I wrote an article for Wired, about some of the fastest growing jobs and how to prepare for them in college. Part of this Education 2.0 package was an article by Natali Del Conte about which social networking tools students should use.

In general I think college kids should prepare for the work world by learning to make friends with a wide range of people on campus and lay off the books. But maybe that’s because I found that the time I was getting straight A’s in college was the time I was learning the least.

Ode magazine has a great little article this month about the importance of generosity. A study that has been following people since the 1920s reveals that your ability to give to others is a big indicator of how happy your life will be. (Paul Wink of Wellesley College, oversees the study today, and he wrote a book about it, In the Course of a Lifetime.)

One of the most interesting findings is that teens who scored high on generosity were healthier and happier half a century later. So the best advice about what to do in college might be to develop a strong ability to give.

Like all positive traits in this world, we think we have more of it than we do. (A great example of this phenomenon: Business Week reports that 90% of young workers think their performance is in the top 10% of all workers.)

These are five traits that people who are givers usually exhibit:

1. A sense that you can make a difference in the world

2. Empathy that enables you to truly feel the suffering of others

3. Belief that you are someone who can get things done

4. Spiritual faith in the world – -either traditional religion or an eclectic altruism

5. A focus on doing good that endures beyond your lifetime

Even if you don’t have these traits, the good news is that you can just start giving, and you might get these traits as you go. Try doing five acts of altruistic giving in one day – it’ll shift your outlook, according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at University of California at Riverside,

So maybe the best thing college kids can do for themselves is go to class less and help people more. And this is probably true for those of us going to work each day, as well. After all, when it comes to crafting a life, spending time on what really matters is half the battle.

Are you switching jobs every two years? Are you draining your savings to start companies with no business plan? Are you hiring a headhunter to find you a spouse? These are things you should be doing to find the success you’re looking for in the new workplace. Sure, they create instability, but what else are you going to do? Work for IBM until you get a gold watch?

The most important thing in your life is the people you love, so you need to figure out how to create a work life that will accommodate that. Do you love your dad? Tell your new boss that before you even start working, you need a week off for your dad’s birthday cruise. If your boss says no then thank goodness you learned ahead of time that you don’t want to work there. Do you love your girlfriend? Pack your sleeping bag and follow her to Costa Rica to save a village. You can get a job saving the rain forest, or, better yet, spend the six months making a plan for how you two are going to do shared-care parenting.

The best way to make sure you will have time and money to create the life you want is to have what I am going to start calling a braided career. Intertwine the needs of the people you love, with the work you are doing, and the work you are planning to do, when it’s time for a switch. This way, when you run out of money you can get a corporate job for a year. If life as a stay-at-home mom is unfulfilling, you can start a side business from the cafe on the corner. If your COBRA runs out, you can get a hard-core job that involves a lot of travel, pick up the free miles and the international experience and once you’ve earned the ability to do COBRA again, take a trip around the world with a backpack and sleeping bag. And don’t forget to use those upgrade miles. Who says you can’t store a sleeping bag in the first-class cabin?

Does this sound unstable to you? It’s not. The voice inside your head that’s screaming about instability is your mom’s. She’s saying, “I lived through the feminist movement so you can quit your job to follow your boyfriend? I didn’t raise you to do that.” The voice inside your head is your dad’s saying, “You want to have fun? You have one minute’s worth of experience. Who’s going to pay you to have fun?” And, unfortunately, the voices might also be at your dinner table, because you might also be living with your mom and dad.

But tune them out. Because you’re on the right track. And really, it’s a track. It feels like you’re all over the place, it feels like you have no plan, it feels like you’re always about to spend your last cent. But you are learning to create stability through transition. You can become a master of transition and you are achieve the thing you want most: A work life that supports the values you hold dear – time, family, friends, community, passion, and fun.

So look, this is what you need to do. You need to stop thinking that the transitions are going to end as soon as you grow up. This is not reality talking, this is your uncle talking — to your dad to console him that you just quit grad school. What is going to end is the bad feeling about transitions. You’re going to get great at them because you are not the first person to have a quarterlife crisis. You’re not the first person to quit a traveling sales job so you’ll be home to have sex when you’re ovulating. You’re not the first person to run out of money and have to take a 70-hour a week corporate job – for awhile, just to catch up on bills. Lots of people are making these sorts of decisions, and they’re great decisions, in the context of good transition skills, and a good understanding of the new, braided career.

