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Glenford Smith | Career advice to young graduate

Published:Monday | October 1, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Question: I just completed an associate of science degree in social work at the Moneague College. I will receive my associate degree at graduation in November. I've applied to social work agencies. I've also applied to schools for a job as a guidance counsellor, dean of discipline and even a health and family life education teacher. Can you please tell me where else I can apply with an associate degree in social work? I honestly don't know where else to apply. I've sent out so many applications and received no response.


Answer: Congratulations on earning an associate degree. Make sure you pause for a moment and celebrate your accomplishment. Remember, before you got into Moneague College how confused you were; and you weren't sure what to expect? Well, you proved to yourself that you have what it takes. You made it through.

In applying to social-work agencies, schools and family life education centres, you are doing very well so far. And in reaching out to find where else you may apply when you get your associate degree, you have done even better.

As a young graduate at the front-end of your career, let me proffer some advice that is sure to be of use to you, both now and further as you advance in your career.

Don't allow yourself to get caught up in what everyone else is saying about how hard a good job is to come by and things like that. Listen to your instincts and intuition - your own inner voice - before embarking on a career destination. Seek out what people around have to say, but always ask yourself: What do I feel and think? Everyone around you can only point you to where they think you could go and what they think you can do.

They can only base their opinion on what they can see and what they have concluded from what you say. But these are merely guesses. Only you know the truth about you. So you must always come back and ask what your own mind is telling you, authentically. And then follow your own gut feelings, regardless of what others around you are telling you to do. Over time, you'll grow to trust yourself.

You have identified a dean of discipline and guidance counsellor as careers that may interest you. So, too, would social work and health and family life education. These are very good to start with.

Instead of just sending out your rÈsumÈ like that, why don't you pick the one that is most appealing to you? I know - this is counter-intuitive. The popular wisdom is that the more rÈsumÈs a person has in the job market, the better their chances of someone seeing one and getting called in for a job interview.

Research everything about the company you have chosen. Know all you can about the principals of the company, including who the CEO, deputy CEO, director of human relations and the deputy director are, as well.

In your research, try and categorise the problems and frustrations they are having at the company. Then get some help in writing a strong rÈsumÈ and cover letter, proposing yourself as a possible solution to the problems they are having.

This is a much better course of action than me telling you to apply here or apply there, in addition to the companies you have already targeted. This also has the advantage of knowing specifically what you are applying for.

Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. Email