: a story about a junior making a chance connection on a train ride home or the senior finding out her cousin could refer her for a job while at the Thanksgiving dinner table. At first blush, this phrase seems like someone just got lucky. Truthfully, luck has only a little bit to do with it. A lot about making it happen is up to you.

There is such a thing as being in the right place at the right time. But, the critical truth is that you have to put yourself in a bunch of right places and have the right attitude so that you’ll have the chance of experiencing a “right time.” The right place is not likely going to be your bedroom. It’s also not likely going to be the networking event you attend where you speak with no one.

So, when I talk about networking with students, I tell them: you could be the one to experience being in the right place at the right time. I follow up by showing them events on- and off-campus where they could meet with industry professionals (some good “right places”). I even tell them a story or two about taking advantage of chance meetings and how talking confidently about your goals beats talking about them sarcastically any time.

NACE blog readers, how do you explain networking to students? Are there any career advice phrases you like to break down? I’d love to hear about it in a comment.