By Ryan Healy – During my senior year at Penn State, the Nittany Lions knocked off the highly (over) rated Ohio State Buckeyes. It was one of the best football games of my college years. A mob of students rushed down the bleachers, the field became a flood of blue and white.

But unfortunately, rushing the field is not a Big Ten-acceptable activity. So the other guys in blue, the police, started an investigation using Facebook to identify suspects.

I guess if you’re going to perform illegal acts, Facebook, MySpace and other online networks that incorporate photographs are probably not for you. But as we leave our crazy college years behind and enter the workforce, should we really have to worry what recruiters think of our social lives?

I have a MySpace page and a Facebook profile. I have hundreds of pictures on each site that show me in both professional and not-so-professional settings. I could remove their embarrassing or “incriminating” pictures to save some face in the real world. Or I could replace them with photos from an old photo restoration service. I have never considered either option.

Social networking sites are blurring the lines between personal and professional life. There is no reason these lines should not be blurred. Most young people lead very healthy social lives, and because of these websites much of our social lives are online. When you live your personal/social life online there is no escaping who you are and what you do. It may be scary to people not accustomed to the openness of the Internet, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a refreshing. Why should I pretend to be one person for eight hours a day and someone else entirely for the rest?

It’s absurd to pretend that everyone at work is a saint. It’s just not true. What’s the big deal if our bosses know what we did on Saturday night or what we did in college for that matter?

The whole idea of our lives being available for public display is actually pretty cool. Think about it. If the world already knows what we do in our spare time and we are all able to be completely open about our interests, thoughts and ideas without fear of retribution or not being hired then we can bring our whole being to work everyday.

Of course, if you’re idea of a good time is extremely sick and twisted then you may want to consider keeping things a secret. Better yet, you may want to figure out some better things to do in your spare time to avoid a prison sentence. But for most of us who like to have a little innocent fun, there is no reason to play the Jekyll-and-Hyde role.

Jason Warner, head of staffing at Google writes, “Today there is a fuzzy, but growing distinction that companies will continue to draw between candidate professional experiences, competencies, and capabilities and their private lives and outside behaviors. It’s a line we don’t likely want to cross, because if we cross it for candidates, we may cross it for employees, and that compounds the problem.”

The more young people enter the workforce the less risk there is that someone will Google them to look for bad behavior. Human resources leaders don’t have the time to sleuth. But also, there just aren’t enough perfect little angels in the world to go around.

I urge everyone: Let’s leave all of our pictures up on whatever social networking sites we use. What we do on the weekends is just as much apart of our lives as our day jobs. Don’t be afraid of your boss seeing a risque photo of you and don’t be afraid to talk a little business at the bar. The sooner we get past this personal and professional juggling act, the sooner we can see real change in the workplace.

Ryan Healy’s blog is Employee Evolution.

For many young people today, the most trusted source of career advice is their parents. Unfortunately, a lot of parents are giving a lot of misguided advice to their kids.

Today’s workplace is very different from the one baby boomers navigated. But often they don’t realize that, and think the “classic” advice still applies. It doesn’t. Here are the five worst pieces of advice that parents dole out.

Get a graduate degree
It used to be that people went to graduate school as a surefire way to achieve the American Dream. Today, graduate school generally makes young people less employable, not more employable.

For example, people who get a graduate degree in the humanities have little chance of getting a tenured teaching job.

And when it comes to an MBA, the value of the degree plummets if it’s not from a top school, even though the cost of the degree continues to skyrocket. So instead of opening doors for you, the degree in many ways forces you to settle for a job that pays well enough to pay back your student loans.

Law school results in one of the few graduate degrees that can make you more employable. Unfortunately, it makes you more employable in a profession in which people are unhappy. Law school rewards perfectionism, while law practice rewards good sales skills.

This dichotomy, combined with the reality that practicing law isn’t all that glamorous, means that law school should be something you do only if you’re driven to — it’s not the safety net indecisive career seekers wish it was.

