George Willsons

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what are your opinions on the difficult situation of collage graduates to find an ideal job?

As you all know,due to the slow recovery of global recession and the students themselves in terms of their capabilities, the young adults appear to increasingly unlikely to find an ideal job. One the other hand,employers are undergoing lack of ideal staffs. What do you think is the cure to this problem?

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    Dec 4 2013: I think knowing yourself and your interest is the most important things when you look for an ideal job. I'd like to introduce some tips of career management of Harvard Business Management online course.

    Tips for choosing the right developmental opportunities

    Clarify your core business interests, reward values, and skills before you do anything else.

    Evaluate how well various development opportunities match those interests, values, and skills.

    If an opportunity closely matches your interests and values, it could be an excellent next move for you. If you lack one or more of the skills that it requires, consider how you might develop it.

    Think long term—that is, several career moves ahead—rather than just about your next move.

    Ask yourself what you need to learn in order to get where you want to go in the long run, and then—
    Think about ways to gain that knowledge or experience.

    Always, always beware the "siren songs"—those expectations and "pulls" that might lead you down the wrong career path (and be aware of any fears that could result in your setting your sights too low, limiting your ultimate success).
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      Dec 5 2013: I understand and appreciate your points. This is a great guidance for job seekers.

      I like the words 'long term',but students come to this tasks are unlikely to have the ability and awareness to envision the far future,we the adults should offer our experiences for them to take into consideration.

      Do you think there is margin for error in choosing a career? Or do you think to turn around after the earlier moves is possible in chasing a successful career? Because you know,sometimes, we need a couple of times to discover what our niche is.
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        Dec 5 2013: Sorry, I misplaced the reply to another place below.
  • Dec 5 2013: An ideal job is not achieved through a college education alone. In fact, the college education is unnecessary if your ideal job doesn't require it. Some college graduates will find their ideal job quickly; this may be due to their own skills or to luck or to a combination of both. Others will find their ideal job later, after they have worked for a while at some less-than-ideal jobs. Some will create their ideal job rather than looking for it to be out there someplace waiting for them to find it (this may, in fact, be the only way to have an "ideal" job -- to make it yourself from the circumstances of your life whatever they are.).

    Personally, having retired a few years ago from a teaching career I had never imagined for myself, loved every day of, and eventually realized wasn't as much fun anymore; I would have to say that one's ideal job is not a fixed goal, but an ever-changing part of the process of one's life.
  • Dec 4 2013: There's no such thing as an "ideal job", and even if there was, what's ideal now probably won't be ideal in five years. Changing circumstances, and all that.

    My advice is to stop aiming for perfect, and instead aim for the merely sufficient. The secret to happiness is learning to make due with what's within realistic reach.
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      Dec 5 2013: I think your opinion applies to most of us,we are all supposed to be content within realistic reach.

      But I still think an ideal job is possible,because it is not merely a job itself,it is the one who takes the job feels a feeling of satisfaction,in that perspective,the ones being content with their job have the ideal job.
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        Dec 5 2013: But nowadays in this competitive world,for those looking for an ideal job,there are only two choices:an ideal job, or no job at all.
        I do think one must be really very lucky in order to get a job he is passionate about.
        Best wishes to myself when i find my job someday.
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          Dec 6 2013: Managing your career requires you to view your professional development as a path or a direction, rather than a point or a job. Your career is not a one-time decision made after graduation, but rather an iterative process that you refine or redefine as you grow professionally.

          How do you know what will happen if you don't try? Plus you're so young, I never had concern about my job at your age. You can also learn a lot from some jobs you don't like much. The important thing is to think strategically.
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    Dec 4 2013: It seems that new grads are facing gloomy prospects in countries all across the world. Young people's expectations are a bit of unreasonable in terms of their capability. But is it the only reason that caused this dilemma? What measures sould we take to sort of alleviate this overshadowing tide?
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      Dec 5 2013: I think you have asked a very good question. In our reality, people may not be able to realize their inclinations and interests in job as quickly as they want.Sometimes it's also the living conditions that restrict their possibilities of taking up their dream jobs. But there's a famous saying: Where there is a will, there is a way. And in the HBM course, it's said you can plan your career strategically step by step to attain your goals. Please see the followings about how to sculpture your ideal career wisely.

