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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Being the First: Who or What is First in the Work Life?

Updated: May 27, 2020

Being the first, means you are a leader – you are key, cardinal, head, or premier. As a career practitioner, you lead your clients into or through the career development process. You are a key source of information and offer cardinal rules about the job search. You may be a department head or a director who offers premier services or assessment. But don’t let this go to your head – just be the best you can be and the numbers will all fall into place. ~ David M. Reile, Ph.D.

FOCUS ON:First You Were a Student

The initial learning process for counselors-in-training requires the navigation of of individual learning styles and management of expectations while developing skills that affect the interpersonal roles that shape the counseling outcome. Learning to master basic skills first, before jumping into applying theoretically-based techniques is a goal for beginning students. Because students get stuck in the early parts of the counseling process, the counselor educator may want to use cognitive mapping as a teaching tool. Returning to such a tool later in the counselor’s career, can help the client get unstuck. Read More.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Lessons Learned from the First Job

Serving as your training ground, the first job offers many career lessons. If you look back, what will you list as having learned: the value of passion, leadership opportunities or flexibility? Read more lessons from a practitioner who first worked at a non-profit.

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: First Generation Students are at a Disadvantage

Compared to non-first-generational students, anyone who is the first in the family to attend college (as well as many other definitions of first-generation) is at a disadvantage when looking at transfer success and graduation rates, among other data. Various demographics also play a part and higher education associations agree that more clarity on the definition and research is needed. Read more about first generation college students.

CAREER SPOTLIGHT: Brand New Jobs in a Library

We would need to look back many centuries to find who was the very first doctor or lawyer or even librarian. However, brand new jobs are popping up in the 21st century in many fields as roles, economics, and technology change. Look, for example, at these five in a library and gain inspiration to help your clients be the first to hold a brand new job: (1) Immigrant Services Librarian (2) Innovation Catalyst Librarian (3) Concierge (4) Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity (5) Director of Knowledge Curation and Innovation. Read the descriptions in

TOP TEN: Mistakes First-Time Job Seekers Make

Being unenthusiastic and focusing on salary are common mistakes when searching for a new job. On top of those errors, new job seekers tend to put too much weight on their GPA and focus narrowly on jobs directly related to their major. Read all ten and help your clients avoid these mistakes.


“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards, they try to have more things or more money in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are then do what you need to do in order to have what you want.” - Margaret Young
“The first requirements for a heroic career are the knightly virtues of loyalty, temperance, and courage.” - Joseph Campbell
“First LEARN…then remove the L.” - Mohit Manke


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