Many students, I’d like to call them the “lucky ones,” know exactly what they want to do with their life. They have had their career path planned out for years. If you don’t fall into that category, don’t worry you are not alone. With a little time and effort, you can discover your path too and land the job of your dreams.
The first area you need to research is yourself.
What are you good at? Can you type faster than 100 WPM? Can you create Web designs? Can you command a crowd with your presence?
What are your interests? Do you enjoy scanning the New York Times each morning, for news articles surrounding international issues? Do you frequently attend Broadway musicals? Do you visit the pet store at your local mall each week, so that you can look at the newest puppy additions? Your interests, whether big or small, can direct you to the type of company you would fit in at.
Who are you? Do you stand at the edge of the room at a party, or do you circle the room talking to every guest? Does a hard statistics problem give you a headache, or does it thrill you to find the correct answer? Do you need structure and a schedule, or are you spontaneous?
What type of job would you like? Would you prefer to travel? Would you be willing to drive an hour to work, or would you rather a short commute? Do you need a job that can provide you benefits?
So you are a Web designing genius that enjoys Broadway musicals and being the life of the party…what’s your next step?
Research! Make google your new best friend. Research careers that you are considering to find out what the job entails. Some great websites to look at are: MassCIS.intocareers.org and the Occupational Outlook Handbook (www.bls.gov/ooh).
Network! Start talking to professionals. If you think teaching might be your calling, make an appointment with your professor. If you are interested in Public Relations, call a firm for an informational interview. You can learn what an average day on the job would look like, and discover what PR firms are looking for in potential employees. If you do not have a LinkedIn account, make one. Connect with previous employers, colleagues, and classmates to grow your connections.
Job Shadowing: Are you interested in becoming a nurse? Is your mother’s best friend a nurse? Ask if you can spend a few hours with her at her job one day. Job shadowing will allow you to see exactly what you could be doing if you were to pursue that career.
Find an internship in the field you are considering. This will allow you to take a test drive in your desired field.
Need help? Keep calm. Help is just a phone call away. Call the Career Services Office at 508-626-4625 and set up an appointment with one of our career counselors to find out more about the best career assesments, reviewing results, researching careers and planning a course of action.
Written by Arianna Miller