To Coach Junior Employees, Start with 4 Conversations

Career coaching is crucial for recent college graduates and young people entering the workforce. Though many have scant experience, they’re making choices that will affect their lives long into the future.

Over the course of our work, my colleagues and I gathered records of more than 100,000 coaching conversations to uncover the kind of guidance young employees need most. We studied conversations focused on the issues that employees struggle with most, and discovered four knowledge gaps that arise time and again:

  • How to build resilience: the ability to bounce back from setbacks, such as an early project gone wrong or a bombed presentation

  • How to influence others: the ability to win others’ trust and respect in order to more effectively execute a role

  • How to job craft: the ability to determine what constitutes a meaningful job and engineer a career for greater fulfillment

  • How to break out of a mental rut: the ability to challenge personal patterns of thinking in order to identify and solve problems through a different lens

Though all of these skills are vital, each requires a slightly different conversation…