The problem with recycled graduate career guidance
Employee engagement metrics help students to prepare for future work. Source: Alex Kotliarskyi /Unsplash

As a former PhD student recently pointed out on Twitter, there seems to be a regurgitation of information around graduate career advice.

As they have rightfully shown, the same message about furthering your education and enhancing your career with a PhD has been repeated for decades.

This striking image and timeline explains why some people believe that career advice is unworthy of their time. By reading job guidance books and watching motivational videos online about choosing the right path, the repetition of data merges into one familiar sound and lacks originality.

To further investigate the issue, Inside Higher Ed developed a cycle of advice format for you to tackle the current recycling process of career guidance.

After witnessing the Twitter post featured above, they also highlighted that the image should “prompt career counsellors and others focused on career education to think of those years as a laundry cycle where we wash, rinse, spin and repeat messages about job market prospects.”

Students struggle to pay attention to repetitive career advice. Source: Shutterstock

What is the wash, rinse, spin and repeat cycle?

In an attempt to prevent the repetition of data and overused advice, this cycle acts as both a solution and a guideline to any career specialists or educators wishing to spread new advice that’s relevant to today’s ever-changing work sector.

Keep the new career advice rolling! Source: Giphy

Wash: First you must get rid of the unnecessary information by identifying it and washing away useless information. For instance, empty statements such as “follow your chosen path” or “choose the career that’s right for you.”

These statements are far too easy to feature and they also leave the reader or listener confused in their search for solid, practical advice. Once the aimless knowledge has been eradicated, there is space for fresh and insightful data.

Rinse: This is where the advice is mixed with real-world experiences and niche ideas. For instance, when advising someone to pursue their dream PhD, the topic could connect to technology and how PhDs are now available online and why a distance learning course may suit you better than a traditional campus option.

The main thing is to keep the guidance up-to-date and to merge it with the current state of employment.

Spin: Put your own spin on it – it’s as simple as that! If you’re an aspiring career counsellor or work specialist, you may have a unique perspective that will help spin the advice into something new.

By transforming career advice into tailored guidance, the recipient is more likely to feel valued and appreciated.

Repeat: But this doesn’t mean you should repeat the same information again.

Keeping a fresh supply of advice will have a lasting effect on the work sector. Soon enough, graduates who desperately need practical information will be thankful that there are people out there who have made use of this cycle.

No longer will career advisors be lost for ideas as they’ll base their findings on innovation, originality and the industry demands of today.

Fresh ideas are the foundation of change. Source: Giphy

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