New Realities at Work for College Graduates

By Tim Lutenski

     Over the past few years our society has undergone a true paradigm shift in the world of work.  The traditional vocational models of work, job, and career have been radically altered and there will continue to be dramatic, unforeseen changes taking place that will have a significant impact.  Perhaps no other segment of the population will feel this impact more than recent college graduates who are entering the world of work.  Often, when talking with these graduates, I suggest it is important to understand that "new realities" now exist which will have a powerful effect in terms of their adjustment into the modern work world.  An awareness of such realities can help them better understand and cope with ongoing changes and also enhance their ability to better position themselves to successfully function in the work environment.  For the career advisors and counselors who are assisting the recent college graduates (the "workers") entering the workforce, several of the more important new realities that I believe should be addressed include the following.

I.     Adopt a new perspective and viewpoint regarding the traditional job

II.      Identify new and unmet needs created by change

III.       Develop and acquire new skills.

IV.    Remain flexible and adaptable.

V.      Write, develop, and continuously update a key message.

      More than ever, college graduates entering the workforce today are responsible for developing a career while simultaneously incorporating continuous changes in the work world that occur, which they must anticipate and respond to.  "Careers" and "work" today generally encompass many jobs and work situations and there are any number of "new realities" that must be faced.  The new worker must keep abreast of and deal with these new realities in a proactive fashion by effectively preparing themselves, organizing their luck, and taking advantage of opportunities.  Understanding fundamental new realities as they apply to the world of work is an important component in enhancing the effectiveness of career choices and decision making, and can play a significant role in helping ensure future career success and happiness. 


Tim Lutenski is an Instructional Specialist at St. Clair County Community College (Port Huron, MI) and the Director of For Your Career.  He teaches courses, workshops, and seminars, coordinates training in career and educational planning, and provides coaching and consultation services.  Tim works with individuals, groups, and organizations dealing with career issues, and volunteers in providing career guidance to those with special needs, including ex-offenders, survivors of domestic violence, and the homeless.  He can be reached through his web site at www.foryourcareer.com or via email at info@foryourcareer.com.

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