Beyond The College Degree: Sharpening Skills for a Competitive Job Market

Share Article

Leadership and relationship skills help graduates stand apart from the crowd in a tightening job market. Barbara Fagan, professional development master coach and president of Source Point Training, explains how coaching is a 'level up' experience that can have a lasting impact on careers and lives.

Professional development coaching is a ‘level up’ experience that can have a lasting impact on the rest of your life. - Barbara Fagan

Saddled with student loans and a stagnant job market, job-seeking graduates also face shrinking salaries and smaller benefits packages. It is no surprise that competition to attract recruiters and employers for the best placements is ratcheting higher and higher. "One way to stand apart from the crowd is to cultivate skills in leadership and relationship management," says Barbara Fagan, president of Source Point Training (

In every employment sector, whether corporate or public, managers are under increasing pressure to generate more productivity with a smaller workforce. The search for job candidates goes well beyond GPAs and degrees. "Employers want more," she continues.

Fagan is also master coach and facilitator at Source Point Training, a leader in experiential and inspirational leadership coaching based in California. Source Point Training is recognized by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as a coach training organization and offers more ICF-approved CCE units than any other coach training organization in the U.S.

“The problem is that these skills are not taught in the classroom and they are not gleaned from a weekend reading of a self-help book or online course,” she says. “And despite what you may have heard, good leadership and relationship skills are not talents bestowed to a lucky few. They are best taught through real experience. But, not necessarily on the job.”

Corporations and seasoned professionals are increasingly seeking professional development coaching as a means to acquire these unique skills. According to a study conducted in 2008 by PriceWaterHouseCoopers and Association Resource Centre, Inc., companies that use professional coaching reported a median return on investment of seven times their initial investment. The study also found that individuals who participated in coaching reported a median return on investment of 3.44 times their investment.

The survey also found that 80% reported positive change in self-esteem/self confidence among participants of professional coaching along with a positive change in business relationships through improved communication and work performance. An overwhelming 82.7% of individual clients said that they were "very satisfied" with their coaching experience and 96.2% said they would repeat the experience.

Fagan started coaching Harvard MBAs over 25 years ago. Since then she has attracted young professionals just entering the work force who want to learn effective ways to contribute to organizations and build long lasting relationships.

“Coaching is a ‘level up’ experience that can have a lasting impact on the rest of your life,” says Fagan. “Through training and coaching, you gain the knowledge and practical experience that you need to be successful under pressure – like during the interview process. Then you learn how to network so that you attract the highest connections, which may lead to powerful strategic relationships and better positions for yourself. It’s really all about relationships, knowing yourself and what you want and how to get there.”

Fagan points out that college graduates and professionals alike must acquire the skills to develop relationships that are authentic and possess real value and benefits for all involved. “This requires effective planning, use of time and resources and as the older generation would say ‘common sense and good manners’,” says Fagan.

College students should begin coaching as early as possible – before they enter the job market. Source Point Training provides leadership coaching programs that run more than 10 weeks that are designed to accelerate a student’s interpersonal skills, strategic planning abilities and assure they are on the right path to success long before graduation.

Announcing a professional development coaching program in Seattle, WA

Students are invited to participate in a robust program that features 4 days of classroom learning and 10 weeks of one-on-one coaching in Seattle, WA. The program is titled “Leadership Source: Lead with Purpose and Vision” and begins the weekend of October 8-9, and after 10 weeks of coaching, ends the weekend of December 4-5, 2011. The training portion of the program will be held at the Red Lion Hotel, 1415 Fifth Avenue, in Seattle, WA.

This program is open to all professionals and students in the Seattle-WA area including Vancouver-CAN, Portland-OR, San Francisco-CA, and San Jose-CA.

Attendees will learn important “secrets” of successful leadership such as:
Values of World Class Leaders and how they drive others;

  • Accountable choices that lead to positive results;
  • Listening skills that build rapport and solid relationships;
  • Utilize “personal purpose and vision” to guide your daily actions;
  • Effective communication that drives committed action; and
  • Source Point Training’s 3Ps of successful planning.

The Seattle, WA training and coaching program is also facilitated by Barbara Fagan and Kelly Mobeck, the director of the Leadership Source program. Participants will also work alongside people who share their aspirations and goals. Student discount available.

For more information, visit, email admin(at)sourcepointtraining(dot)com or call 800-217-5660 x103.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kelly Mobeck
Visit website