Competences Management


August 31st, 2007

Often badly prepared to approach the world of work, more and more of young people leaving the university want to be supported in their search of the first employment.

Coaches for young American graduates

To shake hands with assurance, to pose its voice, to wear adequate clothing in winter as in summer, to look right in the eyes without arrogance, here is the kind of teaching that the university does not deliver.

To answer the questions of the young distressed graduates, of the American companies shoulder them in their search of an employment and, especially, direct them towards the stations which will satisfy them.

A new outlet with the country of the “coaches”.

The coaches help the young graduates to be presented at the employers not like accomplished students but like qualified candidates. The tools used go from the books to the workshops of drafting a CV while passing the physical exercises of maintenance and the processions of business-mode. The meetings last several months, in group or individually, by telephone or in face-to-face discussion, within a private framework but also at the request of companies and even of universities. “Very concretely, one helps them to present oneself at the employers”, summarizes Emily McLellan, founder of Springboard Career Consultants, a New York company specialized in the “coaching” of young graduates “Many did not understand that to submit one’s CV on the Internet was not the best method”, it notes.

Laura Katen, president de KATEN CONSULTING, leader in the market of the accompaniment of young graduates, works with 15 coaches equipped each one with a specialty: CV, letters of motivation or clothing and voice, but, holds it to specify, “to give them the means of making good impression, it is also to help them to find their way”. Obstetricians of vocations “the idea is to help them at this point of transition between the world from the studies and the world of the work which is not always easy to live”, explains Emily McLelland.

The professionals note that these young people, to the stock of general knowledge often more consequent than the average, do not manage to identify their strong points and their weaknesses.

“In a certain manner, they learned so much that they have evil to choose a career”, analyzes Lindsey Pollak, coach and author of the book “Of the university to the trade: 90 councils before entering the true life “. “Instead of being qualified in a field, it continues, they are involved with many things. And that can be hard to have too much choice “In the maelstrom of knowledge and of possible trades, the coaches thus play the obstetricians of talents and vocations. A supposed role to place the young graduate in the good place and the good time. “It there has talents hidden among people, insists Carol Ross, coach at Carol Ross and Associates, and when they become aware of it, they use them and make a success of” Carol Ross, for which the coaching of young graduates remains a minority activity _ it works mainly with a riper public _, notes that it is at the same time easier bus “at their age, a small council can make a great difference in their orientation”, but also more difficult because “they are not informed this of themselves on which one could base oneself to find it for what they are made”.

A very brooded generation Christine Braathen, young person graduate in psychology, today assistant of the vice-president of a company of production, worked with Carol Ross from March to July 2006 at a rate of two hours per week. That enabled him “to go a little deeper in [ its ] personality and to become a more complete employee”. “Carol made me learn from the things on me which I would have probably discovered a day, it tells, but which were very useful to me to find a work which corresponds to me” A the unanimity, these professionals note that the young graduates feel the need to be supported.

“Many young adults for today had what I call of the” parent-helicopter “, analyzes Laura Katen. These parents brood their children, and the day when their offspring must make a choice, they are not able “” Coach of career, coach of sport, coach of mode, in the United States, one wants all the time to be happy, adds, amused, Lindsey Pollak, and as work it is your life… “To have a” career coach “, it is to want to control its career and to realize that to ask of the assistance and the counseling is acceptable.

For William White, professor of management at Northwestern univ, there during more than thirty years, “this phenomenon depends much on the economic situation. If the labour market is hard, it is more difficult to find a trade: the young graduates do not want to thus be mistaken “. This teacher, author of “As of the first day”, a work on what the young people must know as of their 1st employment, recognizes that it is important to have somebody in his entourage which is “a kind of free mentor but! “, a friend of the family, as it often advises it with his students. Overflowed services of orientation In the same way, Lindsey Pollak, which does not practise the coaching that within the framework of universities, always recommends to the students “to speak to somebody about older” and organizes workshops where it learns how to them to raise the good questions with their elder.

Many the specialized coaches note that their activity developed because the services of orientation of the universities are often overflowed. However, the coaching for young graduates remains a marginal solution “Our study (*) shows that the students who have a full-time employment had tendency to more using the service of orientation of their university and his resources that those which were addressed directly to an employer, comments on Marilyn Mackes, director of the NACE (national Association of the universities and the employers). That confirms the added value such centers, and for the students and the employers “the methods can even be complementary: certain universities appeal punctually, in the framework of seminars and other interventions, with the services of private coaches.

(*) According to this survey carried out by the NACE into Internet from March to May 2007, 52 % of the students who occupy a full-time stable employment declare being passed by the service of orientation of their university, while 41 % of them say to have sent to them CV starting from the Web site same service.

-Les Echos

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