President's Blog

Helping students own their own future

Helping students own their own future

It’s common knowledge that the growth jobs of the future will require, at minimum, constant learning and skill upgrading, plus at least an associate’s degree or higher.  As a result, the push is on to increase postsecondary graduation rates. But the issue runs deeper than obtaining a postsecondary degree. In the New York Times, columnist and author Thomas Friedman describes the life challenge for today’s students as  “owning their own future”.  He notes that technology has disrupted the traditional workplace and the nature of work, such that “the notion that we can go to college for four years and then spend that knowledge over the next 30 years is over.”    So, “owning their own future” will require graduates to change the expectations they bring to the workplace.  Success in the future will be more about personal initiative than ever before, including: Taking personal responsibility for developing the skills and attitudes to support lifelong learning. Understanding how an individual’s unique blend of personality, skills, talents, preferences and knowledge can be constantly adapted to take advantage of new opportunities. Taking the initiative to update knowledge and skills through training or further education throughout life. Simply put, learning — and the self-motivation to keep learning — will be the most important life skill. It is our fundamental belief that the foundation of lifelong learning is built through giving students deep insight into their personality and an understanding of their emotional intelligence and other intelligences, along with their learning and productivity preferences. We all know that putting your innate skills and talents to work in areas where you are more comfortable and... read more
A New Year’s resolution for your job or career

A New Year’s resolution for your job or career

The first of the year is always a great time to take a moment and explore where you are in your job or career and entertain taking steps to change your direction. And yet, for every one person who takes a moment to consider their next steps, there are ten others who never actually take the plunge. So why is this? Perhaps its because the road to a new career is pock-marked with any number of hazards and missteps. Or maybe friends and family question your thinking, or fail to understand your yearning for more satisfaction in your job. Or maybe, you haven’t taken some time to really understand yourself, your strengths and how to leverage them into a career or job where you’ll find more satisfaction. This might sound like a tall order, especially if you don’t know, or can’t afford a good, qualified career coach. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five steps you can take now to jump the gap between yearning for a new career and actually having one. Make sure you now why you are looking for a new direction. Often we mistake feeling the need for more money for much deeper dissatisfactions with our jobs and careers.   Research report after research report confirms that an increase in salary rarely results in greater job satisfaction. You need a clear-eyed, deep understanding of just what is really dissatisfying to you before you can honestly search for a new direction. Understand your unique personal strengths. This involves looking at your personality type, work style preferences and skills and talents. This needs to... read more
When it comes to a new career path… it’s never too late

When it comes to a new career path… it’s never too late

Popular opinion has it that if you haven’t written your great novel, painted your masterpiece or launched your successful start-up by your mid-40s, you’re never going to do it. An interesting story in The New York Times debunks this myth, citing several examples of people finding success later in life and research to support the findings. This is great news for just about anyone who’s thinking about their career path and their future. For high school students, it suggests that they might have several successful career paths in front of them. For people mid-career, there are several career paths ahead that could lead to more satisfaction, success and fulfillment. And for those in late career or retirement, being open to new ideas and directions can lead to new levels of satisfaction and unexpected success. Here are five suggestions that can help make your new career path happen, no matter what stage of life you are at: Be open to learning new things about yourself. We are all constantly changing and being changed by our environment. Through our experiences (good and bad), we can sharpen our strengths and recognize our weaknesses. When we stop listening, we stop growing. Reach outside yourself for input. Don’t be afraid to ask others for their thoughts, be open to tools and assessments that can help you identify your strengths and potential, and learn how to translate your innate talents into a new career path. Oftentimes, the biggest barrier to change is our fear of reaching out to others. Go with your strengths. For many of us, the only real feedback we’ve ever received has been through an employee/employer review process focusing on areas... read more
Finding the right career shouldn’t depend on luck

Finding the right career shouldn’t depend on luck

What do you want to be when you grow up? Who hasn’t been asked that question? When we’re little kids we can dream big about being a pro athlete, a doctor, lawyer, musician, scientist, world leader, pilot, video game producer or just about anything else we can imagine. But the thing is, as we grow older, the answer to that question is often more difficult to answer. Back in the day, you picked a career and, if you were lucky, you were good enough at it to make a living for a lifetime. If you were lucky, you actually liked what you did. If you were even more lucky, you loved what you did. If you were lucky.  Today, more people than ever are asking that same question as the working world changes under their feet, seemingly every five years. How can anyone steer a steady path in this kind of environment? We believe a key to answering this challenge is in understanding who you are first, then applying this insight to searching out what you want to be when you grow up, or where you want to go next. Over the past 40 years psychologists have taught us that we each have a unique combination of personality traits, skills and talents and view of the world, and that unique combination that is you drives how you interact with others, how well you perform certain tasks, and, ultimately, determines how satisfied you feel with your life. Today we have clinically proven tools that can help you understand your unique combination of personality, talents, skills and preferences, and translate that insight into... read more