      "Also, professional development doesn't necessarily mean changing your career or job, or discovering your ideal career for the first time, as a person new to the work force would do. It can also mean growing and increasing your satisfaction within your current role and professional path."

      "By regularly attending to your development and updating your skills, you become increasingly valuable to your company. You can also derive more and more satisfaction and stimulation from your work.

      What if you work for a small company or have launched your own business? You can still think strategically about your career. And you'll probably feel even more responsible for your professional growth. Why? Because, unlike many employees in large corporations, you won't have access to an in-house career center or company-sponsored professional-development programs—leaving your career development entirely up to you."
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        Dec 5 2013: Good answers,Yoka,thanks.

        Sound like you have wonderful experience in the HBM course. The information you provided should be introduced to students before they come out.

        As the words'successful career',I think it varies among us. We never know what will happen in the long run. I always thought I would be a scientist when I was in high school,but now I am a teacher. But I never regret on the path that I have chosen.

        IMO,one thing for sure is we should follow our hearts, when we look back, we shall say I am proud of the path I have chosen.

        It's been proved by many paradigms,that having a mentor on a career path gives immense advantage for a person newly started,it offers the insights and advice are priceless.
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          Dec 6 2013: You're welcome. I also think these tips are very good for the students to read before they decide which direction to go for their career. It's a pity that I was too late to see these. But still I think I have chance. It's also said change could be healthy~! People should know how to remain competitive among all the changes.

          "Organizations large and small now realize that, in order to remain competitive in a fast-changing world, they need employees who:

          Are dedicated to the idea of continuous learning
          Regularly assess their interests, values, and skills so as to figure out the kinds of work for which they are best suited
          Are committed to their company's success
          Understand the skills and behaviors the company will need in the future—and are willing and able to respond quickly and flexibly to develop those capabilities
          Can move easily across functional boundaries and are able to switch between regular duties and special projects
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          Dec 6 2013: By the way, you can be both a teacher and a scientist.:)
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      Dec 5 2013: Tips about knowing yourself:

      Knowing yourself includes articulating:

      What types of work you like to do
      Which activities give you the most meaning
      What kinds of environments you prefer to work in
      What sorts of people you like to work with
      What abilities you possess and those you need to develop

      How do you go about identifying your core business interests, work values, and skills? You have three sources of information to which you can turn to begin this clarification process:

      Your colleagues, friends, and family
      Formal assessment tools ( ask a career counselor for help etc.)"
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        Dec 5 2013: I also noticed people's minds are blank when it comes to competitive jobs like banker,doctor,teacher,etc. Because the factors that appeal to people are far more complicated,we would tend to choose a job with securer income,less pressure,high social status,rather than truly apply to our own ability and potential.
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          Dec 6 2013: Yes, I know. I think all depend on growing and increasing your satisfaction within your current role and professional path. Sometimes some people would prefer a job with a lower pay but with much more satisfaciton(working evironment, surrounding people, less pressure, stability,good access to some development or chances to travel all over the world etc.)
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    Dec 7 2013: Many students, unfortunately, were sold a bill of goods by their parents and faculty advisors. For one thing, there are few, if any, ideal jobs in the real world.

    Also, a college degree is not, as may have been suggested, a free pass into Nirvana, or even into Oz, and, unfortunately, the supposed wizards behind the curtains, including the employers, are not prepared to deal with you. Very few of them, in fact, can recruit you or develop you into as a resource. Whereas improved technology over the past few decades has improved productivity, it has also enabled employers to reduce their labour force and, as a result, they have no people available to provide your necessary on-the-job training.

    A satisfactory work-life develops through trial and error, but is dependent on a healthy economy, a well-trained, available, qualified workforce, and a discerning political, educational and business base. Unfortunately for todays college graduates, little groundwork has been laid during the last few decades to provide this opportunity to you, and I see little evidence to date of a deliberate, combined government/education/corporate plan to alleviate your particular dilemma, or that of the young people coming along behind you.