Don’t job hop
The advice parents give about job hopping comes from the days when human resources people were in charge of job interviews, and hiring managers ruled the world. But today, job hopping is standard. Most people will have eight jobs before they turn 30, and that’s a good thing.

Young candidates these days have more power than interviewers because there’s a shortage of people to fill entry-level jobs. Unemployment among the college educated is less than 2 percent, young people routinely have more than one job offer, and 70 percent of hiring managers say they feel like they need to convince candidates to take their jobs. Clearly, this is a time when young people are in charge.

Job hoppers are bad for companies because high turnover is expensive, but switching jobs a lot is very good for employees. It builds skills faster, constructs a network more effectively, and helps you figure out what you like and what you don’t like. Most important, regularly switching jobs helps you maintain passion in your career — which, in the end, benefits companies as much as it benefits the passionate workers cycling through them.

Don’t ask about time off until you have the job
Everyone has a personal life that exists separately from their job. You can’t schedule your cousin’s bar mitzvah around a product launch, and you can’t clear your calendar before you take a new job.

So when you’re figuring out which job to take, be upfront about what sort of time you expect to be taking for yourself. If you want Tuesdays off for kickboxing class, then say so. If you have a vacation planned for two weeks after the proposed start date, then say that. Some jobs have unmovable start dates, and sometimes your personal life will preclude taking a job.
That’s OK. Why bother with the absurd job-interview song-and-dance where you pretend that your personal life doesn’t matter, and that only getting the job matters? You wouldn’t want to work for anyone who had that attitude, so why pretend to have it yourself?

Don’t have gaps in your résumé
It’s so common for people to take time off to explore after earning their degree that universities have people who specialize in helping students find after-college non-work/non-school learning opportunities. As long as you’re learning and growing — and not endangering your life — then gaps in your résumé are merely you finding another way to discover the world. In fact, you’ll be a better employee for that.

The people who don’t flounder at all after college and go straight into a career they stick with make up less than 12 percent of the population today. Research shows that they’re generally less creative in picking a path that’s right for them, and more willing to take paths someone else has established. But each of us needs different things from our work — we have to make our own paths, and we need breathing room to do that.

If there are no gaps in your résumé, it probably means you didn’t take any time in your life for reflecting. Sure, you can do your reflecting in the shower or during a boring meeting or on an invigorating run. But grand thinking requires grand amounts of time.

Often, we need to separate from everyday life in order to see possibilities far outside what we’re doing. So make gaps, and talk about them in job interviews like the learning experiences they are.

Earn enough money to pay rent and buy food
One of the smartest career choices you can make after graduation is to move back in with your parents. This isn’t possible for everyone, but those who can do it have a distinct advantage in their entrance into adult life. It’s why more than half of college graduates are choosing to move back home.

At present, entry-level jobs don’t pay enough to cover student loans, health insurance premiums, food, and rent in the kinds of cities young people like to live. Parents will say, “When I was a kid, everyone could pay their rent when they got their first job.”

That’s probably true, but since that time, real wages have fallen, school costs have outpaced inflation, and health care costs are astronomical for people who don’t get insurance through work — which is a large portion of fully employed young people.

Young people who need to support themselves without any help from family are necessarily limited in career choices — they have to have a job that pays well in order to live. That’s why 60 percent of graduating seniors move back in with their parents after college.

But the best way to figure out what you really love doing is to try things and worry about pay later, when you know what you like. Moving back in with your parents allows you to take a job purely because it’s a good opportunity for personal growth and self-knowledge.

Many baby boomers stayed in careers they didn’t like for 20 years. A good way to not repeat this in the next generation is to explore many careers before you choose one.


The people who don’t flounder at all after college or an online MBA and go straight into a career they stick with make up less than 12 percent of the population today.

By Stephen Seckler, Managing Director, Boston Office, BCG Attorney Search and author of the blog Counsel to Counsel.

The cost of a legal education is now reaching stratospheric proportions. Anyone contemplating this enormous investment of time and money should think long and hard before applying.

Here are five common myths about what law school will do for you:

Myth 1: I’ll be able to use the law degree in whatever career I decide to choose.
Go to law school if you want to be a lawyer. But don’t go if you believe it will “open doors” for you. It won’t. By the end of law school you may still have no idea what you “want” from your career; only now you are likely to limited by huge law school debt.

Myth 2: I’ll get a job when I graduate law school.
If you graduate near the top of your class from a top school, then your job prospects are likely to be strong. But if you have an average performance from a second-tier school, finding your first job may be a big challenge.

Myth 3: I’ll get to be in court and try cases.
Most lawyers never see the inside of a courtroom. About 95% of all civil law suits that are filed are settled before trial. Much of the work of a “litigator” involves reviewing documents, preparing court filings and negotiating with the lawyer from the other side of the case.

Myth 4: I’ll be able to advocate for the little guy.
If you are independently wealthy, you can advocate for the poor, fight for environmental justice, defend civil rights, etc. But if you are like the typical law school graduate today, you will finish with substantial debt. Public interest jobs are too low paying to accommodate a heavy debt burden. Some law schools have a debt-forgiveness program for people going into public interest jobs, but the salaries are so low that they are often hard to manage even in light of debt forgiveness.

Myth 5: I’ll have intellectually challenging work.
Early in your career, you will probably spend a lot of time reviewing documents all day rather than tackling great intellectual issues. Even litigators – many of whom go into law to argue exciting, constitutional issues — will spend most of their time researching mundane procedural issues at the beginning of their career.

If you’re thinking of going to law school, make sure you have a clear plan for how you will make that degree useful (and essential) when you graduate. Find some practicing lawyers and spend time with them to find out what they really do for a living.

If you are already in law school and reading this, don’t panic. Rather, start doing some of the harder thinking that you put off and figure out how you want to make the best use of your degree when you do graduate. The work you do now will surely pay off in the long run.


Most people don’t need to go to graduate school. Sure, you need an MBA to run a Fortune 500 company, and you need to go to medical school to be a doctor, but in most cases, a graduate degree doesn’t provide a ticket to play – because anyone can play – but rather, the degree provides a security blanket.

And at some point, you need to admit that walking around with a security blanket makes you look bad. You can do adult life without one. Wondering if this applies to you? Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t go to grad school:

1. A humanities PhD makes you less employable not more employable.
Most people who get degrees in humanities will not get teaching jobs. And people who are looking for jobs in the corporate world, with a humanities PhD under their belt look like someone who tried to teach but couldn’t. Or, worse yet, it looks like you spent five years getting a degree you had not made a plan for using. Both cases serve to make you “probably not even qualified to run a cash register,” according to Thomas Benton, a columnist in the Chronicle of Higher Learning who is discouraging people from pursuing these degrees.

2. You can shift careers by enrolling in a night-class.
Marci Alboher did this – she was a lawyer and took a class in writing, and now look: She’s writing for the New York Times about, what else? How you don’t need to get a degree to change careers, you just need to take a class. Of course, this won’t work in all circumstances, but the majority of fields require some knowledge, but not a degree.

3. Grad school is a bad way to deal with uncertainty.
If you don’t now what to do, and you go to grad school to buy time, and then you figure out what you want to do, you will always have to answer the question, why grad school? It will be hard to come up with an answer that doesn’t reveal that you went back to school so you didn’t have to deal with adult problems. Better to flail in the work world and learn what you like then put it off. Grad school is too expensive to be a backup plan.

4. People who love to learn don’t need a degree for it.
Don’t go to grad school because you love poetry. If you love poetry, read it. No one dictates to you what you have to do after work. If you want to read poems, fine. Why do you need a degree? What will that accomplish besides putting you into debt? Anyway, a good job allows you to learn so much that it is like a continuation of school anyway.

5. Use LinkedIn instead of an MBA.
Okay. I’m sort of exaggerating here, but so many people say they are going to business school for the networking opportunity. Instead, these people should consider spending all that time on networking instead of going to class. Business school makes connections for you, but they might not be for the best; I once read an essay that suggested that business schools are merely headhunters who charge a fee to the employee.

By Ryan Healy — Most of my friends would love to run their own business some day. Me too. However, we believe the first logical step is to get a few years of work experience, make connections, and save money.

