Question: Why is the vast majority of career-related information geared towards college students?
Whenever I look around the interwebs for articles to share on Pinterest or in my newsletter, it’s hard to find content that is relevant for working professionals. All I see are headlines that help readers “Write Your First Resume”, “Impress Your Internship Supervisor”, or figure out “What to do Before Your 30.” There is definitely a market for that information, but like, what if you’re over 30?
What if you’re on your fourth or fifth resume or your second or third job? What if you’re a few years out of college and are trying to make a change? What if you’re considering grad school as a way to move your career forward: How do you know if it’s going to help? How do you ensure a ROI? How do you leverage diverse experiences when you want to do a career pivot? How do you explore careers when you have a job? (And why is this important?) How do you navigate this unique stage of your professional life?
That’s a lot of questions, and I’m not making them up. They’re ones that I hear from clients. They’re ones that I talk to my girlfriends about. They’re legit, yet often go unanswered by popular sources of career-related resources. This is the opposite of fair.
Why aren’t there as many resources that meet the needs of working professionals as there are for college kids? College kids have career services folks who are paid to answer their questions, they don’t need all this other help. But those of us who are 30+ do. Grown folks need love, too!
So why are people like us so under-resourced?
My theory: It’s harder to give one-size-fits-all content to people whose individual situations are unique so people don’t try. Writing about the complexities of career development and transitions for working professionals is challenging when you don’t know the specifics. Blog posts and resources run the risk of being too vague or only speaking to a tiny segment of the population. The key point of every ‘Blogging 101’-type article is stick with your niche. Write what they want to read and cater to your specific audience. Early career development tips is an odd niche to occupy for all of the reasons I stated before, which is why there aren’t many people in it.
…But I’m in it to win it!
I spent the last few weeks writing and creating content on application basics (A (Crazy-Long) Post About Resume Writing and The Cover Letter Writer’s Guide) so that I don’t have to write about them again. The info is out there so I can reference it, but I don’t have to go through the Step Zero of either of these documents ever again. (Yay!) What this means is that now I can dig a little deeper. I can get more nuanced in my job search tips and focus on the stuff that is different and special about being an early career professional.
Because let’s be real: The career advice that works for a college kid – or even someone with a year or two of post-grad experience – is very different than what would work for someone with four or more years in the real world. Resume contents are different. Cover letters have more feeder content to go on (which makes it harder to choose what to highlight). A person at this stage likely has a few positions under their belt and are perhaps moving into more managerial roles, so interviews become more complicated and expectations are much higher. Masters-level and doctoral education and research need to be explained in relevant ways, especially when they’re not quite necessary for what the person is going for… It’s hard out here for an early career professional!
My goal is to make it less hard. My goal is to create relevant content and resources that serve this incredibly underserved group of people… But I need your help! Take my short, open-ended survey and let me know what you want to know. This way, I can create the stuff that can help you get to whatever next level you’re trying to reach! (The only criteria is that you’re over the age of 27 because, see above.) As a special thank you for completing the survey, you’ll get the password to the Worksheet Library so you can access the interactive documents that I’ve sprinkled throughout this post. Pretty sweet, huh?
I’m so excited about this newish direction, and can’t wait to give you my best stuff! Here’s to being a doer.