Career Coaching at AfterJET 2015 (Tokyo Bay Makuhari, Japan, 02/10/2015)
The AfterJET 2015 event was a two-day with approximately 450 participants held at Tokyo Bay, Makuhari in Chiba Prefecture. One offering of the event was Career Coaching and Counseling for departing JETs.
It was great seeing some many intelligent, passionate and ambitious people at the Career Coaching Sessions. With so many varied skills sets and background it made for very dynamic and interesting Coaching Sessions.
Here's a sampling of Career Coaching Sessions I held:
1. Individual having studied Math and Computer Science with a strong interest in Computational Linguistics, looking to understand how to break into Silicon Valley.
Would her planned graduate studies and potential Ph.D studies be a boon or bust to her career?
What additional skill sets are needed?
How to approach companies?
How to list or properly communicate the large number of online studies completed (such as through Coursera) that augmented or developed her knowledge in key areas?
2. Individual having extremely strong International Management skills, public speaking and mastery of 4 languages (Native English, Spanish skills; Fluent Japanese and Mandarin).
What career opportunities exist for me outside of interpretation and translation?
How can I approach that market?
What companies would I look for?
How do I package myself?
How would I present myself?
3. Individual having previous Military experience at an Officer level and the management of inventory, supplies & people.
Is my previous Military experience a benefit or detriment to me?
How do I describe what I did?
What title do I use?
What details or what do I put in that job experience?
How do I package and present that going forward?
When do I drop it from my resume? Does it always stay there? If so, why? Does it drop off? If so, when and why?
I still have a Military Scholarship / Credits -- does graduate school make sense? Would an MBA help me?
What other jobs could I do to leverage my background, skills and experience?
4. Individual with extremely strong Japanese language and communication skills. Long term interest in NGO's but not adverse to work initially for a For-Profit to build skills. Extremely self-motivated and ambitious.
Does this previous experience (as a comedian) hurt or help me?
What jobs can I do that utilize these skills?
What jobs should I look into?
What would these jobs do?
How do I package and present myself?
5. Individual with previous Project Management Experience, Strong Japanese and Mandarin Language skills. Looking at being a Project Manager for Chinese Multinational in China or Taiwan.
What should I expect as a project manager in China?
How does that differ from the states?
Good and bad points to consider?
How does that affect my future career?
How does the project manager handle project & product launches and kickoffs?
What is the biggest difficulties to be expected as a project manager?
What skill sets should be tempered and honed?
What skills sets should be acquired?
What is the expected career path and continuation or jump off points for a project manager?
6. Individual with good work background but questions about how to present that and what information should be shared or withhold in the interview.
How to discuss strengths and weaknesses without sounding needy, failed, weak or cocky and arrogant?
When and how to bring up and present a disability?
When is a disability a disability?
When should a disability be discussed and when should it be hidden?
How to move the interview from a Checklist Interview to something beneficial to both parties and my (participant's) advantage?
7. Individual with strong educational background, former work experience but a bit older.
What jobs can I explore and pursue that most effectively leverage these skills and experiences?
How will employers view me and my experience?
What negatives will they see?
How can I overcome these negatives or avoid them outright?
Is graduate school an option?
What are the risks of attending or not attending?
What options and risks are present for starting my own business in Japan (or another foreign country other than my home country)?
There were many other highlights and key takeaways from these Career Coaching Sessions. In the near future, I'll be making a some podcasts to discuss these and the remaining cases in very deep detail. We look at what was discussed and what conclusions, suggestions and concrete action plans were devised. Most importantly, we'll look at how these issues were unpacked and deconstructed to come to these conclusions and develop these action plans.