Inspiration For Writing My Book
By: John G. Bendt
I wrote A Roadmap To Career Success - 25 Tips For College Bound Students, because I’m concerned that most high school students spend little time and effort exploring and evaluating what they want to do when they enter their work lives. They also have little understanding of the workplace, and no action plan to prepare for a happy and successful future.
It’s paradoxical that college-bound students and their parents put so much energy into selecting and gaining admission to a good college, yet give only minimal thought to such tasks as selecting a future occupation and learning the workplace soft skills required to compete in a global job market. Many students thus enter college with little direction and are naive about how the real world functions.
I find this disturbing for a number of reasons. First, it has serious consequences. Surveys show a gap exists between the soft skills college graduates possess and what they need to be successful in their careers. For example, according to a 2016 study by PayScale (a compensation and benefits information software company) and Future Workplace (an executive development firm), 60 percent of the 63,924 managers surveyed in their study reported new grads working in their company lack the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary for the job. Other important soft skills found lacking included: communication skills (46 percent), writing proficiency (44%), leadership qualities (44 percent), public speaking (39 percent) and interpersonal and teamwork skills (36 percent). There is no doubt these skill gaps handicap the start of a new grad’s career.
Second, it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve seen the benefits my four children gained by being proactive in high school to identify interesting occupations they found satisfying and fulfilling. I’ve witnessed them winning the jobs they wanted when they started their careers, because they learned and practiced important workplace soft skills like those listed above while in high school and college. I see them doing well and happy in their jobs today. I also have seen middle school and high school students respond positively in career prep seminars I’ve volunteered to teach. The notion that middle school and high school students are too young for career prep activities does not square with the experiences I’ve had with teens.
Most schools do not connect the dots between school curriculum, selecting a career path, competition in the workplace and the skills required to compete successfully. When the dots are connected to form a big-picture, I’ve found teens get it, and are more likely to do a better job of preparing for their future. When I searched for a book that would help teens understand the big-picture of how to achieve happiness and success in their work life, and couldn’t find one, I decided to write one.