I’m noticing a really interesting phenomenon at my workshops. Normally, the people who come to my sessions based on my book, “Yes! You can Land a Job Even in a Crummy Economy,” are unemployed or underemployed individuals who want to build their job search capability. These folks spend 3 or 4 hours exploring what their strengths are, what opportunities lie ahead for them, and then learn how to build a strategy to land them in a great job.
At my last 3 workshops at Wayne State University, I met parents of students who are getting ready to graduate from college or who recently earned their degree. Yes, I said PARENTS.
Parents are attending job search workshops in hopes of getting their kids going in their careers and off their payroll.
At first, I found this hard to believe, then I did a little digging online and found that Gen-Y’s (that is, people between the ages of about 20-30) are really struggling to find jobs. And their parents (most of whom are baby boomers) are just as frustrated by their kids’ lack of results. Combine this angst with the age-old parent/child communication gap that is aggravated by technology that puts parent and child on opposite sides of cyber space, and you’ve got a BIG problem. Add into this equation the current dismal job market, and I’d say we’ve got an epidemic.
We’ve got a host of kids who have great energy and awesome technological savvy but lack relationship building know-how on one side (come on, they have gotten most of what they needed so far from mom and dad or by clicking a mouse). And then across the chasm, we have parents who understand the need to build collaborative relationships, but cannot communicate using the techno-tools that are second-hand to their kids. What a mess, huh?
Here’s the good news. People can change behavior. Parents can get savvy on technical matters. They can learn how to back off and let junior take care of his problem. And Gen-Y’s can learn how to build relationships. They can also take ownership and step up to move their careers forward.
But changing behavior is a process…not an event. It’s a process that begins with an inspired thought, a call to action. But then, to successfully adapt behavior, you need outside help; a coach, a mentor, an advisor. Someone who can guide you through a transition: whether your are a Gen-Y moving from student life into a meaningful and productive career or a parent moving from being the bearer of all responsibility to becoming the pathway to the right resources.
I thought all along my book “Yes! You Can Land a Job Even in a Crummy Economy” and the workshops were the answer. Then, I realized, they are really just the start.