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How to Get Your First Job with Beth Hendler-Grunt

George Grombacher October 27, 2022

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How to Get Your First Job with Beth Hendler-Grunt

LifeBlood: We talked about how to get your first job, giving college-aged kids the tools they need to find internships and careers, and how to help young people develop confidence, with Beth Hendler-Grunt, President of The Next Great Step, career coach for young adults, and author. 

Listen to learn why kids should take advantage of all the career resources that are available!

You can learn more about Beth at NextGreatStep.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Get your copy of The Next Great Step

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


Beth Hendler-Grunt

Episode Transcript

Unknown Speaker 0:15
what’s up? This is George G. And the time is right, welcome today’s guest strong and powerful ballhandler grant. Beth, are you ready to do this? I’m ready. All right, let’s go. Beth is the president of the next great step. She’s helping people bridge the gap between college and the real world. She’s a career coach for young adults. She is the author of the next great step. Beth, excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal life more about your work and why you do what you do. Great, thanks so much for having me excited to be here. I born and raised in New Jersey raised my family here. And I have two grown sons who was in grad school ones in college. And that’s probably relevant for what we’re going to talk about, and married to my great husband as well. But I started out actually working in the high tech sector in sales, and sales leadership. And I did that for about 15 years. And then I moved to a boutique consulting firm, where we did strategic planning and sales performance for CEOs and their executive teams. And when we met with them, the one thing they would always say to us was, I’d really like to hire a recent grad out of school. But you know, what, I don’t really have time to babysit or hold their hand, and they don’t really understand the problems we have. So I’m going to pass. And then I became of the age where I also had friends saying, I don’t understand my kid went to a great college, they had great grades, they cannot get a job.

Unknown Speaker 1:43
And I thought, wow, there’s this really interesting gap and disconnect between what employers need and what young adults are trying to do. And kind of applied some of the methodology the same things I taught executives about how do you have a strategy? How do you differentiate yourself? How do you present and articulate your value? And from there, I launched next great step.

Unknown Speaker 2:06
Identify a problem. Take action towards solving a problem, problem, salt.

Unknown Speaker 2:14
Fascinating, right? You’re meeting with these CEOs of companies? And they’re telling you, yeah, it’d be great. We’d love all the benefits of working with young people. They’re energetic, fresh ideas, fun to be around. But they just don’t know what they’re doing. The kids are like, I want a job. And I know what I’m doing. So bridging that gap. Yeah, absolutely.

Unknown Speaker 2:36

Unknown Speaker 2:38
what what is, what is the starting point is, is it ideal to to help kids when they are trying to make college decisions and major decisions? Does that matter? Less than we might think?

Unknown Speaker 2:55
Great question. So yeah, sometimes people get us confused with like, Are you helping my kid get into college or figure that out? So we’re kind of part two? So usually, there’s some kind of focus on, you know, is there a advisor who can help them pick the right schools pick the right major, but once they’re there, how do you then maximize that experience? How do you take the major that you’re studying? And what do you do with it? And that’s where we come in. And we ideally, would love to start working with students starting from like, sophomore, junior year, when you start thinking about that first internship, that’s when we want to talk to but the interesting part about my business is that 95% of the people that I speak to first are their parents, not the kids, because parents know very well how challenging it is to get employment, how much that their young adult might need some direction, and that a lot of times a lot of the skills and tools that they need, are not taught at school skills, like how do you network? How do you talk about your skills? How do you have a good networking conversation with someone that leads you to another point in that company or that opportunity? And I think that’s what we are able to help bring to them is some really simple structured, step by step process that really enables them to start understanding what is it that I want to do with my life? And once we help them with that clarity, then how do I then bring that to someone? And how do I get get that opportunity that I want?

Unknown Speaker 4:26
how receptive

Unknown Speaker 4:28
every child is, is unique. I’m just thinking back to my experience when when when I was even in high school, and in college, I was always, always thinking about this kind of stuff, like how do I navigate the world? How can I eventually find a job? How do I build relationships with people? So I think that part of that’s probably innate, but kids these days, how are how are they responding to this?

Unknown Speaker 4:53
So it can go one of two ways. I’m also the mom of a college sophomore, and I have my oldest one graduated class.

