Even recent college grads had better be able to put
experience on their resume and be able to talk about what they've gotten
out of their experience. So says Katherine Brooks' latest
blog. And she knows what she's blogging about. She has a most uniquely
titled position at the University of Texas Austin: Director of Career
Services for Liberal Arts Graduates. Don't concern yourself thinking
she's just another ivory tower type. She wears the hat, but it doesn't
fit her blogging.
When I first stumbled on Brooks' blog, Career Transitions,a
couple weeks ago, her name grabbed me. I realized that she was the
author of that fine book for graduating seniors with a liberal arts
degree, grads looking for a job that'll provide a decent living. Her
book has the catchy title, You Majored in What? And it
gets right to the issues, deciphering the job market and relieving
stress from grads in humanities and social science. I wrote a review of
her still very timely book nearly two years ago. My blog, You majored in what? provides a bit more background for you.
There are a lot of things right about a liberal arts degree, if. . .
you graduated from one of the most selective schools in the nation. Or,
if you have the wherewithal and support to go on to graduate school. And
if you fill in your liberal arts with a year of computer science,
economics, communications, etc. If you were smart enough to get summer
internships, work experience build a network. And if you got a STEM
(science, technology, engineering or math) liberal arts major.
- - - - - - -
Many liberal arts faculty don't want to become vocational school
teachers. That makes sense, but it overstates the case. As a
nationally-experienced executive coach, I've learned that liberal arts
grads tend to be the better thinkers in business, know how to learn, are
adaptable and, typically, have solid communication skills. That means
they can come up to speed quickly. Just exactly what firms are looking
for. So if you're thinking about liberal arts, a recent liberal arts
graduate or are not certain about your major's financial future, here's
the jobs' blogger for you.
Prof. Brooks' blogs are filled with great stuff, solid research and
spot-on recommendations. What I most appreciate about her blogs is not
the intense relevance or even her smart use of statistics, but the fact
that she has a bias toward evidence-based recommendations. Brooks blogs
regularly on the Psychology Today site. Here are the titles of just a
few of her most recent posts:
- Employers seek proof of your skills
- Five steps for improving your job search
- The question isn't "Are resumes dead?" The question is "Are resumes enough?"
- Are you T-Shaped? The most sought after candidates are.
- How to benefit from losing the lottery.
Brooks provides a fascinating stream of research on careers and jobs. She also has her own website, Wise Wanderings, filled with practical, highly useful stuff. Her website strategy is straightforward:
Welcome to CareerArtistry, my website dedicated to helping
liberal arts students and alumni (and just about anyone who is seeking a
new way to earn a living) navigate their way through the 21st century
job market, where linear systems are fading away and chaos reigns.
Check out Brooks' blog. I'm certain you'll find it exceptionally valuable.