Author Jeffrey Selingo says in his recent article (J. Selingo’s Washington Post article link) ” To prepare for the changing nature of work, colleges need to be more flexible in their academic offerings and employers in how they hire. That way, students will get what they want out of higher education and won’t fall into the trap of underemployment.”I find author Selingo’s recent and past articles to be “right on” about what it takes today to succeed in college and career life.  I want to stress, however, from what I have seen in my two decades of work with college students (of all ages), few students have a concrete plan to get what they need out of college and a clear path towards reaching a rewarding career.  Students, parents, and counselors must help make this happen by doing the following three things:1) Career interest assessments:  A concrete plan means taking a complete inventory of the interests they hold and the skills they possess, choosing the top 5 or so of these, and then melding them into an  focused career field or occupational choice that encompasses these.  A good career assessment tool and a trained career consultant can help with this. Without a clear goal, how can one persist in achieving anything?2) Occupational research: Additionally, research on occupational fields/jobs through selected career data bases and other resources are crucial to making “best-fit” job choices.  Not only does this career research help one understand the nature and work-tasks involved in a career, but helps outline education, training, or college major necessary to make this happen. A professional career adviser can provide guidance.3) Career “attack plan” to build skills:  Then, while education is underway, students must form a “plan of attack” to building the skills and experience needed to obtain that all-important entry-level job.  This can include joining selected college clubs, doing community volunteer experiences, finding internships, and using other strategies to use to get a “leg up” on building a resume and positioning oneself to get a foothold into that ideal career.  A good career consultant can recommend the best strategies for this.Everything Careers ETC was designed to assist career-seekers with the three career strategies here!  Their effectiveness has been proven by over 20 years of work with career seekers in Southern Arizona.  Contact us at or call 520-432-3903. 

smiling woman
Photo by Joshua McKnight on