Wendy and Ken Schuman have spent nearly four decades amassing business experience, in the public sector, the financial sector and publishing. Now they're giving back with a new nonprofit they're launching, Life Choices Network, that offers free business mentoring to recent college graduates. Maybe you've got a kid who needs some help in this dismal job market - or maybe you'd like to sign on as a mentor yourself.
The service, which launches April 1, has more than 22 career coaches signed up, all accredited by the International Coach Federation. They'll work for three months one-on-one with job-hunting college grads, helping them assess their strengths, develop a plan and explore various careers.
Once the grad has a career in mind, Life Choices Network will find her a mentor - someone who's local and works in the grad's chosen field who can bring real world experience (shadowing, q&a sessions), and help the grad network to a job or an internship.
"Kids need help and Ken and I are really worried about them. It's everybody's problem to be concerned about the next generation. If they don't get a good start and develop a good work ethic, the problem could persist for years. These are our kids, whether or not they're ours biologically. They're the future of the country," Wendy says.
Wendy and Ken's own two kids are lucky to have found work in their chosen fields, but a lot of their friends face job-search issues. "You read about it every day," Wendy says. "Kids have huge financial obligations because of college loans, and they can't afford coaching, which costs upwards of $100 an hour." For them, free business mentoring and career coaching are a godsend. One of the kids Life Choices Network is working with, a biz major at college, works as a night security guard; another who wants to work in sales is employed part-time for the local Y.
Job-seeking college grads in their twenties and prospective mentors alike should contact Life Choices Network to get involved.