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Class Notes May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2

Career Curve


In a recent conversation with @UCSD editor, Raymond Hardie, I realized that your alma mater’s oldest alumni are reaching the “young as you feel” age of 60. This is significant. For the first time in UCSD history, the baby boomers who cut their academic teeth on this growing campus in the ’60s and ’70s are retiring. In campus career development circles, we owe a debt of gratitude to this generation. It was they who made Dick Bolles’ classic book, What Color is Your Parachute, a best seller. It was this generation who took full advantage of evolving career services programs on campus. They wanted to land jobs with their UCSD degrees. But they wanted us to offer more than job boards and recruitment services. They wanted self-exploration tools. They wanted quality time with career counselors. They wanted occupational workshops. And they wanted to launch meaningful Careers (notice, the “C” is capitalized). The baby boomers were more Career-driven than any generation in the last century. Their identities and their careers were often intertwined, and when meeting someone for the first time, they were known to break the ice by asking, “So, what do you do for a living?”

As our boomers start to celebrate their retirements and begin the next chapters of their lives, I ask all of our alumni readers to think back on what was important for you in your first job. What did you value? How did you define success? Today’s UCSD students recently weighed in on these questions. For the first time, the Career Services Center partnered with Universum Communications on its national survey of student career perspectives on the workplace. Over 300 UCSD students responded to the online survey, and here is what they told us when asked the top five career goals they hope to obtain within the next three years:

• Balance personal life and career
• Pursue further education
• Build a sound financial base
• Contribute to society
• Work internationally

Clearly, if our early graduates, the boomers, were focused on Career and ladder climbing, today’s crop of up-and-comers are calling for career/life balance. I wonder what I will be writing about them in 40 years when they announce their retirements? Oh, wait. I’ll be retired.

Andrew Ceperley has been director of UCSD’s Career Services Center since 2003. For more information about the University’s Alumni Career Services, visit http://career.ucsd.edu/sa/alumnpage.shtml.

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