I’ve always wanted to help people finish better than they started, but I never quite knew how to do it. This is the latest attempt…
When I started my doctoral program in educational leadership, I became fascinated by the ideas behind college and career readiness – the notions that kids should be doing career exploration and education from their early elementary years. Developmentally speaking, this make sense. Experiences build on themselves, so the sooner this starts the more actualized career interests will be once it is time to actually pick something to pursue. My dissertation was a series of life history narratives for this reason – the journey has a huge impact on the destination.
Despite what pop-career advice says, having a path – however broad – is better than having no direction. If you know what you’re working towards (or even what you’re going against), the more likely you are to find something that makes you happy. And, IMHO, happiness should always be the goal. You don’t have to love your job, but loving your life is essential.
When I started working in higher ed career services, the goal was to do this: Get the practical knowledge of how to ‘do’ career stuff, and develop a career development program for Black girls. (Nutshell reason: Black women have a long history of doing jobs that no one wants out of necessity to work, and it’s time for us to flourish. We’re the most educated group in the United States but make way less than comparably educated White dudes. Not okay.) But working in this industry has made me hyper aware of how my job contributes to the reproduction of social inequality, and I don’t like it. I don’t like that access to career related information (often very basic stuff) is predicated upon enrollment in college… And not just any college, one that actually staffs their career services office with people who know what they’re doing. (Trust me, not all career offices are created equally.)
On top of this, most career exploration and development advice is written for a very specific audience. It’s either geared towards recent college grads and rife with advice on “how to navigate your 20s”, or it’s thinly-veiled fashion advice that reinforces sexist ideas of professionalism for women. Very little of what is out there is actually solid advice on how to grow a career. It sucks that people who have this knowledge don’t share it in a meaningful way – or change an arm and a leg to hear it.
So this is what’s happening here. I’m giving away some knowledge with the hope that it will be useful to someone out there.
Almost all of my posts link back to the The Worksheet Library – my always-growing resource page that has (shocker) interactive career-related worksheets and workbooks related to all aspects of the job search and career prep. As of this post, here is what’s in it:
In addition, I’ve got Ready, Set, Resume! – my free mini-course on teachable.com, designed to help people create an application-ready resume in a matter of hours. It’s perfect for everyone: whether you’re going from scratch or just need to tweak your existing document, this mini-course will be useful. It might come down in a few months, so grab it while you can. Bonus: If you complete the course, I will review your resume for free!
I’m always searching for ways to democratize useful information and make sure that everyone has access to the resources they need to get ahead. Since launching these resources back in December, I’ve heard from so many people who they have helped. Hope this signal boost can allow them to reach more!