Unknown Speaker 5:00
Sup 2021. So I am living this real time when I started, I started the business over seven years ago. So my kids were younger. But as we’ve evolved, and they’ve evolved with me, I really understand the challenge. Some young adults are very motivated and want the guidance and want the help. But the hard thing for parents and I’ll say collectively, for all of us, is that sometimes we just have to wait until they feel that they’re ready for the help. Right, we can only impart our opinions and thoughts and direction only so much, it’s, they have to want it, they have to feel that this is the right time for me to really start exploring, they need to try things out, they need to make mistakes, they need to experience things to then say, You know what, I’ve tried to get myself an internship, and I don’t know how people are doing it, and I need some help. Or I’ve tried to land that job, and I’ve applied apply to 100 jobs online, and nothing happened, I need a different way. Because clearly what I’m doing is not working for me. So it’s kind of a, you know, as parents, we can encourage and guide, but I think it’s more about when they’ve suffered a little bit and had a little bit of pain, then there’s more open to saying, You know what, I’m ready to hear about maybe another way of doing this.

Unknown Speaker 6:19
Yeah, at some level, most of us probably do need to touch that hot stove on our own to recognize that we need some kind of an intervention. So I appreciate that. Yeah, in a perfect world, there’s probably 10% of of young people who are just, they’re gonna make it happen on their own. And then there’s 10%, who are probably going to struggle if it’s not bigger, and then that 80% that’s in the middle, that’s really where the opportunity is to, to help guide and mold and give the skills and tactics, then resources and practical things to really help them to be successful. Yeah, no question, no quit. And you know, it’s still a problem. Even a job market is hot. And unemployment is low. The Federal Reserve actually just came out with last week, that recent grads, even since January of 2021, their ability to be employed has still continued to go down. And in terms of their the segment that has still the most difficult time gaining employment in the areas that they want that really enable them to launch into a career.

Unknown Speaker 7:24
Yeah, it’s fascinating that and I’m certainly on the outside looking in.

Unknown Speaker 7:30
At this point, from that perspective,

Unknown Speaker 7:33
when when I’m trying to get an internship, if I am that college sophomore, does it matter what my major is? Or can I position myself to, even if I’m an English major, but I’m just I’m passionate about writing, but it’s not my intention to be an author or professor, I want to go into business or sales? Is it possible for me to get an internship? Or how do I do that? Absolutely. I think that’s the biggest misnomer that I think so many students think that if you pick a particular major, that you have to go into the what’s considered the normal process, if you’re an English major, that you need to be a writer journalism, that is not the case, I think it’s really about what I tell our students is how do you connect the dots, if you are an English major and you want to get into finance, well, then maybe you just need to join a club, whatever. What are you doing to help improve your finance knowledge, maybe it’s not in the classroom, maybe it’s out of the classroom, maybe you’re investing on your own, maybe you’re taking a mini course, maybe you’re networking with people to understand, actually, employers really like to see a diverse background. So it doesn’t have to be this perfect straight and narrow path. I think it’s very possible for so many,

Unknown Speaker 8:46
young adults. And the truth is the whole idea of when you pick your major, a lot of people don’t know, that’s when you’re 18 years old, and you pick your major people aren’t really sure if that’s what you want to do for the rest of your life. So I think there’s a lot of opportunity to pick your major, do something that’s interesting to you that you think you might want to learn leverage. But it’s okay, if you want to pursue other avenues. I think there’s there’s lots of opportunities to do that. And if you look back in general, of people who work and you say, Well, what was your major and what you do now, I would guarantee you there’s a very big difference between what that is, but doesn’t have to be the straight and narrow path. Yeah, I appreciate that. So how do you what’s what’s an effective way, a great way to coach kids on figuring out how to get an internship?

Unknown Speaker 9:33
Sure, well, it starts with this process of like, just understanding yourself, right? We want to make sure that before you even send a resume or apply to a job, I think so often that’s like the gut instinct of like, let me just flood indeed or Glassdoor with lots of resumes and let me see what happens. What I always tell you is take a step back, let’s just make sure you know, like, who you are like, what’s your story? What are the skills that you want someone to know about you? So

