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Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Career Curve


I was interviewed recently for an article about the career tendencies of today’s graduating students. The phone call from the local reporter didn’t surprise me. Each year, as another fresh crop of UC San Diego students graduate, career development professionals like me are called upon to comment on the state of the job market. Fortunately, times are good for today’s graduates bound for their first post-graduation jobs. However, the way in which these graduates are making their career decisions seems to be changing. Their parents now play an essential role in their early career strategies, helping select their interview suits, editing their resumes, and coaching them on interview techniques.

Dubbed “helicopter parents” as they hover over their job-seeking grads, they are the subject of much discussion on campuses today, and I personally, credit today’s graduates for building such strong support networks around them. Whether parents, friends, professors, or fellow alumni, all of us need what I’ll call a “career advisory board.” Regardless of how well we claim to know ourselves, it is helpful to complement that self knowledge with insights from those who see us in another light. Some members of our career advisory board will love us unconditionally and serve as cheerleaders. Others, such as career advisors, will help us take an objective look at our talents, our goals and our options. Both of these board members play essential roles
as we navigate our professional journeys.

Our career advisory board does not dissolve when we land the dream job. Its members should be in place when we consider our next move, grieve a lost promotion or celebrate a professional accomplishment. Think about who serves on your career advisory board, and if you don’t have one consider creating one. Have their addresses, phone numbers and e-mails handy and keep them apprised of your employment status. They may not always be able to open doors for you, but they may help you test your decisions and examine your career from another perspective.

For more information,

visit http://career.ucsd.edu/sa/alumnpage.shtml.

Andrew Ceperley has been director of UCSD’s Career Services Center since 2003.

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