Poor Career Advice For Young People.

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I got a couple of emails recently. Both had graduated from the same school decades apart.  One introduced to me a young man who had recently graduated and was looking for a job.

A solid networking strategy is to reach out to your Alumni.  I went to the University of Western Ontario which is a long way from where I sit in Orange County, CA.  Yet I can do a LinkedIn search and plug in my zip code and the school name and over 100 people who went to Western pop up. Continue reading

I Want to Work in Shangri-La.

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When I was growing up I loved watching movies about Shangri-La.  Just the name evoked numerous  senses and sensors.  The word Shangri-La danced in my young ears. A place that was the epicenter of enchantment.  I am still looking for Shangri-La.  I have had a glimpse from time to time.  A little peak. A taste from time to time. A vaporous kiss.

I was copied on a mass email update recently from somebody that I didn’t even know if I knew them. I  do not have enough time to go into that basement.  It was their personal update on their search for their next career opportunity.  The person didn’t come into focus but I remembered that  I had received a previous blast from them before.  They were still on the beach. Their email  blast made me easily accessible but their elusive job for them was still out of reach. Continue reading

It’s Graduation Time. Lesson One.

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It will be graduation time soon.

So what kind of world will you be graduating into?

There will be at least two worlds.

The first is one you can’t control and that world is called the New Normal.

The New Normal Started in September 2008 when the world almost melted when Lehman Brothers went away. You may have never heard of Lehman Brothers.  They were a 156 year old company when you were in your teens.  Those effects are still being felt today.

It probably didn’t mean as much to you then as it did to your parents.  But then again you may be graduating from a school neither you nor your parents wanted you to attend because of it.

It may have happened before you even entered college but it has defined the world you are graduating into.  Things are getting better but things are different and you will live in that difference unless it changes.

The New Normal affected your college experience.  Few courses and more competition for them. Larger class sizes. Longer graduation times.  I read an article in the New York Times that only half of first time college students graduate in 6 years.

What’s up with that?  I went to the University of Western Ontario which you have never heard of and I got two degrees by staying for 6 years.  That’s how I got to California.

In fall 2012, a record 21.6 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities, constituting an increase of about 6.2 million since fall 2000. More people for fewer jobs.  I graduated into the kind of past.

The average student college debt will be $27,000. Yea.

The current unemployment rate in the U.S. is 7.7%  Better.

The unemployment rate among people under 25 is 16%. Ouch

The unemployment rate among people under 25 in Spain is 55%. That gets people into the streets. As the Rolling Stones sang in the 60’s the time is right for fighting in the street boys.

That world didn’t impact graduates much in the Old Normal but it is does in the New Normal.  As Marshall McLuhan said when I was going to school “It’s a Global Village”. You may have never heard of him and you may not have been to Spain but you are living his prediction.

You need a new lens to see in the New Normal.  In the Old Normal your parent’s friends were more old people.  In the New Normal they are data bases. Mine them.

The second world is the one that you can control and that is the world you personally create around you. How well resourced are you?  How well LinkedIn are you?  How resilient are you?  How well rounded are you?  What would make you interesting to a company? How wide is your network?

More on that in Lesson Two.  Soon to come.

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

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