Sharing ideas with fellow careers professionals

My LinkedIn connections policy

LinkedIn logoMy LinkedIn policy has changed as I’ve evolved as a guidance professional. Having worked frequently with school settings before becoming a careers adviser, my initial reaction was to apply the rules taught to teachers. If a student wants to connect on social media don’t do it!  Having been thus schooled, my old policy was to politely refuse when a student asked to connect with me on LinkedIn.  I knew other careers professionals who had the same policy. This was my ‘advice for contacting’ message on LinkedIn:

Screenshot of my previous text on LinkedIn: Advice for Contacting Lucy I use my LinkedIn connections only for people I've worked with as a fellow professional, or know personally quite well (this makes my network and introductions within it more manageable).   If you're a student or client who knows me through my role as a careers adviser, it is likely to be more appropriate to join our LinkedIn group instead: if you'd like to ask questions or keep in touch. You're always welcome to tweet me too - @CareersLucy (but remember that that's public), or contact the careers service to ask them to forward me a message.

It wasn’t until a year ago that I started questioning this. Without a child protection argument to apply, why was I so careful not to connect with clients, and how was it affecting my work with them?

Here’s how I moved from ‘cautious avoidance’ to ‘genuine connection’.
Continue reading “My LinkedIn connections policy”


US/UK: Career Resilience and Self Efficacy

Picture of post-it spider diagram

Taking ‘post-it’ as an imperative, here’s the fifth in the series of transatlantic discussions generated with the help of UC Berkeley’s excellent Career Counseling team.  Giant post-it #4 briefly touched on the theme of self efficacy, but here it is examined in more detail… Continue reading “US/UK: Career Resilience and Self Efficacy”

US/UK: Labour Market Resources

Picture of post-it discussion

It started with comments and tweets from careers professionals in the UK and my attachment* to adhesive stationery. A huge thanks once again to the UC Berkeley Career Counselors who commented, annotated and discussed the difference across the Atlantic.   We’ve covered InternshipsStudent Involvement in service delivery and International Student Needs. Now on to Labour Market Resources.

Continue reading “US/UK: Labour Market Resources”

US/UK: International Student Needs

Continuing my homage to oversized stationery, the third in the series of write-ups from discussion with UC Berkeley Career Counselors, centered around tweets or comments from UK careers staff.  We’ve covered Internships and Student Involvement in service delivery, on to…

Giant post-it #3: International Student Needs

Picture of post-it discussion
Comments on meeting the needs of international students, following comment from Tahira Majothi – thanks Tahira!

Initial comment from Tahira Majothi:

Do they have issues re: meet needs of international students, visas etc?

Notes from UC Berkeley Career Counselors:

New position of Career Counselor for International Students – meets exclusively with international students… Continue reading “US/UK: International Student Needs”

US/UK: Student involvement

Thanks to everyone who tweeted or commented questions for my professional exchange to UC Berkeley! In a recent Career Counselor team meeting here, the counselor team were kind enough to add their thoughts and comments around those questions to giant post-it notes (which are awesome).  Giant post-it #1 was on internships. Now let’s look at…

Students in service delivery - group discussion notes
Comments on using students in service delivery – following question from Anne Delauzun – thanks Anne!

Giant post-it #2:

Initial comment from Anne Delauzun:

…I’m particularly interested in hearing more about their use of students in service delivery. We currently have a small student team involved in different aspects and this is an area we’re looking to develop…

Continue reading “US/UK: Student involvement”

US/UK: Internships

Thanks to everyone that’s tweeted or commented to let me know what you’d find useful from my job exchange here at UC Berkeley.  Thanks too to all my fantastic colleagues here at Cal, who let me take over a bit of a Career Counselor team meeting a couple of weeks back, where I used those tweets and comments as the center of discussion, annotating some giant flip chart sized post-it notes.  Incidentally, flip chart sized post-its are the Best Stationery Item Ever.

Internships - group discussion notes
Comments on internship question from Jo Hutchings – thanks Jo!

Giant post-it #1: Internships

Initial comment from Jo Hutchings:

Would be great to hear more about the internship differences. I know here in the UK (and at Bristol – where I am a Careers Adviser) the request for internships seems to be more each year. My understanding of the US, is that it is very common for students/graduates to carry out internships – but is this after their degree? Are large graduate recruiters tending to recruit more from their pool of interns, which seems to be the way things are going here in the UK. Any insights in the US model would be gratefully received! Continue reading “US/UK: Internships”

Solution-focused counseling

Cover of Interviewing for Solutions (2nd edition)
I’ve been learning lots on my three month career counsellor exchange, here in California. Here at UC Berkeley, the majority of career counsellors have a two-year MSc in Counseling (usually with a concentration in careers work), which means that I’m learning so much from colleagues that have a much broader toolkit to draw on.

One approach recommended to me by my supervisor, Sarah Backes-Diaz (who’s also a Master Career Counselor) has been particularly useful: solution-focused counseling, which I’ve been learning about via a great text – Interviewing for Solutions Continue reading “Solution-focused counseling”

Social Media: Oxford and Berkeley

Jessica Henderson at the University of Leeds kindly asked me if I could provide input for an AGCAS training event on social media and this is the result!

Many, many, thanks to Assistant Director Suzanne Helbig here at the Career Center at the University of California, Berkeley for sharing with us her social media strategy too.

This is our 20 minute chat about all things social media, comparing Oxford and Berkeley’s approach – we hope it’s helpful (you might need to turn the volume up!)

*My spelling’s now just half way between the US and UK; I’m lexically in the mid-Atlantic. Which is to say, that I’m lexically in the Azores, I guess. Isso não é bom?

US-UK Differences

So, I’ve only been here just over a week (!) but I was asked to present today on some key observations of differences and shared challenges between careers services here and Oxford/UK.  The document below (click to download) was designed for US careers directors, but rest assured that over the next few months I will do a reverse version (following comments on my previous post – thank you!), with more detail behind the broader brushstrokes on US and Berkeley practice I’ve used here.
Image of US: UK comparison document
For now, it’d be great to get feedback on:

  • Whether you think I’ve represented the UK correctly!
  • Areas of difference or shared challenge you’re particularly interested in
  • Any areas that you feel I’ve overlooked!

As the differences include paper size (no A4 here – it’s US ‘Letter’ size), this might print oddly, but hopefully not! Let me know if you need a PDF, fellow Brits…!

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: