The personal and professional benefits of good-fit work are profound. Research firm Civic Science found people who were very happy at work were an astounding 2100% more likely to be happy in life overall. This makes sense when you consider most people spend a large percentage of their waking hours at work. Finding work well-suited to you is also a huge competitive advantage when it comes to professional success. People who care about their work are more motivated, learn faster and tend to have better relationships with their bosses- all of which expand their future options. These effects compound over time, which means finding engaging, motivating jobs early reaps enormous dividends later on.
Given the massive payoff for finding good-fit work, how is it that more people never find it- including many highly accomplished individuals who have lots of options? We believe it’s because students and professionals don't know how to figure out which jobs are well-suited for them. It sounds easy, but it's actually not. As the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow observed, “It isn't normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement.” This is true when it comes to romantic partners and it's true when it comes to jobs. Compounding the problem, students report getting little good advice on how to pick jobs well. Very few students ever so much as take a single class in the subject in their almost 20 years of schooling.
We created Education Evolution to help fill this gap. Our class presents critical information students need to know about how to find good-fit work. Career mentorship packages add the critical dimensions of 1-on-1 guidance, structure and accountability, which vastly increase the odds students do the necessary work in a timely manner to build the skills they need to find and get good-fit work . And getting an early start doesn’t just save time, it puts students on a different trajectory with compounding benefits.
Students will be working directly with Lauren Paer, Founder of Education Evolution (see her bio and reviews). Mentorship packages are the length of a semester (15 weeks) so students can neatly fit them into their college schedule, though you can begin them at any point in the year (subject to availability).
1) Choice Curation
My biggest stumbling point and the one that’s echoed the most by my clients, was not knowing where to begin. It’s impossible to get anywhere if you can’t figure out where to start. Outside of few standard tracks (doctor, lawyer and the oh-so-ambiguous “businessperson”), most students and even professionals simultaneously feel ignorant of what’s out there and overwhelmed by the intimidating number of options they know must exist. This overwhelm frequently leads students to push off making a decision at all until they have to, at which point they are forced into rushed decisions based on expediency and convenience rather than whether the job is legitimately a good fit or not. The same overwhelm keeps unhappy professionals stuck in their uninspiring jobs. This behavior supports Columbia professor and choice expert Sheena Iyengar’s research, which shows too many choices (which in most cases means more than 7) overwhelm us. In response, we either make the decision based on poor heuristics or we avoid making a decision altogether. This is exactly what we see with college students and unhappy professionals.
One of the first things I work on with my clients is brainstorming a short list of jobs we have reason to believe will fit them well. Many people find themselves stuck in a short, unproductive loop in their head when it comes to potential jobs. Throwing out ideas I see that triangulate their interests, strengths and values, helps them break this loop and generate new ideas of their own. We co-brainstorm options and then they can pick the few they believe are most promising. I typically suggest clients pick 3-5 careers to begin with. This keeps the number of jobs they’re researching and thinking about manageable. This gives them confidence in their ability to come to an answer, allows them to focus and helps them begin moving towards a future they’re excited about.
2) Guidance and encouragement during implementation
At some point, we’ve all had someone explain to us how to do something and thought we thought we understood until we actually tried to do it ourselves. While it sounded straight-forward, in practice there were sticking points that we weren’t quite sure how to get past. This can and does happen when looking for good-fit work, especially when it comes to students since they have very limited experience with the process and a smaller professional network. Sometimes you reach a dead-end on a path you were heading down and you’re not sure how to redirect yourself. Sometimes your emails aren’t getting responses and you’re not sure why. One of the big advantages of having a personal tutor is that when things obstacles come up, there’s someone there to guide you through it and answer your questions.
Looking for good-fit work can also be difficult and discouraging at times. In many ways it’s like dating. When things fizzle out a few times in a row, it can feel hopeless. Motivation dwindles and doubt seeps in. At times like these, having someone there to assure you it’s all part of the process and remind you of what you’ve done well and what you have learned can be the difference between giving up and sticking with it. Like with dating, perseverance pays off.
Since we don’t have formal classes on finding work well-suited to us, there’s no homework, deadlines or due dates to make sure we do the work. Even when we have a good sense of what to do (which we often don’t) and the best intentions, time can get away from us and career exploration somehow tends to end up on the bottom of the list of things to do. For college students, career exploration is competing with school work with due dates and that’s graded, not to mention their social lives. For professionals, searching for good-fit work is competing with spending time with friends, working out, doing chores and savoring precious free time.
More than anything else, accountability increases the chance something gets done in the digital age when we all feel chronically busy. When students know I’m going to be checking their work and talking to them 1-on-1 about it, the odds they do the work go way up. We believe personalized attention is the best way to make sure students get on this early, which will give them a huge edge over time. If they start this early, they will line up better and more relevant internships while in college. And your resume is the #1 thing employers care about. It’ll be much easier to craft compelling narratives in interviews going forward, which will give them more confidence- another huge interviewing edge. Doing this early doesn’t just save time, it can significantly change trajectories as well as the number and attractiveness of future options.
These are premium packages are in the 4-figure range and not for everyone. We hold workshops that are less expensive (they only cost $125). But for those who are in a position to make the investment, there is no replacement for personalized attention and custom-tailored advice. If you’re interested or have questions, please email Lauren.
1) Personalized mentoring and strategizing: 45-minute calls every other week
Every other week for a semester, I'll talk to your child for 45 minutes by phone or Skype. First, we’ll to discuss their last research assignment (which I’ll review prior to our call) and any questions that came up during the process. Then I’ll go over teaching points and explain how to apply them to the next assignment and how this assignment builds on previous ones.
2) Independent research assignments
Every other week, I’ll assign an independent research and/or self-assessment assignment. The assignments are sequenced to take your child through the process of an internship hunt. They’ll brainstorm potential good-fit job options, select one to pursue, research it, network and apply. The assignments will be due two days before our calls, so I'll have a chance to review them and prepare feedback. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours/week on these assignments.
3) First semester reflection/ second semester strategy session: 75-minute call
In early January, I’ll talk at length with your child about what they learned over the course of the semester, what they think they did well and anything they want to work on. We’ll discuss how their thoughts have changed regarding what they’re looking for in a job. Finally, we’ll go over what they want to accomplish in the coming semester, listing out specific goals and talking through how they plan to accomplish them.
4) My time-saving career hunt resource guide
Filled with different self-assessment tests (and their pros/cons), work exploration checklists, books and online resources to make sure you have everything you need to successfully find engaging, motivating work both while we're working together and after
5) From College to Real World Success Class tuition waiver
From College to Real World Success teaches students what makes people happy at work, a process to find good-fit work, how to conduct informational interviews (a powerful tool for job hunting) and tips on how to use college to set themselves up for real world success. This information serves as a solid foundation for the work we do and it’s highly recommended students take the workshop before we begin working together.
We have a very limited number of mentoring packages available, so if you’re interested in get in touch soon.
Disclaimer: Although it’s a fantastic bonus if your child ends the semester working together with an internship offer, the goal of the career mentoring package is for your child to learn the process of how you effectively hunt for a job (including deciding which job/cluster of jobs to go after) and to start building the necessary skills to do so... Read full disclaimer