Saturday was my dad’s 74th birthday. He says he’s been counting backwards for a while, so for all I know he may be saying he hit 60 this year. Whatever, dude’s been around a while. A lot of times we talk about regular things; his week, my week, the weather, NASCAR, our dogs. Regular stuff. Other times I get stories. This weekend he told me that when he got tired of pointless meetings, he’d go to the conference room early and take out all the chairs and coffee. How awesome is that! To find out my dad who spent most of his career in corporate America had a bit of Seth Godin’s disruptor in him.
I like that idea, by the way. Too often meetings are just a collection of people gathering for the purpose of hearing themselves deliver information that could probably be better shared via email. By shaking things up my dad was trying to get the people to focus. Focus on what’s important. The meeting isn’t important. What’s important is what is discussed, resolved, and decided at the meeting. Just discussing numbers, not good. Whining about numbers, really not good. Discussing what to do about the numbers, better. Committing to action that you will take as a result of numbers, much better.
Last week a friend of mine was laid off. She’s a recruiter. You may have heard of her. You may have even seen her or met her. Alysse Metzler wrote a book called “The Recruiting Snitch” (http://recruitingsnitch.com/). She speaks in my class every semester. I asked her to come work in the office a bit. Sit in on the Career Coach meetings and one-on-ones. We have some new Career Coaches and I’m afraid their onboarding has been nonexistent. Since we’re short-handed I figured she could not only jump in and do some coaching, but help coach the coaches as well.
Career Coaches have three primary goals:
- Help students select an appropriate major and help them succeed in it as soon as possible.
- Once in major, move through it quickly and on time.
- Successfully place as many students as possible in permanent jobs upon graduation.
The second part of GEB 3003, the first career class, is a small group meeting that I hoped would facilitate that first goal. The student does a self assessment, reviews the upcoming classes in their major and prepares a schedule. I want them to be asking themselves, do I want to do this for the next two years? Based on what I learned about myself, does this look doable.
Inevitably, even when the answer is no, people will say yes. I can’t say much. I spent a year lying to myself that I was going to do calculus and differential equations to be an Engineer. So I want the coach spending time asking questions about the major.
Instead the small group meetings were downloads. We were just downloading the numbers (assessment results). Downloading resources. It was like orientation. I talk, you listen. We’re going to change that. I’m pulling the chairs out.
Next semester there will be a workshop before each class’s Career Coach meeting to go over the facts you need to know. I’ll record it, put it in the class, and expect that you’ve watched it before you show up for your meeting. Instead, the group meeting will be reconfigured to more of a stand up meeting:
- GEB 3003 – Is this the right major for you and why? Because I want to, it’s always been my dream, and my dad said so are NOT appropriate answers.
- GEB 3005 – Do you have a plan for securing employment? I’m going to work on this later, I still need to find myself, I already have a job I like, and I’m just going to click “Apply” on everything in KnightLink are NOT appropriate answers.
- GEB 4223 – Can you communicate your qualifications? Staring blankly at a screen and/or giggling with your roommate, saying you just went to class and didn’t really do anything, and not having a goal are NOT appropriate answers.
By the time / If you get to GEB 4004 you will at least have a goal in sight. I’d like to thank Alysse for helping me pull out the chairs. If you’d like to meet with her, got to the OPD website and make an appointment. We probably only have her for another week or so. As for the meetings, the conversations are about to get a little harder: https://pauljarley.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/hard-conversations/