I'm one of those people who really, really enjoys her job. I love working with college students and alumni, assisting them as they begin their career journey. But sometimes I just have to shake my head and laugh. I manage a small career center, basically I am the only person in the office who does career counseling, provides cover letter and resume writing assistance, mock interview, job search strategies, etc. My philosophy of career development is that I want to empower others, to provide them with the tools they need to be successful but ultimately they are responsible for the final product. Over the years I have had some real strange conversations with students Here are just a few:
Student - I hear you write resumes.
Me - No, sorry you heard wrong, but I'd love to teach you how to write your own and I'd be happy to assist you with writing one.
Student - Well you don't understand I'm VERY busy.
Me - (nodding my head, trying to show my empathy skills) I'm sorry to hear that,I'm pretty busy myself. I need to provide services to all the students and alumni here at the college so you can see I really can't write your resume for you. But again, I'd be happy to teach you how to write one.
Student - Well I just don't have time, I'd be happy to pay you to write it for me.
Me - Gee that's very kind of you, but you see the college is already paying me to teach you how to write a resume, so it would really be a conflict of interest for me to take your money.
Student (Leans close and whispers) I promise I won't tell anyone.
This volleying went back and forth for a few minutes before the student finally asked me if I could recommend a resume writing service to her. I couldn't of course because I had never had to recommend a resume writing service. Every other student I met was very eager to learn how to do this, it is after all the first step in a job search. This student did come back a few weeks later after learning what a great deal I was, or perhaps the time commitment it would take to tell her story to someone who was willing to take a lot of her money to write her resume for her.
Student walks into my office and says she is really nervous about an upcoming internship interview and asks if I can assist her in any way.
Me - Sure, I'd be happy to do a mock interview with you, but before that let me give you a handout on preparing for an interview. I give her the handout and she looks excited.
Student - Wow this has sample questions that an employer might ask?
Me - Yes, along with questions that you may want to ask the employer.
There is a few moments of silence while she is looking over the handout.
Student - Where are the answers?
Today's conversation with a student takes the cake though and I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.
Student - Did your assistant tell you why I made an appointment to see you?
Me - Well she make a note on the calendar that you had some questions about your job search.
Student - Yeah, I have not received any job interviews and I'm trying to figure out why.
Me - Okay well, can you tell me what sort of positions you are looking for and how many resumes you have sent out?
Student - (Blank Stare) I have no idea.
Me - You have no idea?
Student - Haven't you been sending out my resume for me?
Me - (Blank Stare) Why would I be sending out your resume?
Student - I thought that's what you did here.
Me - (Another Blank Stare) No, sorry and besides, how would I know what positions and organizations to apply to for you? You and I have never met before.
Student - Oh that's true. So maybe that's why I haven't been called for an interviews?
Me - Umm Yeah.