A couple of months ago, my good friends from college, Matt, Cole and Adam, came to visit for the weekend. These three want none of that work experience I’m talking about, so they are opening up a sandwich shop in a college town.

The first thing Adam said when he saw me was, “What does it feel like to be in 17th grade?”

He was referring to the fact that I live in an apartment complex with hundreds of other “young professionals” who are basically living the same boring (his words) lives. At first I laughed it off and told him that he was just jealous that I was making money and could afford to live in a nice place like this.

But after thinking about it, I understand what he means. I more or less live in an adult dorm, albeit a super-sized and super-expensive dorm. Every morning I wake up and put on a suit, or as my buddies call it, a “uniform.” I walk to the subway with all the other young workers or “students,” and I take the subway or “school bus” to work, or as Adam would say, to “17 th grade.”

I have to admit, thinking about post-college years in this way can make me question why I am doing this instead of pursuing something I love. But I have chosen to take a different perspective about this whole 17th grade idea.

Of my college friends, about half are in graduate school. They are in 17th grade much like me; however they are paying for it while I am being paid, and I’m learning how to live in the real world at the same time.

I do not consider myself to be an adult. Whether you think there is something wrong with this or not, it’s a fact. And I would say it’s safe to assume that if you took an inventory of recent college grads in the workplace or grad school, the majority would give you the same answer. I don’t know when or if I am supposed to be an adult. I’m thinking it will be around the time I start a family.

Because of this, I guess you could say that my company has replaced my parents as my support system. They provide me with money to put a roof over my head, they pay the insurance companies to cover most of my medical needs, and instead of asking mom and dad for my weekly allowance, I just wait for that good old bi-weekly paycheck to appear in my bank account.

I try to learn something from everything I do. This so-called 17th grade is just what it sounds like — an educational opportunity for me to master before I graduate to the next phase of my life or the next “grade.” What that grade will be, I have no idea, but I hope to figure it out while I’m here. It might be my own business, it might be a management position in a small company, or it may have absolutely nothing to do with business at all.

My ideal 17th grade will teach me how a successful company runs, how to improve my public speaking skills, and how to work with and eventually manage a diverse group of people. The question I ask myself is, which company or “school” as my buddies would say, will provide me with the best “education?”

Does this courtship sound familiar to you?

“We used Instant messenger a lot. But sometimes you just want to get away from your computer, so then we’d text. But fighting while you text is so tedious you may as well just get back on IM.”

This description is from Sandra Proulx, who maintained a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend for two years, before they moved in together in New Hampshire.

Their relationship reflects one of the big changes that millennials have brought to dating: The long-distance relationship. It’s becoming more and more mainstream as young people increasingly rejigger what it means to step out into adult life.

The trend starts before college, when young people are tied to technology, communicating with people all over the world, and making friends with people they’ve never met in person.

Then college comes, and the experience includes much more travel than it used to. Junior year abroad used to be the time to travel. Now there’s also a summer internship for most students, and many students travel to another state every summer for a coveted internship of one sort or another. Among college students 78% say they have been in a long-distance relationship.

After that, traveling for a job seems normal. Thirty years ago, people would generally look for a job out of college in a city they wanted to build a life in. Today, the first job is just a first step.

And millenniels are experimenters. They see their twenties as a time to try out a bunch of different jobs, and they also see it as a time to try out a bunch of different cities. It used to be that you could tell where someone was living by the area code on their phone. Now that area code on their cell phone only tells you where they started.

Additionally, millenniels are acutely aware of the problems generation X encountered from putting off having children. Baby-boomers mothers told gen-X daughters: “Don’t worry about getting married, you have time. Focus on your career. You can have kids later.”

Now we have a whole industry of women penning their ordeal of trying to get pregnant. And it’s pretty clear that IVF is not something that makes putting off having kids til age 40 something to plan for.

So the typical gen-Y graduate plans on being married around age thirty. Which means that while he or she is gallivanting from job to job and city to city, there is also, a parallel hunt for a stable partner.

Enter the long-distance romance.

