How will a career coach benefit your students?
More than ever, you and I need a career coach. The job environment has changed, and the picture no longer resembles what has been familiar to us.
Just look at the jobs advertised in today’s papers or online platforms. How many of those jobs do you recognize? Maybe, a few. But look again two months from now. You might even find stranger job titles. So, how do we keep up?
Graduates, especially in TVET, need to have jobs upon graduation. They don’t go to your institutions to feed their interests and make them learned persons. They are there to get the skills they need to land jobs.
Aside from landing jobs, career coaching has other benefits:
- Inform students about the critical skills most needed in today’s job market
- Equip students with lifelong career skills including writing a powerful resume, doing well in interviews, job search, building networks and making a career plan
- Enable students to outline a career path and a roadmap they can follow to reach their destination
- Help students to identify their goals and the needed strengths and interests to pursue these
- Apprise students on careers and its requirements, its possibilities, and its future.
Because of its fundamental value, how, then, can TVET institutions organize a career coaching? Some institutions, this work may be straightforward, especially when they have the resources to hire career coaches. For some, this could be a challenge.
However, here are some steps you can take:
- Put career coaching as an integral part of your strategic plan and allocate resources to make this happen.
- Place a section in your Library for Career Information. Make it a pleasant place for students to browse through books, pamphlets, and other materials.
- Invite speakers from industry who can inform students on the current job requirements. Please make this a regular thing, so the students have a clear picture of their future in the job market. The students can also familiarize themselves with the industry’s requirements or the businesses they target in their job search.
- Train faculty on career coaching so they can incorporate some of the information in their classrooms. Encourage faculty to immerse themselves in industry and business. Such immersion will enable them to guide students in the career paths they are to take.
- If you have the resources, organize a department to handle related career coaching activities in the institution. This particular step will require a significant commitment but ensure that career coaching becomes on-going in your institution.
- Forge secure connections with your local business and industry. You position your institution as their go-to place when they search for recruits. Such relationships will also inform you of the job market’s needs and how best to prepare your students for these challenges.
Being convinced of the value of career coaching is necessary to ensure commitment to the work. However, seeing the rapid changes in the job market, the institution needs to consider it a duty to assist students in navigating this new environment’s complications.