My response started off with “you know the complaint about most professors is they don’t seem to care about career stuff. They teach their discipline, but don’t even talk about job search, career management, networking, or any of that stuff. How many professors actually network on their own??”
I probably started that response off wrong, however, I’ve heard it a lot and I saw it at Idaho State University, where I got my undergraduate and my MBA.
The last part of my response was better: “Let them know that they’ll probably be changing jobs every two years, for their entire career.” He liked that answer more
Two points about those “every two year” job changes:
- They might be with the same company. I don’t want to preach doom and gloom about this – it still is possible to stay with one company for a long time. But you’ll probably be in different departments of capacities during your tenure there.
- The job changes are not all going to be on your own terms. Getting laid off, downsized, reduction-in-forced (RIFed) are all in your future (probably).
It’s a lot easier for me to sell someone on the concept of JibberJobber after they’ve been beat up a few times in their career… maybe the message to students would be better accepted after they’ve been working at a few different companies.
Finally, I regularly ask myself how to get older professional to care about networking :p