Helping Students Navigate the New Career Marketplace

4980_citrin_james_mby James M. Citrin, author of The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today’s Aspiring Young Professionals (Crown Business, April 2015)

The career marketplace for new graduates and millennials (the approximately 82 million people born between 1981 and about 2000) has never been more competitive, unstructured, and difficult to navigate.

For every appealing entry-level professional position in a given industry, there are dozens, often hundreds, and sometimes thousands of candidates. The acceptance rates at today’s most competitive colleges and universities—Stanford and Harvard—are roughly 5%; very long odds. But the number of applicants who receive job offers from today’s most prestigious and largest companies is even tougher—often 1 to 2%.

When successful people give advice or tell the story of their careers, they often speak in a way that makes it seem as if their success was inevitable. But when you’re dealing with the reality of trying to secure an interview, deciding which job to pursue or accept, worrying about money, and yet looking for that entry level position that will open the door to future opportunities in your chosen field, nothing is clear. Certainty only exists in hindsight, when you’re looking back on the decisions and actions you took that eventually led to whatever success you accomplished.

A solid understanding of how careers really work and a concrete action plan is the basis for getting a great job and achieving ongoing success, and there is no better time to start thinking about a career than college. In The Career Playbook, I share everything I’ve learned about successful careers from working intimately with some of the most successful chief executives, entrepreneurs, not- for-profit leaders, and business gurus around the world. My goal is to present essential advice in a way that will be relevant to anyone motivated to get ahead and achieve success in today’s hyper- competitive, fast-changing, and confusing world.

The Career Playbook is dedicated to the inspired college student who is looking to carve out a distinctive career path over the first decade after graduation. My goal is to provide readers with the most effective, actionable, and market-tested strategies for maximizing their success and personal satisfaction in the workplace.

Click here to watch James M. Citrin’s “Essential Advice For Today’s Aspiring Young Professionals” interview series.

JAMES M. CITRIN is the leader of Spencer Stuart’s CEO Practice and a member of the firm’s Worldwide Board of Directors. His diverse client work includes leading media, technology, communications, and consumer companies, as well as other multinational corporations and private-equity firms. A noted expert on leadership, governance, and professional success, Citrin is the author of six books, including bestsellers Lessons from the TopThe 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers, and You’re in Charge–Now What?


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