3 reasons students resist career development (and how to address them)

JP Michel
Most students have great reasons not to engage in #careerdevelopment

Lack of time, anxiety, fear of making the wrong decision: there is a laundry list of reasons to procrastinate. If career advisors do not overcome these objections, students will fail to engage with the energy and time required to launch their career. This is partly why 43% of college grads are underemployed in their first job (Wall Street Journal, 2018). 

By understanding and addressing these objections head-on, #careeradvisors can exponentially increase the impact of their interventions. Check out the reasons below, and please add how you address them in the comments.

Reason 1 - Fear of being pigeonholed.

Most students feel like they aren’t ready to be pigeonholed into one #career, for the rest of their lives. Rightfully so!

Reframe: Help students discover that career development is about much more than choosing one job title. 

Reason 2 - It’s not the right time. 

Throughout their formative years, students are told to focus on their academics. There is almost always a midterm lurking around the corner. The result is that they don’t know how to prioritize career development. 

Reframe: Help students articulate the importance of career development. Then, help them differentiate urgent and important (for example, with the Eisenhower Matrix). If appropriate, help them craft implementation intentions for their career development activities. 

Reason 3 - I don’t need help.

Our academic models emphasize the importance of individual achievement. Asking for help from someone other than a parent and a teacher is not a regular practice for most. 

Reframe: Share stories of how others have benefited from receiving help (include others they admire, and others who are similar to them). Help students articulate these benefits in their own words. 

When career advisors tackle these objections head-on, students are more likely to engage in the career development process.
What “reasons to resist” would you add to the list above? How would you overcome or reframe them?

Photo by Ivan Borinschi on Unsplash

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