No One Plans to Fail

…They fail to plan (was it Winston Churchill or Harvey Mackay?)

Lots of talk about college kids/graduates trying to find a job that is commensurate with their education or, more specifically, their college majors. The situation has them second-guessing not just their majors but whether they should have even gone to the expense and trouble of college in the first place.

I’ve been involved in thiring2_635x250_1378503140eaching and coaching on the corporate level for more than 30 years. I even spent a few years interviewing potential hires for the international sector of the financial institution for whom I worked. Just for fun, I kept an old comic strip where the person being interviewed could see it: it featured the main character, Herman, leaning over an HR person’s desk and saying, “No, it’s not that I’m overqualified. It’s that my resume is a pack of lies.”

My latest job there involved being in daily contact with new hires as they came through our 6-10 week training program. I got to see them up-close-and-personal. By and large, these kids – who were not all business majors – had a fairly clear idea of what they wanted to do. And in the mid-to-late 90′s they were treated like gold! The “War for Talent” it was called. Corporations couldn’t do enough for them. Or hire enough of them.

This is not the group I’m working with now. Many in today’s group have 3 difficulties, as I see it:
1st: they equate what they can do with their college degree and area of specialization as being one-and-the-same. They let their majors dictate the job they’re seeking

2nd: they have no clear idea of what they want to do

3rd: no one has shown them how to create a strategy for finding a job. As Colonel Hannibal Smith (let’s stop here for just a moment to see if anyone gets this reference) of that “great” old TV series and recent movie, “The ‘A’ Team” liked to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

But, first, you’ve got to have a plan!


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