    I am truly sorry that we have allowed this to happen.
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    Dec 6 2013: The failure of 'higher and lower' education to prepare young adults for jobs upon graduation is fundamental to the failure of education. We are educating to the past, with little understanding of all the changes in the present and increasing changes in the future. The fact that so few are able to understand this basic flaw speaks to the depths of our collective denial.
  • Dec 6 2013: If college graduates are only looking for the "ideal" job, then they are going to be unemployed for a long time. Where did you get the idea that employers are lacking ideal staffs? If they did not think their staffs were doing a good job, they would fire them.

    There is no such thing as an ideal job. All jobs have good and bad things about them and it is whether you can tolerate the bad things or the good out weighs the bad.
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      Dec 9 2013: I got the idea by talking to my friends who are entrepreneurs struggling about workforce,and own study on the current job market. There is a compromise between the employers and employees,both have to maximize their interests by harnessing the power at their disposal. They hire a person because they need him,not because they are content. Also,the ubiquitous argument between employer and employee is an evidence that discontentment exists in every company.
      • Dec 10 2013: "They hire a person because they need him,not because they are content" This happens sometimes but not as often as people think, even in start ups (especially because they have do not have the time and money) I know that companies are looking not only for technical skills but personality that will fit into the culture of the company. One person who does not fit in, can destroy a company. I personally have passed on people that had the skills but would not fit in. I like the 1980 US Olympic hockey team. they were picked to be a team, not necessarily the best players but the ones that fit together.
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          Dec 10 2013: I like the example '1980 US Olympic hockey team' you used ,I firmly believe that is the way our companies are being operated in the real world. By firing unqualified and hiring qualified,the companies try to stay on their top performance. That's why human resources is the key to a successful business.
      • Dec 10 2013: could not agree more - it took some time but a large corporation thought technical talent could be hired off the street. It was a commodity and could be handled by contracting out. After 8 years, they found out that they needed really top notch talent and they had none. They changed their minds and started hiring and using contractors for the low level tasks. The problem is the low level tasks are where you develop the young talent to become the guru's of tomorrow.

        One of my favorite sayings process help but good people make the project/product.
  • Dec 5 2013: Maybe they should study something practical like how to grow your own food, build a home, get your own energy or at least balance a checkbook..
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    Dec 4 2013: When you say "ideal job," what do you mean? Would you say that decades ago it was customary for college graduates to find ideal jobs right out of school?

    In my lifetime, people out of school typically got entry level jobs in organizations and thought in terms of working their way up to their dream jobs (in that organization or elsewhere) rather than getting such work right out of school. Many people in the workplace work for years accumulating the experience and skills to be in the positions that are their goals.

    Many people in professional work have at one time delivered newspapers, waitressed, worked retail, delivered mail, been bike messengers, or done other work that was not their final destination.

    I think an employer's idea of an ideal staff may not be attainable but hiring committed, high potential employees and providing them opportunities to grow in their jobs is ideal. In some places consortia of businesses offer training in the skills they need from employees and then hire from that pool.
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      Dec 5 2013: 'Ideal job',I have no specific definition, I think it is a job which matches a job seeker and employer's expectations in terms of its wage and work.

      I hear what you mean,but students coming out of universities have different level of ability and potential, we shouldn't and couldn't to expect them all enter into the entry level jobs. Thus it brings out a work how to precisely evaluate a student's ability and potential,it is totally another question though.

      I think the adjustment takes a long time both for employee and employer,we all need to assess the others so that we can maximize self interests. For that matter we assume both employee and employer are purely selfish.
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    Dec 4 2013: George, I can only offer a opinion ... Economic models such as Keynesian that allow spending without budgets, regard to the GDP, or costs of big government and social programs that cannot be sustained. Political leadership that put party goals, personal gains, and ideologies above the country and its citizens.

    In the USA our leadership openly stated ... a quote from Nancy Pelosi Leader of the House of Representatives .... "Lets pass this Bill (Obamacare) now and read it later." Things that all parties drafting this Bill have known since 2008 are now coming to light and more hidden clause are expected ... This type of "NON" leadership is criminal and should be punished.

    Within Obamacare came the revision of the work week from 40 hours to 30 hours causing a push back from employers and loss of jobs and reduction of full time employment ... which among other things reduces tax income for the government.

    I stated all of the above to show why student graduates are facing a hard time ... small businesses going bankrupt from government interference, policies, regulations, and investment funding drying up. Big business such as banks, aircraft corporations, credit card companies, etc ... are laying off by the thousands. Those jobs will be replaced by contracted personal and part timer employees.

