5 Steps You Should Be Taking to Ensure You Are Ready to Start Your Dream Career
Now in my third year of obtaining my English degree, I am very excited to be that much closer to starting my dream career. While a degree is certainly a step in the right direction, there are a few additional steps college students should be doing to leverage their chances of landing their dream job. Below are 4 steps I have been focusing on in addition to my school work.
- Researching Qualifications For Your Dream Career
As an English major there are several career paths available to me: Marketing, communications, teaching, or writing among others. If you are still undecided about which career path you are best suited for, try conducting a bit of research about potential careers. Starting salary, qualifications necessary, availability relative to where you live, and growth rate within the overall job market. By having a better understanding of how a potential career fairs in one of these categories, you may be able to hone in on the career path that is best for you.
By now many of you I’m sure have heard of the benefits of an internship. On the job training, networking, and possible placement with the company you intern for are 3 great reasons to search out an internship. Some of you may even be interested in the opportunity to intern abroad which would broaden your skills even more! The great thing about searching for one now, is that they can usually be found among many of your most popular online job searching sites such as indeed.com.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is getting out and meeting new people. I know that with the prevalence of social media, many of you may have a hard time putting down your phone or stepping away from your computer to attend that event your friend invited you to, but every social gathering presents an opportunity to meet with someone who potentially knows someone that can hook you up with your dream job. I like to think of myself as a brand. I always try and present myself in the most favorable light – among friends, family, and especially to new people I meet. If you are an introvert and find it difficult to get out and meet new people, pencil it in to your monthly schedule. Look for monthly events that are scheduled (maybe there is a marathon or even a school event that you could attend to put your face out there and shake a few hands) drag a sibling along if you can’t get any friends to attend. Make it a point to broaden your social circle to include people with the same interest as you as they may even be able to offer guidance when the time comes to put yourself out there in the job market.
In reference to your media presence, be sure to remember to create a professional online presence. If your face book is only for your friends and family, create a separate one where you follow professional sites and people that are a part of your networking community. You certainly don’t want to be caught off guard when your interviewer asks for the online information.
Volunteering serves several purposes. For one, it shows your involvement in your community. If your resume is lacking in experience, having other areas to fill in can help bulk up your resume in a positive way. It also helps you network. If you can, find ways to volunteer with people who may be able to help further you along in your career goals. If this isn’t possible, then look for volunteer opportunities with the most need in your community – you should this anyway. Having the ability to show your support in your local community demonstrates positive character to possible employers, and local organizations designed to help others and aid the community are always in need of more volunteers.
There is so much to be gained from taking the initiative to engage in the above steps well before your degree is complete. It will make you a more well-rounded person and potential employee to employers. A degree goes a long way in furthering your career goals, but so does leadership. Take your future into your own hands and commit to doing everything possible to present yourself to the world in the best possible light.