To be sure, not everyone likes doing the long-distance routine, and New Kid on the Hallway lays out a lot of reasons why. But anecdotal evidence suggests that long-distance relationships have become mainstream for people not only in college, but after college. And, in fact, when it comes to making two careers and one relationship work across state lines, there are some best practices. Here are three:

1. Have a plan for being together eventually, and be flexible.
Ben Morris, founder of Boston Pedicab, spent a semester of school in San Diego where he met his girlfriend, Carolyn Soohoo. Two months after meeting her, he went back to Northeastern to finish college, they agreed to maintain a long-distance relationship while Morris finished school and then, he’d move to San Diego.

Knowing that they had a plan to be together made them committed to daily, hour-long phone calls. “It’s not like you can kill an hour together watching TV,” says Soohoo, “in order to be together we had to be talking.”

But before he got to San Diego, he founded Boston Pedicab, and Soohoo ended up coming to Boston instead. It was a big move for Soohoo. But she points out that learning to live together was not that hard because she and Morriss knew each other very well, “Because of the distance, we were forced to talk about things that would come up a lot later in other relationships.”

2. Get comfortable with deep conversation that flows electronically.
The ubiquitous Blackberrry is evidence that technology has allowed people to blur the lines of work life and personal life. And the better you can use technology the more you can blur the lines. For example, Twittertechnology to update people about what you’re doing all the time — makes IM look like low-maintenance communication. And if you’re good with a wiki then collaboration with people you can’t see doesn’t seem that hard.

Much of the technology that makes the workplace telecommuter-friendly to young people makes a telecommuter relationship possible as well. And, perhaps the most surprising thing is that these relationships seem to work out.

Proulx says that a lot of their communication took place within the 160-character limit of a text message. “When you only see the person once a month, you figure out how to write a whole novel’s worth of information in 160 characters.”

3. Be honest with yourself when it’s going nowhere.
Elina Furman is the author of the new book Kiss and Run: The Single, Picky, and Indecisive Girl’s Guide to Overcoming Her Fear of Commitment. Not surprisingly, she has experience with long-distance relationships.

But hers lasted five years, but it didn’t really go anywhere. “I thought it was the best thing in the world. But I was much less committed than I realized. The long-distance allowed me to gloss over issues and keep a safe distance without ever having to commit.”

Not that all dead-end relationships are bad. Furman is the first to say that having a boyfriend who was generally out of the picture probably helped her career: “I had the security of the relationship without the responsibilities of a relationship, and that freed me up to concentrate on my career.”

But as she got closer to age thirty, she got more interested in the idea of settling down. And in hindsight she recommends that you ask yourself: “Are you making a plan for living in the same zip code, or are you just coasting?”

Either is fine, but the key to success – in both the long-distance relationship as well as the careers it accommodates – is to know what you are aiming for so that you can ask yourself if you’re getting it.

The transition from the end of school to the beginning of adulthood is very hard. Today that transition lasts longer than it used to, because there are so many choices and so few tried and true career paths — if any — that work anymore.

Here are five things to keep in mind to make the transition into adulthood a litte easier:

1. Don’t expect things to fall into place too soon.
Today most people use their twenties as a time to search, and then settle down around age thirty. It’s a smart thing to do given the wide range of choices there are for young people today. It’s a great idea to use your twenties to explore — as long as you don’t berate yourself for not knowing what you’re doing. In fact, it’s only a very small percentage of college graduates who know what they are doing with their lives when they graduate. Most start figuring it out when they leave college.

2. Take some risks.
Maybe you’ll move a bunch of times before you figure out the place that will make you most happy. And you’ll probably change jobs three or four times to find something you like. Exploration is common — in a wide range of arenas — and smart. It’s the only way to really know what you like, and this is the time to do it. When you are living in a dump and you hate your job, you can reframe your situation in a way that acknowledges that you are a living in a time where you are trying things to see what works – nothing is permanent and you learn from bad choices.

3. Lookout for depression.
One of the demographic groups at highest risk for depression are people in their early twenties. This is because the transition to adulthood is so difficult. And the time people often feel depression is about a year after graduation, when their work life turns out to be much less interesting than anticipated, and college friends are scattered geographically and making new friends is difficult. Depression is a treatable disease, if you get treatment. Depression is serious — it’s not a time to rely solely on friends and family. Call a professional.

