In 2012, I was thrilled to become a Professor of Career Development at a national University (I’ll keep the name anonymous. Why? Keep reading). I was excited to share with the students what I had learned from working in HR at a top consulting firm. I had seen many mistakes made my new hires and I didn’t want others to make those same mistakes. At that time, I had been blogging for three years and I was extremely honored to get this job offer. I was jumping for joy when I got that acceptance letter. I knew that teaching and coaching others fulfilled me and I wanted more of these opportunities.
I wanted to teach students how to figure out what their dream job was, get hired at their dream job and then have successful and happy careers.
But, I had many worries and fears. How was I going through the entire material and teach them everything they needed to know? How was I going to be the expert? What if I didn’t really know my topic and I failed at helping these students find their dream jobs.
I had to push through these fears. I was so sick of my day job and I needed an outlet. I had just made a really scary decision to go part-time at my day job to find new opportunities for my career. People thought I was crazy to go part-time and sabotage my next promotion and huge raise. But, I knew that wasn’t the right path for me. This was my new opportunity.
I completed the new hire orientation and was handed the book by the Dean. That was when everything changed.
The textbook was 6 years old. SIX YEARS OLD! I couldn’t believe that this was what students were supposed to be learning from. I skimmed the book and there was one word that was missing from the entire book.
Yes, the one social media platform that is the most important platform to job searchers today was entirely missing from the textbook. Not only that, there was also no mention of using social media to find a job or any of the stuff that I had used myself to find my dream career.
It was ironic because the only reason I got this Professor job was because of my blog listed on my resume. I was proof that you can use a blog to find a job. How could this be missing from the curriculum?
I realized I had to re-create this course myself for these students to actually get their dream jobs in the modern digital world.
I put the textbook aside and didn’t look at it again. I created my own curriculum. My own worksheets. My own frameworks. My own grading and review process. Each night, I graded the students off finding a job in the real working world. I was starting from scratch.
It took a lot of work and time. I was conflicted because I knew I could make this a lot easier for myself and them. I didn’t have to teach them about LinkedIn and I could have just given them an A. I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and this was so much work. I felt sick all the time. What was I doing! I was getting paid pennies for the hours I was putting into this course. Why pour so much into this little class that would be over in a few short weeks.
I didn’t even know how long I would continue working at this university. But, these students deserved to be prepared and ready after graduation. They deserved more than what this university was providing them. After 4 years of education, to be left without knowing how to actually find their dream job after college was wrong.
The students thrived and loved it.
I kept getting invitations from them on on this new site Linkedin that they became experts at. Their networks were opening up and they were getting more confident. They created online websites and digital portfolios. They said I was instrumental in helping them face the workforce with all the right tools. They got their dream jobs and they were motivated to see brighter futures for themselves. And most importantly, there was one thing that stood out by the feedback I received when the class was over.
They said I cared about them.
What if all students had this experience. What if all students had caring professors, career centers and career counselors that really cared about helping EVERY SINGLE STUDENT find the right career fit and get hired. Well, that’s my dream.
This experience changed everything for me and inspired a bigger mission for me.
I left the University later that year to focus solely on creating my own curriculum online. I was a different person. This was not just about helping 10 people in my classroom find jobs. This was about helping the entire world find career fulfillment. I now want to change the entire job search process for everyone including every career center, university, HR department and even every working mom stuck in her current career.
My confidence soared because I saw this need. My curriculum was already prepared and tested. It worked. Instead of staying frustrated that universities like this were not teaching the most up to date job searching methods, I realized it was me who had to step up and make change happen myself.
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