Growing up in Michigan, our family, like most others, had holiday traditions. My mother was born on Christmas Eve, therefore my younger siblings and I thought it was only appropriate that we too should receive a gift on December 24th. Every year, the giddiness of opening gifts never subsided. It didn’t matter whether it was a new calendar or package of socks, the wrapping paper didn’t stay on long. The real excitement however, came on Christmas morning. I was probably the only kid in the neighborhood that hoped and prayed to receive a new calculator. Yes, I was that kid. I’m pretty sure I was the only ten-year-old to set up an office in his closet to have a place to work to calculate baseball statistics. Ever since I could remember, numbers seem to make sense to me. I was the only one in my kindergarten class that understood fractions. All through school, I was math and science focused, of course that meant I despised English. To this day, if it wasn’t for CliffsNotes I’m not certain how I would have passed my sophomore year literature class. When I went to college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my career. I was pretty certain though that it was something working with numbers, until I decide to take Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory and thought better of it. There went that idea. What now? I thought I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wasn’t going to be like everyone else, without clear direction. I thought I had it all figured out.
After working in the family business, I ended up working in recruiting. For the past 13 years I’ve been working in employment services; first as a recruiter, and now as a résumé writer and career coach. How did I end up here? In the words of Alanis Morissette, “Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?” If you would’ve told me back in college where my career would have taken me, I would have asked you to take a Breathalyzer. While lots of things have changed since 1989, one thing that remains consistent however; is that younger people have a myriad of options available to them and their career.
Millennials have grown up in an immediate gratification society (Thanks Steve and Bill). How many of us have been waiting for an email and repeatedly hit the refresh button because the email we’re looking for isn’t in our inbox within 10 seconds? Should it come as a surprise that 20-somethings feel that if they aren’t promoted to VP, have a corner office, and making six figures within a year that there must be something wrong with the company and go seek greener pastures? Today, a career coach is more valuable then ever to Millennials trying to find their way in the corporate world.
While most high school guidance offices and college job placement offices provide sound advice, a career coach can work with you from graduation through your entire career. A career coach gets to know you, your personal and professional goals, and grows with you as you grow. Using a career coach at an early age, can provide invaluable information that can help your career blossom. A career coach is an objective listener that can help guide you in making tough decisions; not only which job to take out of school, but whether to accept a promotion or join your chief competitor.
The decisions made in your early 20s can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career. The investment into a career coach pays immediate dividends and over time becomes one of the most important contacts in your network.