4. Calm down about your debt.
Yes, young people today start out life with more debt than ever before, but this doesn’t have to be a road to disaster. Think in terms of workarounds. For example, most likely your version of the American dream is not about money, so you can fulfill your dreams while dealing with debt. And while you probably want to do work that fulfills you, you don’t have to starve doing that — CollegeSurfing Insider gives examples of how you can pair soul-filling work with good-paying work to find a career that will make you happy.

5. Surround yourself with mentors.
One of the most important indicators of how good you will be at getting what you want in adult life is how strong your network of mentors is. One of the Mentors can be a wide range of people. Your parents count. Your friends count. And your parents’ friends count. But you need to start roping them in early. Mentor relationships require cultivation, and the earlier you start the more support you’ll have getting through your twenties.

So what about Coachology? Hallie Crawford is a career coach who works a lot with young people who are just starting out in their work life. She is donating 90 minutes of coaching (over the phone) to help someone get themselves on track, in terms of where they want to go and how they can get there. You don’t need to set your path in stone, but it’s good to have some path in mind, even knowing that it will change. Hallie can help you find your path by understanding yourself a little bit better in terms of your career.

To get a better sense of Hallie’s ideas, check out her blog. To get free coaching from Hallie, send an email to me by Sunday, March 18, with three sentences describing what you’d like to get from working with Hallie.

By Jason Warner — There has been a lot of press regarding the implications for job seeker of Those Photos on MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites. You know the pictures I’m referring to…

Most of the discussions I’ve heard on the topic are cautionary, as in, “Beware! What you post or say on the Internet could be online for a Very Long Time!”

As the leader of large corporate recruiting organizations (now Google, and before that at Starbucks) I have a different perspective.

We are in a new and unprecedented time with regard to the level of transparency the Internet creates between jobseekers and employers. More than ever before, jobseekers today know way more about the companies they might work for (and the people inside those companies, if you check OfficeBallot and Vault, for example), and employers know more about the candidates they might want to hire.

But here are five reasons that employers are not going to spend their time worrying about your unfortunate online photos – and other embarrassing antics from earlier years.

1. There is nothing any of us can do to change the behavior of college students.
From what I can tell, these, er…, activities have been happening in one form or another for as long as there have been colleges. Which is a very long time indeed. Our parents just didn’t mention it.

2. As time goes on, more and more detail about all of us will be found online.
Instead of a snippet or an indiscrete photo, there will be entire personal and professional “dossiers” about all of us and that information will be far more influential than a few unfortunate and unfocused pictures. For example, a blog is an excellent example of the sort of information that might be relevant to employers, if only to get a sense of how a potential hire communicates in writing. Half-naked underwear shots through a tequila-stained lens…not so valuable.

3. Searching for Those Photos won’t be worth our time.
As the velocity of job changes continues to move along at a rapid pace, and talent moves into and out of organizations more frequently than ever before. Most studies indicate that corporate recruiting departments are continuing to be strained to do more with less. So recruiters won’t have time to go hunting for Those Photos when there’s not much return on that investment.

4. The information isn’t relevant anyway.
Those Photos are representative of behaviors that many young candidates experience, and don’t likely correlate to on the job performance. If we have the bravery to get real about the topic, we all recognize that there a lot of things we do in private that we wouldn’t shared in public. Given the reach and permanence, the Internet just provides a smaller margin of error for revealing these natural human slips.

5. Its a slippery slope that could be bad for employers.
Today there is a fuzzy but growing distinction that companies will continue to draw between candidate professional experiences, competencies, and capabilities and their private lives and outside behaviors. It’s a line we don’t likely want to cross, because if we cross it for candidates, we may cross it for employees, and that compounds the problem to a monumentally greater degree.

In most cases, Those Photos will become a non-issue as this phase of the Internet Age plays itself out. Indeed, the leading companies in talent acquisition will continue to refine their hiring processes to become more and more scientific over time, because we now have much more data and tools to quantify what drives performance inside our companies.

However, the vast majority of selection processes at companies aren’t based on data-driven analysis as much as on interview processes that are far from scientific. So, there certainly is risk in posting Those Photos online. But that risk should diminish over time.