Unknown Speaker 10:00
What is it that you’re great at? And it’s very hard sometimes for young adults to be proud and brag about things. But what is it that you know how to do really well? Are you a great writer? Are you great at analytics? Do you know how to research? Do you know how to solve problems work in a team? Let’s figure out what that is. Let’s come up with your top three and call it the core, what are your core three skills? And then for each skill? What’s the story behind it? If you say you’re in analytical, you can’t just say your analytical, you have to give me an example, if I never looked at your resume, and I never met you, what’s the very short, quick, concise skill story that you’re going to tell me about? You had an opportunity to analyze data information that how you learn to do it, and what the impact was? What was the result of you doing it? And these short stories serve as the foundation for how you talk about yourself? How you answer interview questions. And that’s really the starting point of like, who are you? What are the skills you have to offer? And then let’s talk about well, what are where do you want to bring the skills to? What are the companies that you’re interested in? What are the industries? What are the types of jobs or roles? Or do you even see other people doing a job that you want, let’s put all this down on a, you know, we get organized on a spreadsheet, list, the Companies list these names of people, let’s pick a lot of alumni who are super friendly to talk to other fellow students. And let’s start targeting very specific people. So you now have a list of who you want to talk with. And then we teach them how to actually reach out in a way that makes somebody want to speak to them and have a really good networking conversation with a plan with an intended outcome. And that really is what gets us started. Because people hire people, 80% of jobs are found by referral, they’re not actually found, do the job boards. So once we help them with that clarity and direction and the confidence to actually talk to people. That’s actually what leads them more likely to not into an internship or first job than anything else. No, there’s no question about it, that makes perfect sense.

Unknown Speaker 12:06
Simply completing a resume, which probably wouldn’t be very good, I’m thinking about myself again, and then just blasting it out on some job board or sending it to some open position is probably not going to get me the results that I really want. But taking the time to think about what I’m good at what I enjoy doing, what those core skills are, and then being able to articulate and put a narrative behind it create a story behind it, being able to identify companies or organizations. But I really think that if I can find somebody who I’m aware of that’s a real human being that’s doing something so yeah, that’s, I can definitely see myself doing that. I have to think that that’s really helpful to bring what might be a really abstract thing to really tangible. Right, and I have to ask you, right, if someone came to you and said, Well, I’m really thinking of becoming a podcast host, and I just would like to learn more about it. And then college, what’s the likelihood that you would say, Sure, I’d be so happy to spend 10 minutes talking to you about it? For sure. Right, right. So and they’re so afraid, they don’t they don’t even realize that people are that open. I think some of that’s just, I don’t know, if this generation, they’re just so fearful. And they’re so intimidated, but it’s once they have the once we help them with the competence of what they need to say, and the words and how to express themselves. They’re like shocked at how easy it becomes and how really, people are willing to help and give them information. I just tell them, just don’t beg for a job. Be curious and ask about that person. And then you have the chance to talk about yourself versus coming in, like, hey, I really need an internship and like, well, that’s like asking you to get married and we haven’t met yet.

Unknown Speaker 13:44
Yeah, having the right language is a really, really important thing. And that’s still something that I was just thinking about that yesterday. I’m like, well, I need to reach out to this person, I better make sure that I structure how I ask the right way, because I want to get the optimal result, because you might only get a couple of cracks at it. So being able to give young people the right verbiage and you know, the flow. So powerful. Yeah, absolutely.

Unknown Speaker 14:11
And the confidence to write because as I do this once or twice, and I’m okay, I sort of got this and you get to be, it’s going to create momentum, then you’ll actually hopefully get that internship that you’re looking for.

Unknown Speaker 14:25
How often are people getting jobs off of internships? Or is the value experience it’s probably all these things.

Unknown Speaker 14:33
It’s all of those things. I think. Internships are great because you can also test out what you might like or don’t like with very little risk. That’s the beauty of an internship of you’re probably going to learn something, a skill that you didn’t have, and you can make the assessment of do I like it, do I not? If you do well and you like the job, there’s a pretty good likelihood that you’ll have an offer, which is great. A lot of employers really like to hire from there.

Unknown Speaker 15:00
internship pool, but it’s not always guaranteed. And sometimes interns come to me and say like, I really didn’t like that I’m like, Okay, well, that was actually, that’s a great thing that you didn’t like it. So now you’re not wasting time getting into a full time job and thinking and then you’re there for maybe longer than maybe eight weeks or 10 weeks. So I think there’s really good opportunities. But employers, if they can find somebody who’s a strong candidate, as an intern, I think they’re happy to bring them on board, if that makes sense. And I think no matter what, it’s a great experience. And that’s what employers are looking for beyond the grades beyond the activities, what have you done in a work environment, that helps me understand that you could do something like that for me?

Unknown Speaker 15:42
That’s funny, it’s so true, right? That that having a bad experience is probably just as valuable as having a great one. So I know definitively, Wow, I’m so glad I didn’t go on to become an accountant or an attorney or a doctor, because that would be terrible.