    Ideal job ... heck George ... I have three in college and ready to graduate ... I hope they can flip burgers ... it may be the best thing in town.

    Lets look at the ideal staff statement .... for years high turn overs in all companies large and small has been growing. Mcdonald's went from regular cash registers to one with pictures of the product on the keys ... ask for the manager at most places and you get a kid who has rings and pins all over his face and no idea of what is happening or how to resolve the issue. They are the idea employee ... cheap labor .. no insurance ... no perks.

    Just food for thought ... Bob.
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      Dec 5 2013: Robert,thanks for the insightful opinion. You offered a new perspective that I have ignored.

      I think this problem can only be solved through the efforts of all of us,not just government alone. Aside from the over-all economic circumstances,I would like to see the education system. If we sort of restructure our education system,put more substantial professional elements into it,pinpoint to what a job or career needs,offer the students work training before dumping them out to the workplace.
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        Dec 5 2013: Agreed ... I support a two tier system that allows high schools to have dual syllabus 1) College preparatory and 2) Manual trades and arts basically technical schools.

        I also support grades based on application or demonstration.

        I support a course map of all available subjects and class to be divided into individual modules where students could work at their speed and be passed to the next module by proving competency. This would allow student to progress academically while allowing for social development with their peers. A 12 year old may be doing college math, 10th year English, and biology 101 but sitting with another 12 year old in the learning center. Mentors could pair student for conversation pits, labs, projects, etc .... Grades would be last module found competent on.

        By doing this we would do away with making a 12 year old a freak at the local university where he has no peers for social development.

        A student could complete college in the local facility ... and be entered in advanced studies .. again at the local facility. If exchange pits, labs, and forms of interaction are used this could advance education and minimalize costs.

        Just a pet theory of mine ... I wish you well. Bob.
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          Dec 6 2013: That is a terrific theory. It brings me to deep consideration,it should be introduced to the public.I wonder how you come to this systemic invention?

          I would like to see if it is enforceable,let me offer my understandings of your theory. It requires a great increase of flexibility. It truly expand individual's interests,capacity,bringing,etc. Thus it broadens the gap between those who are fully motivated and eager to learn,and those who are slack and aimless. The question then is how we act to motivate all of them to strive in their own path,sufficiently dig in their potential,not the other way around.

          Also,it creates a difficulty of supervising the students,we could not assumed they all self-disciplined.

          But in this way,parents are more involved in the study of their kids,because the schedule can be vastly individualized, which means the number of teachers we are hiring is categorically short,parents are compelled to be more active both in guiding and supervising their kids to learn.

          Wonderful discuss with you,the theory is really worthy of further discussion.
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        Dec 6 2013: Thus it broadens the gap between those who are fully motivated and eager to learn,and those who are slack and aimless.

        I hope not .. I hoped for closing the gaps. While college bound students remain in learning centers and labs ... the trades and arts centers would be more hands on for nursing, cosmetology, engine repair, heavy equipment operation, business, welding, etc ... I feel like with some effort we can find a fit for almost everyone ... making school a enjoyable, productive, cost effective learning environment for everyone ... thus a better prepared graduate .. It would be foolish to think that there would be 100% happy students ... that just means I would work harder to resolve issues on a one on one basis.

        The question then is how we act to motivate all of them to strive in their own path,sufficiently dig in their potential,not the other way around.

        There would not be any in your face competition ... the computer would monitor all course maps ... a flag would come up when a student is out of balance (to much science .. not enough math) and make recommendation to regain balance. This would be monitored by mentors ... perhaps one for every 100 students. There should be benchmarks ... at age 12 Science module 27, Math module 32, Reading module 41 .... Most student will be ahead .. if not the mentor would examine the issue and seek a solution on a individual basis.

        The trick would be to make the modules interesting and challenging .. to engage the student. I would also suggest that all work and no play is not a good strategy ... have some deviation ... physical activities ... computer games at certain milestones ... Need a few days off ... no sweat nothing to make up and nothing missed ...

        Is it perfect .. no way. I do think it would gives us the bang for our bucks ... it is also a center where adults could use for continuing education ... lots of options.

        Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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      Dec 8 2013: How true and how sad that people would sink so low.