Talent Coaches Don Maruska and Jay Perry Share Three Keys Graduates Need to Unlock Their Future

Share Article

Award winning authors share 3 secrets to professional development for the Class of 2014 and illuminate the best ways for families and friends to help their new graduates launch their careers.

It is crucial for trusted family members or friends to support today’s graduates. With uncertainty in today’s job market, the Class of 2014 needs all the support it can get to unlock a fulfilling future.

This spring millions of young men and women are graduating from high schools and colleges across the United States. While their hopes are running high, many still fear they will end up as overqualified burger flippers. What will become of the Class of 2014 as they navigate this rocky economy? Nationally recognized talent coaches Don Maruska and Jay Perry assure these young adults that their biggest hurdles to success lie not in the vagaries of Wall Street or quarterly jobs reports– but in their own mindsets as they strive to actualize their dreams.

The founding duo of the Take Charge of Your Talent movement share three debilitating mindsets that graduates must overcome to capitalize on their talents.

  •     Mindset #1: “I’m a victim of circumstances!”

Perry says there are many reasons that can justify why graduates might fail: “No one’s hiring in the jobs I want.” “They want people with a different set of skills than I gained.” “I didn’t have the opportunities, privileges, or support that others enjoyed.” The list can go on and on. “Certainly, there are enough difficult circumstances that anyone could write a story justifying why he or she is struggling,” he says.

How can we overcome being stuck or help others overcome hurdles? Perry says enlisting a talent catalyst is the way.

  •     Key #1: Be a catalyst to stimulate the graduate’s own action.

“Catalysts are great ways to shift the chemistry of the situation for someone else,” he says. In their practice, Maruska and Perry define a catalyst as someone who stimulates a response, accelerates results, but doesn’t get consumed in the process. The catalyst doesn’t project a personal agenda on the graduate (as if that would work anyway). Instead, the catalyst generously listens and reflects what the graduate says. This acts as a mirror to help the graduate see his or her situation from a new perspective.

The conversation should begin with “What are your hopes for your talent?” Follow up questions invite the graduate to answer, “Why are those hopes important to you?” Through their experience with thousands of clients, Perry and Maruska have found that simple, yet powerful, questions shift thinking from brain-numbing fears to brain-stimulating hopes. “Fresh energy and ideas begin to flow as the supple young minds shift into gear,” Perry reflects.

They advise catalysts to follow their script in a 45-minute conversation or find someone else with whom the graduate is comfortable.

  •     Mindset #2: “There are too many obstacles in my way!”

“Welcome to the real world. Actually, graduates have demonstrated excellence in overcoming obstacles. How many hours have they played “Dungeons & Dragons,” helped SIMS figures navigate life’s challenges, or snow boarded over tough moguls that would frighten older people? So, it’s not whether they have experience with obstacles. Instead, it’s how they approach obstacles in their own life,” says Maruska.

  •     Key #2: Use obstacles as springboards to success.

“Just as in all of their experiences outside of themselves, personal obstacles can accelerate success for newly minted graduates. They can build a list of the people, places, and things that they can use to help them. They can stretch and try new approaches with the support of others. We’ve found 15 typical obstacles and identified a tool for each,” says Perry.

He shares an example of a young professional named Melissa who felt crushed that her dream job fell out of reach. Melissa regrouped and found a way to crowd-source her idea with volunteers. She started doing what she wanted rather than wait for someone else to make it happen. Employers took notice of her initiative and ability to be resourceful.

  •     Mindset #3: “I don’t have the ‘cred’ – the goods – to claim the opportunity I want.”

“Sure, it’s tough to get a job when you don’t have one or to shift to a job you want when you don’t have experience to demonstrate your effectiveness,” says Maruska.

  •     Key #3: Create tangible demonstrations of your talent.

“It’s easy to talk a good line, but there is nothing like concretely showing results, “says Perry. He shares a real-life example of a client named Fran who wanted to be a supervisor but she had never managed people. So, what did she do? She interviewed successful managers to find out what great supervisors do. Then, she demonstrated in mock interviews and projects how she could deliver results. Using what she learned, she even wrote up a set of guidelines for first-time supervisors. She showed that she had the goods for the job.

Just as a graduate will figure out how to use an interesting new tech device if you let it lie around, Maruska and Perry encourage you to leave these keys in reach. “It is crucial for trusted family members or friends to support today’s graduates. With uncertainty in today’s job market, the Class of 2014 needs all the support it can get to unlock a fulfilling future,” Maruska finishes.

Don Maruska and Jay Perry have worked with thousands of people across the globe on talent development. They are the co-authors of "Take Charge of Your Talent: Three Keys to Thriving in Your Career, Organization, and Life" (Berrett-Koehler, 2013) with Foreword by Jim Kouzes and endorsements from Ken Blanchard, Meg Wheatley, and dozens of others. Their book has been distinguished as a “Must Not Miss” by the American Society of Training and Development. They are Master Certified Coaches with more than four decades of experience helping thousands of people nationally and internationally to advance in their careers in startups, corporations, and beyond. For more information, visit their website: http://www.takechargeofyourtalent.com.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Megan Constantino
Follow >
Weaving Influence
since: 12/2010
Like >
Weaving Influence

Follow us on
Visit website