Happy Anniversary

I know this sounds a bit unusual to say but “Happy Anniversary To Us”!! Why am I saying this? Well…

Twenty years ago this April 1st,  our founder Ron Grant travelled back to his home-state of South Carolina to start the beginning of a dream called Meridian Resources. In doing so, he along with our current President Angie Tinnell, forged their way through the BIG competitors to establish the first virtual delivery only outplacement company in the world! YES IN THE WORLD! And even more, the services were based on outcome for the transitioning employee and not on time allotted for service…IMAGINE THAT!

Now, almost 20 years later, I have the privilege of being a part of this truly innovative organization that to this day is different in a good way than all the others that compete in our space. Now I wonder what we will do this year to celebrate and what the next 20 years will bring. You better hold on to your seats and stay tuned.

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Option B: Making The Best Of Your Second Choice For An Internship

Too often we focus on the ideal v. what could actually be better for us. And this is true for students whose first option for an internship melts away and the second option becomes the opportunity. Barbara Hewitt, of Penn State, recently wrote an article with a focus on this very matter. Here is the link Option B  and I hope you enjoy it!

Contributing Author: Melvin J. Scales

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Higher Education Under Attack

Question: What does immigration and education have in common?

Answer: They both affect the standing of the United States in the global economy

So, to address the “elephant in the room”, the proposed immigration policies that we are grappling with at present have an enormous domino effect on our country, our citizens and our higher educational system. To be blunt, it is dangerous.

Even if we set aside the recruiting messaging that our enemies have been given to secure more individuals with the intent on destroying our way of life in the United States, we are left with issues related to true citizens being suspect just for being who they are in terms in religion, name or ethnicity.  Nothing and no one is immune from the fallout of these proposed policies which includes higher education.

Graduate schools of business can function only when there is a strong tuition and alumni income. Students who would come to the United States for education are considering their options in Canada and the UK now. And graduates who have contributed financially may re-consider their giving plans. As a result, the anticipated revenue to keep operations at a high level will be compromised.

Moreover some members of both faculty and staff, who are crucial the success of the school, could be kept from activities abroad for fear of not being allowed to return. And of course, the options for recruiting faculty and staff are diminished.

We at Meridian University Solutions recognize the challenges you are facing and stand ready to be supportive with options designed to make the way you work with your students effective and efficient. Let us know how we can help.

 Contributing Author: Melvin J. Scales

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CAREER MOTIVATION FOR MILLENNIALS *

My daughter is a millennial. By the year 2025, she and other millennials will make up almost 75 percent of the workforce around the world. These workers, who are now between the age of 18 and 34, have already surpassed Gen X to have the biggest share of the labor force.

Millennial workers are perceived to be entitled and not very industrious. And yes, they are more likely to hop from one job to another. But when motivated in a way that they understand, they are also hard-workers and loyal.

Managers today are faced with the challenge of maximizing the talents of their millennial workers. The important thing, however, is for managers to learn how to motivate them. Here’s what managers have to do:

  1. Acknowledge and give rewards for jobs well done.

It is important for millennials to be recognized for anything they do well at work. That’s why they are considered by many as the trophy generation. Giving employee recognition can help a lot in keeping them happy at work. Millennials love to receive things that give them instant gratification, such as extra time off, more responsibility, and even professional development.

  1. Put them in charge of projects.

Another important motivator for millennial workers is the chance to make a difference in the workplace and even in the community in general. If you want them to give their best effort at work, you have to give them opportunities to lead. This doesn’t mean they should be offered higher positions immediately, but managers need to allow them to be leaders in certain projects where they can prove to everyone their worth.

  1. Allow them to keep their work and life balance.

Most millennials grew up seeing their parents working really long hours and still end up losing their jobs. This could explain why millennial workers care so much about keeping their work/life balance. They are likely to prefer working for companies that offer flexible work schedules, regular time off, and opportunities to telecommute. As a manager, you should take advantage of modern technology so that you may allow them to choose a comfortable work setup.

  1. Promote collaboration and encourage working in groups.

One of the main differences between baby boomers and millennials is the latter’s desire to collaborate and work in groups. They feel that success is easier to achieve when multiple heads are thinking. They also find it hard to be innovative and creative when they are stuck working alone in their cubicles.

  1. Provide them with opportunities for career development.

For millennial workers, it isn’t enough that they get a job because they don’t plan on staying in the same position for many years. They want to make a difference so they always have a desire to enhance their skills and even acquire new ones. Thus, it is important for companies to provide them with opportunities for professional growth. Allowing them to join career coaching programs is one of the best ways to motivate them.

