Career Services provides guidance

Developing a career is not always easy. And, finding the right job, be it a first job or a change in careers, is a job in itself that requires skill and appropriate training.
Tomball is one place where career seekers can find a number of helping hands and services to help guide them toward a job and the right long-term career for them.

Among the array of services offered by the Career Services staff at the college is an annual job fair that brings employers to the campus. This year's 2007 Job Fair will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in North 103, just off the Commons.

Job seekers attending the event should come dressed in business attire with an ample number of resumes with them to provide to the prospective employers, said career counselor and faculty member Dr. Sarah David.

"It's a good time to get acquainted with the recruiters," said David of the Job Fair. "Some (recruiters) may ask them (job seekers) to complete applications during that time and some hire on the spot. It just depends on the needs of the employer."

However, this annual job fair is just one of the many forms of assistance the career services office provides to those seeking help with employment, she noted. Additionally, the services offered by the office are available to students, alumni and members of the public at no cost.

"You might not be a Tomball student right now, but we hope you will someday," said David.  "Everyone is a potential student, so we have done this for the public all along."

The career services office provides an array of services ranging from career planning to seminars on a variety of job and career search topics to interest inventories and personality assessments.

"We offer career counseling for students who are not quite sure what they want to study to assist them with deciding on a major or for people who are transitioning from one career to another," said David who also teaches a career exploration course under the Human Development division of curriculum.

"We also assist students with job search strategies, interview preparation, resume critiques, and self assessments such as personality and interest inventories. "

Seminars offered by the Career Services office at Tomball cover topics such as successful interview skills, writing a top-notch resume, dressing for success, getting into the job search and personality assessment testing.

Not only are these seminars and services free, the career services staff works to make the counseling services available on a basis that is as convenient as possible for the individuals they serve. Counseling services are available in person by appointment on the Tomball campus and through distance counseling services via phone or e-mail, noted David.

"We like to make use of the technology we have now," she said. "The Internet has become a very important part. These services are available anytime a person can access the Internet or phone.  We do a lot of work via distance career counseling and try to match the delivery methods with the needs of our students."

"We are always progressing as we learn about different needs to be flexible in meeting those needs," said David of the use of technology in career counseling.

Also available to career seekers is the online job data base maintained by career service professionals within North Harris Montgomery College District, she said.  Potential employers undergo a pre-screening process to ensure they are offering legitimate jobs for salary before they post a position on the district's data base, added David.

Many employers actively seek employees through the college, she noted.

The Career Services office is sometimes mistaken as a placement service or staffing agency which is not the case, said David who works to clarify the role of her office.

"Searching for a job is a job in itself and we teach career planning and job search skills students will use in the future," said David.  "Career Services provides both career counseling and job search assistance.  We assist students in planning their career paths. We offer employment resources through our job data base clearinghouse to connect job seekers with employers. People often mistake career services as a placement or staffing agency."

"We provide the resources to assist students in preparing for careers and searching for jobs," she added.

Through its various methods of reaching potential users, the career services office serves about 225 people each month. Last year alone, some 1,644 employers posted open positions on the college district's jobs data base.

David said she finds her role as career counselor extremely gratifying as she assists people in finding the career path in life that's right for them.

"What excites me is helping someone reach the point where they understand their purpose and they go to school with that purpose in mind," she said. "Students who identify their major and set goals are more likely to stay in college."

"I really find it gratifying when they come back and tell me they've gotten a job in their field or are moving on to a four-year school in their major, " added David. "We're giving them direction and teaching them skills that will last a lifetime."

Those interested in obtaining services from the Tomball Career Services office may call 281-351-3383 or visit Career Services online at tomball.lonestar.edu/goto/careercenter. 

Tomball is a member of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District. NHMCCD, one of the five largest and fastest growing community college districts in Texas, comprises North Harris College, Kingwood College, Tomball College, Montgomery College, Cy-Fair College, seven satellite centers and The University Center.