Welcome to SixFigureStart®

Career Coaching by Former Fortune 500 Recruiters

Reading, writing, arithmetic…and career coaching?

Check out one of my favorite pictures of my youngest kid.  http://www.startupnation.com/homebased100/contestant/453/index.php


While you’re there, vote for SixFigureStart in StartUpNation’s Home-Based 100 Competition.  You can vote once a day through October.


Actually, I was inspired to enter b/c of a much more serious issue than just to put a cute picture on the web….College recruiting is starting so early, I might have to position SixFigureStart at the Kindergarten demographic, rather than Gen Y.  Used to be that the summer internship between junior and senior year was the differentiator for those plum entry-level jobs after college, but now that’s expected.  So you need the internship between sophomore and junior year to get that next one.  And you need the one after freshmen year to get that second one.  And you need internships during the academic year too.  You also need a good internship in high school just to get into the right college to get that freshmen year internship…and so on.


PS.  The right college does matter.  Just ask Payscale and the Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121746658635199271.html).  But that’s another blog…If you’re interested, Kristina Cowan had a great blog entry about that http://blogs.payscale.com/salary_report_kris_cowan/2008/08/why-graduates-o.html


Now, when I say plum jobs, I’m talking about banking and consulting jobs.  Not everyone wants banking and consulting, you say?  That’s fine.  But at $200k for a 4-year private college education, how does one afford not to have a banking or consulting job?  The complete disconnect between potential starting pay and the price of higher education is also another blog…


Even industries outside banking and consulting (e.g. media, consumer products, etc) are getting more competitive such that the quantity and quality of the internships required to land in these industries is higher than in past.  Like with banking and consulting this encourages specialization earlier and earlier.  Yet, these earlier specialized internships often don’t pay much if at all (after all these are glam jobs that don’t require money to attract people).  So now you have increasing tuitions and decreasing (if not disappearing) internship pay.  You still need that cash babysitting or retail job, but you do it in addition to the specialized internship.  When can students even study?  Forget summer school to cut your academic year credit requirements and save money.  You need that unpaid internship instead!



I don’t think this model is going away so the ultra-competitive and increasingly-early job search reality is upon us.  When Connie and I were choosing our niche within career coaching we picked students and young professionals for personal reasons – we love working with this demo.  But I also picked this demo to coach because we hired so many of them, and in recent years, candidates were starting younger and had to be so much savvier, and I felt like taking a megaphone to a busy street and saying, “Hey, you with the training wheels, have you been working on a resume?”  That kid should have ads on his bike, intern at the local bike store, and set up an e-commerce storefront for specialty bike parts.  Now that’s a kid who’ll get a first round interview!

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4 Responses

  1. Tiffany says:

    Its so interesting that you should say this becuase whenever I think about my son going to school I think about how important it will be for him to understand the bigger picture much earlier. I prepare to go over what he wants to be when he grows up much sooner and instead of asking him in a joking manner, we will actually have to look deeper into this answer in order for him to plan his school career around achieving those dreams. The early bird does indeed catch the worm.

  2. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  3. Sandra, thanks for acknowledging the post. Please let us know if there are any topics or questions you’d like to see covered in future columns. Regards, Caroline

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