Contributing Author: Melvin J. Scales

*The majority of the content above comes from an article by Cecile Peterkin.

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Pogo On Career Centers

Many years ago in the comic strip series “Pogo”, the main character Pogo says with total confidence to his friend Porkypine  “Son, we have met the enemy and he is us”. The visual in the script is even more compelling. It is a yard full of discarded stuff. And for a moment, there is comforting feeling that it is only a comic strip.

But I thought more intently about the possible comparison this comic strip might to the world of career services. The many wonderful ideas that our colleagues dream of to benefit the positive outcome for students and alumni in the form of a first job or an enhanced career path are too often, because of an unintended lack of funding, staff and other resources, left in a pile of discarded stuff. Are we our own worst enemies?

Without a doubt, incredible amounts of creative energy and thought are being wasted and are never used to help our most precious resource…young eager minds that want fulfilling careers so that we are all the better for it. It is time to ask why and it is time to act.

By the way, here is a link to the comic strip…enjoy!

Pogo Comic Strip

Contributing Author: Melvin J. Scales

 

 

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Reinvent Career Services?

I have often asked myself, “How will the delivery of career services change over the next few years.” In the process I killed a few “sacred cows” and perhaps you have done your fair share as well. And possibly you ended your blue-sky journey with a heavy sigh and said to yourself “Well, maybe in theory anyway.”

 Innovation is the hallmark of any organization that desires to remain relevant in servicing its clients. In fact, innovation allows the organization to adapt to the ever changing environment so that its survival is assured.

 Approximately 15 years ago, Meridian Resources launched a business whose method of service delivery was counter to the accepted and preferred way used by the giants of the industry. However, now the method of delivery by the giants includes both a virtual and face-to-face platform. What Meridian did was risky but it changed the face of the outplacement industry forever.

 Think about this for a moment:

-What if there was a resource to help your career coaches actually find more time to coach which will affect your “first destination” numbers in a positive way?

-What if this resource would cost you, on average, 43% less than if you hired a full-time counselor for every 1,000 students?

-What if you paid for this resource only when it was actually servicing your students?

-What if this resource was made up of proven career management professionals that work with individual contributors and executive leaders in all industries and career types to help them find ideal career outcomes each and every day of the year?

Currently, there are several institutions of higher education using this resource right now. In fact they have been doing it for several years. Wouldn’t it be great to know what they know? Of course it would!

Essentially these colleges and universities partner with Meridian Resources to provide career services support to select student cohorts during times when the “bandwidth” of counselors is stretched thin.

Would you like to pilot this innovative option with a select number of students? We know you’ll see the value and will want to expand it to support other students in the future.

The time is now for you to lead the way and reinvent Career Services. The “what if” innovation and success  is here today and you have access to it! Visit http://www.meridianresourcesuniversitysolutions.com/ or call me directly at 336-978-5208 to find out how we can help.

 Contributing Author: Melvin J. Scales

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Graduation “Left-Overs”

The graduation ceremonies with all their pomp and circumstance have all ended. Young men and women who, only a few weeks ago, were focused on making the last heroic effort of marathon studying in order to pass the final exams of their college careers are now either working in their new career, beginning a summer vacation before heading off to graduate school or considering what they should do next. However, there is another group who is neither of these. I will call them the “left-overs”.

Typically, when we think of “left-overs”, we visualize food which we were not able to eat when it was most recently prepared and had to be put into plastic containers to save them for another day. And of course we tend to forget about them until we are cleaning out the refrigerator. Upon inspection, we determine that we will just throw them away for all kinds of reasons that we make up in our minds.

Our recently graduated “left-overs”, unlike food, are not put into plastic containers to be saved until the reason it was made happens. Rather, these graduates are exposed to the elements of life without benefit of protective containers. These elements of life come in the form of ambiguity, aimlessness and rejection. Ultimately, the confidence an education was supposed to give them erodes away and their opportunity to create a fulfilling career-life becomes more and more difficult.

Has the system failed them with the promise of meaningful work at graduation which does not happen? Specifically, has career services failed them by not finding the keys to fully engage them in the process of discovering what truly excites them and then developing a plan to get them connected with right industry, the right company and the right role? That’s for you determine. What can you do better or what resources do you need to allow you and your team to fulfill the dreams of students and their families? Let’s have a conversation together and find a sustainable solution together. Remember, “left-overs” are a terrible thing to waste.

Contributing Author: Melvin J. Scales

336-978-5208

mscales@meridianresourcesinc.com

 

 

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