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Message to college grads – you have it all wrong! May 31, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, anxiety, career success, coaches, Coaching, emotional decisions, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, Gen Y's, life balance, new jobs, Personal Success, professional speakers, Satisfaction, succeeding during a recession, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Plan, Veracity.
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Takeaway:  What’s the benefit of an education if you can’t find a job?  In this week’s blog, another perspective.


It’s that season again.  Across North America young adults are joining with fellow students to get their diplomas at the Grad Ceremony.  I hope this will be a wonderful day or weekend for them all.  They’ve invested a lot of time and money to get an education, and, certainly they deserve to celebrate their success.

Unfortunately, the grad ceremony may their last celebration for a long time.

Here’s why:

These young people graduate expecting to be able to put their education to use in a job that they care about; but unfortunately, real life’s not like that. You would hope after making such a major financial investment in their futures, the grads would be better prepared to move forward into the next phase of their life.

But they’re not.

Even after, for some, 4 years spent in college, new grads rarely have the tools they need to create a satisfying life. In fact, college focuses on all the wrong things. Anyone wanting a life that’s both successful and satisfying needs to know how to take a long term view and picture their lives 10 years from now. This doesn’t have to be difficult, there’s a method that’s been used by both individuals and organizations to do just that. But, without a clear idea of what you want, and how you’re going to get there, it’s unlikely that your college degree by itself is going to get you where you want to go.

Many colleges know that they’re not giving students the tools they need to enter into the real world successfully – a few years ago I was invited to speak on the subject to an organization called The International Academy of Business Disciplines.  One of the key purposes of this group of academics is to assess current trends in the real world to ensure that the schools they represent are preparing their students adequately to succeed.

Unfortunately, far too few colleges and course providers are doing that as proactively.

Consequently, in college, many students focus on the current term and not on what happens after graduation. Unfortunately, many carry that same approach into the real world. And that can lead to disaster and disappointment. The key is to know what you want, and how you’re going to get it.

We talk about that a lot in our new book, The Plan, which was co-written with Helen Latimer.  In it we outline essential techniques to realize true life-balance, career success and financial independence. We use an approach to creating a plan for their lives based on a method of planning used by successful businesses and organizations around the world.

The good news is that it’s not too late for grads to get on the right track. There are clear steps to achieving a full and satisfying life.  Hopefully, they recognize this themselves, or someone will point them to the benefits of making a clear plan.

Here’s to the future.



$6 got him a job May 13, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", business success, Business Success Coach, career planning, Coaching, new jobs, Personal Success, succeeding during a recession, unemployment action, Veracity.
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Came across this today, and I agree with others at You Tube that it’s probably the most clever approach one could use to get a job.

Looking forward!

These 5 tips will help you become a great leader October 20, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, business success, Business Success Coach, career success, Career Wisdom, Coaching, Notes for Business, Personal action plans, Personal Success, small business coach, succeeding during a recession, Veracity, women in management.
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Great leaders seem to know exactly what to do at the time.  In this week’s Veracity blog, executive coach John M McKee shares 5 tips he’s seen used by some of the best.


I was pleased to see that Jason Hiner, Editor in Chief of TechRepublic, liked some of my work on leadership enough that he made a video using tips I’d created.

He’s done a great job of focusing on the most valuable tips in 4 1/2 minutes.

If you’re a leader, or intend to become one, check it out here. I created the original article based on some of the best – and most effective – approaches I’ve seen used over my 30 years in business and coaching.

If you can’t use at least one of these to improve your game – I’ll be very surprised!

Here’s to your future!


6 Good tips for job searching September 16, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, anxiety, business success, career planning, Coaching, Job advice, Personal action plans, succeeding during a recession, Tempur-Pedic, Veracity, Women.
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This week, executive and business coach John M McKee shares 6 solid ideas to consider when looking for a new job.


“Each day brings with it new opportunity and the chance to move forward.”
As nice as though words are, and as much as many readers would like to believe in them, I know from my clients and contacts that there are a lot of people who, simply, don’t.  For them and anyone else in the job search mode, I suggest you check out ExecuNet online.  They go beyond what many subscription services do and provide real and actionable ideas.

The group at ExecuNet are constantly offering a few tips which are not the typical, “here’s how to get a job” ideas that everyone is publishing all the time now.  I thought this week’s newsletter suggestions were very worth sharing – I’ve copied some of it here:

1. Focus on networking with people you don’t know as quickly as possible. During the first month of a search, contact a minimum of 50 “warm” contacts, those you know and with whom you are comfortable. After the first month, network to at least 100 new contacts every month.

2. Search for interim roles when you begin your search. Up to 40 percent of the time, interim roles lead to full-time positions. When you work on an interim/consulting basis, you and the company become so comfortable with each other that a full-time position is often created.

3. Target smaller companies. Research Dun & Bradstreet, Moody’s Million Dollar Directory, Standard and Poor’s, Hoover’s and other websites for valuable smaller company information. The reference section at public libraries provides access to these resources, sometimes for free.

4. Identify underperforming companies. A significant portion of competition for jobs comes from working executives. During a weak economy, they are less inclined to move to a struggling company which carries greater risk. Therefore, there is less competition for these jobs.

5. Spend less than 10 percent of the time contacting and working with recruiters. Executive job seekers are advised to limit their involvement to those recruiters they have retained in the past or are referred to them by close friends and colleagues. Even recruiters themselves acknowledge the limitations of obtaining an executive position by relying too heavily on search firms, because recruiters only account for about 10 percent of all executive hires.

6. Allocate no more than five percent of your search effort responding to published job leads and Internet postings. Responses should only be made to opportunities which closely match your skills and experience. Thousands of individuals see these opportunities, dramatically increasing competition and reducing the odds of securing the position. Be sure you are a “best fit” for a published/posted opening.

The advice above was adapted from Change Your Job Search Approach in a Recessionary Economy by Tucker Mays and Bob Sloane, which was originally available to ExecuNet members in November, 2008. If you are interested in the entire article, or other expert advice like it, consider an ExecuNet membership.