Graduates Cry Out For Help

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Universities Fail To Support Graduates Into Job Market

Only 12.7% of UK graduates benefited from career coaching whilst at university, a Striding Out survey has revealed. Over three quarters of graduates (83.3%) said they would benefit from career coaching, despite the majority being either satisfied or very satisfied with their current work. Only 24.4% said they were unhappy with their job. “This shows that you don’t have to be unhappy in your job to benefit from career coaching,” said Ana Paula Nacif, career coach with Striding Out. “In fact, coaching can be instrumental in career development, ultimately benefiting both employees and employers.” She added: “With 10% of graduates struggling to find work*, universities need to make sure students receive all the support they need to get into the job market. It is a shame that over 87% of graduates are missing out on this crucial service.” Find out how career coaching had an impact on graduates and their career path.

Career coaching focuses on achieving goals, developing skills and the employability of graduates. Provision of career coaching varies widely in UK universities, with some universities offering more to their students than others.

Roma Saini, Graduate BSc Communications, Media and Society, career coaching client, said: “The programme made me realise how important communication is in our society. If I had received more career support through coaching during high school years, I would have made different career choices. I hope that career coaching becomes open to all young adults at high school, so that they can benefit from this type of support at a much earlier stage.”

Case Studies**
1) Abdi Ghouse, 23 years old, IT Graduate

What was your situation before career coaching?

I was unemployed for six months and confused about which career was right for me and my skills set.

Where are you now?

I am currently volunteering as an IT support worker and in the process of enrolling on a NVQ level 3 in first line management.

How has career coaching helped you on your journey?

I understand my job market better and the ways in which it can be tackled. I have become more confident in projecting myself to prospect employers. I’m also able to remain positive despite the setbacks and I learned to stick to my action plan.

2) Roma Saini, Graduate BSc Communications, Media & Society

What was your situation before career coaching?

I was a recent graduate struggling to make career choices because of my lack of confidence that I would be able to get into the career that most interested me. There were many factors that affected my views such as the economic recession, lack of professional work experience and the huge amount of competition in the job market.

Where are you now?

I am more focused on what I want to achieve and more optimistic about being able to have my dream job. To help build my career, I am gaining valuable experience through marketing internships, volunteering and mentoring, which are relevant to my career aspirations.

How has career coaching helped you on your journey?

Career coaching has helped me create a vision of where I want to be in the future. I am now able to see things from a different perspective. During the coaching, I worked through my values, what motivates me and the skills I like to use. Coaching has helped me to think outside the box and explore different ideas and possibilities. I mapped out my goals efficiently by breaking down each goal and setting myself small targets and deadlines to achieve them. And when I achieve these targets I know I am one step closer to my dream job.

* Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency

** Both Roma Saini and Abdul Ghouse received career coaching, delivered by Striding Out, under the Future Jobs Fund programme, a government scheme to help 18-24 year olds to find employment.


Editor’s Notes:

1. The online survey was carried out in November 2010 among 80 respondents.

2. Striding Out is a community interest organisation and a leading provider of leadership, business and career coaching and training services. Striding Out has engaged with 3500 young people since November 2009 alone. We have a nationwide network of certified coaches, with regional operations in the North East of England, Liverpool, Birmingham, the South East and London.

3. For more press information, case studies, coaching articles, images, logos or videos please contact Ruth Soundarajah, marketing manager on 020 3303 0468 or email her at