Unknown Speaker 15:59
So taking the nail full circle, you’ve got CEOs who want to hire kids and kids who want to get hired by CEOs. So when I go through this process, I am able to think about my skills, what I’m good at, I’m able to fill in some gaps. Maybe I take a course or I’m doing internships, or I’m just, I’m active and things outside of my major that I’m interested in doing, that I’m really positioned to be able to have a conversation with, with the CEO or, or to be able to present myself in a light that will give me the opportunity to talk with somebody in human resources.

Unknown Speaker 16:40
Yeah, I mean, absolutely, I think the one thing that we were able to do the most, and we don’t guarantee employment, but actually 90% of our clients are landing the job that they desire. But the thing that I’m most proud about is when they finished with us is that they have confidence that usually they were lacking before they understand the process. They know how it works. They know what they need to do, but they know that they have something of value to offer an employer. And I think very often so many young adults think they don’t. And the truth is they all do. It’s just how do you put it together? How do you say in a way? How do you have the right phrasing, but also the confidence to say it and say it confidently, you know, people have, you know, it’s like people want to be around someone who feels confident about themselves. So I think that’s the key point, especially in light of our current society where there’s so much fragility and like our young adults are so fragile, and so many mental health issues. So if we can give them a little dose of confidence, that’s, that’s the best gift I think we can do for them. Couldn’t agree more like that?

Unknown Speaker 17:46
Yes. Well said, well said well said.

Unknown Speaker 17:52

Unknown Speaker 17:54
transitioning, hopefully back into a more in person, environment, but you never know, it’s probably going to be up to the company and how they’re doing things.

Unknown Speaker 18:07
And in terms of, of geography, if I’m going to college in rural Minnesota, but I want to live in LA at some point have probably opening too big of a can of warms here. But what are your thoughts on that?

Unknown Speaker 18:21
I actually love that question. Because I get that a lot. As someone who went to school in St. Louis, and I’m from New Jersey, I experienced that. So that we get that a lot saying, hey, well, I’m out in a certain place, but I don’t want to be here. So the truth is, our world of work has changed so much right now since the pandemic. So we have flexibility now that we’ve actually never had. So my recommendation is, even if you’re in California, and you want to work in New York, still go to the career fair at your school in California, even if it’s a lot of California based companies, because you don’t know where it’s going to take you. And by the way, so many companies are in so many major cities want across the US. Also the ability to do hybrid work, remote work, travel, I feel like you don’t know how it’s going to end up and I’m more about Don’t you know, sometimes young adults will start making all these like barriers or limits like, Well, I’m not going to talk to that company, because I don’t want to work there. And like you don’t have the offer yet. So don’t start making decisions about what you’re going to do or not do. You have no idea who that person knows and how they can introduce you to someone. So be open, take every interview, every networking opportunity, every you know every career fair, just work it but then if you want to move to a certain city, then you can start targeting people who live in that city who work in that city. But I think when you’re at school, start with whatever school resources you have. And then obviously start navigating yourself towards people who you know, live and work in the city that you want to be in. But I think you can’t shut out any opportunity. You just don’t know. I love it. That’s a great perspective on that. It’s like well, why

Unknown Speaker 20:00
When I go talk to somebody at XYZ company, there’s no way I’m ever going to work that well. You never know. Never know who that person is going to know or the connections that you could make and how your perspective and your life might change. And at some point, that might be the perfect opportunity for you. And so, love it. About thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with the next great step? And where can they get a copy of the next great step book? Your absolutely so they can learn more about us at next great step.com. I would love for you if you’re interested if you are a parent of a college student or grad. So we just wrote that next great step, the parents guide to launching your new grad into a career it is out now we’re actually an Amazon number one best seller in three categories. So very excited about that. You can go directly to Amazon and get the book the next great step. The parents guide to launching your new grad into a career and lots of great tips on how you can guide your young adult through the process. But happy to speak with anyone we offer a complimentary consultation, go right to our website and click the let’s talk and happy to speak with you. Excellent. If you enjoy this as much as I did show up for your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to the next great step.com and hit that let’s talk button and have a conversation and see if the program is a good fit for you and your child. go to Amazon and enter the next great step, a parent’s guide

Unknown Speaker 21:31
to launching your grad. I thought I thought I wrote it down perfectly Beth and I did but I just can’t read what I wrote. So give us the title one more time. It’s the next great step the parent’s guide to launching your new grad into a career on Amazon. Perfect, love it. Thanksgiving. Thank you. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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