CAREER RELATED ARTICLES
Strategies for Freshmen & Sophomores
your career destiny! Just going to class and picking up your diploma after four
years doesn't cut it. You need to become active on and off campus. Becoming
marketable to employers or graduate schools is a four-year job. Here are the top
10 things you can do during college to make yourself marketable at job-search
time. In fact, if you do all 10 of these, you'll be unstoppable:
and graduate schools want candidates with good grades. That will probably never
change. Doing well academically not only proves that you have a knowledge base,
but indicates a strong work ethic—a trait that employers value.
interests, skills, values, and personal characteristics—The
first step to clarifying your career goals is to go through a process of
self-assessment. Visit your career center and take advantage of the
explore career options—You
owe it to yourself to find a career that enriches your life, not one that brings
you down. Actively exploring careers means talking with professionals in
occupations of interest and observing professionals on the job. Your career
center probably has alumni and other volunteers who are willing to talk to you
about their careers. Also, attend any career expos, career fairs, and career
speaker panels that are offered.
in extracurricular activities and clubs—Active
involvement in activities and clubs on campus is highly valued by employers and
graduate schools. Joining a club is fine, but becoming active within that club
is what matters most. Become a leader, hold an office, or coordinate an event.
You will develop your skills in leadership and teamwork—skills that recruiters
in community service—It's
important that you begin to understand and appreciate the importance of giving
back to your community, and that you live in a larger community than your
college or hometown. Typically, students look at community service as a chore.
After they've served, however, it's usually one of the most rewarding
experiences they've had! Recruiters love to see that you've volunteered to help
in your community.
advantage of the computer courses and workshops your college offers. You can
also learn a lot by just experimenting with different software packages on your
own. Finally, you should learn how to develop your own web page or web-based
portfolio. There are many web-design software tools that make it real easy to
develop your own web page! Contact your college's information technology office
to see how to get started.
and over, company and graduate school recruiters complain about the lack of
writing skills among college graduates. Don't avoid classes that are writing
intensive. Work at developing your writing skills. If there is a writing center
on campus, have them take a look at your papers from time to time. Remember, the
first impression you give to recruiters is typically your cover letter or
least one internship in your chosen career field—More
and more, internships are the springboards to employment and getting into
graduate programs. Many recruiters say that when they need to fill entry-level
jobs, they will only hire previous interns. In addition to making yourself more
marketable, internships also are a great way to explore careers and determine
whether or not certain careers are for you. When you work for a company as an
intern for three to four months, you get a really good feel for whether the
field (and company) is one in which you want to work day in and day out!
appreciation of diversity through study abroad, foreign languages, and courses—We
are now, more than ever, working within a global work force. For you to be
successful at work and in your life, you must stretch yourself, and learn about
people and cultures different than yours. Take advantage of the wonderful
study-abroad opportunities and the courses relating to diversity. This is your
time to travel! Most people find it harder to take time to travel as they begin
their careers and start families.
your career center all four years—Your college career center can help you
throughout your entire college career. Here is just a sampling of what your
career center can help you do:
major and career direction,
resume and cover letter,
your skills, interests, and values,
job-search or graduate school plan,
with prospective employers (career fairs, on-campus recruiting, and more) and
with alumni mentors.
control your career destiny. Don't wait until your senior
year to start realizing your goals. Your career train is on the move. Jump on
board now so you can reach your destination!
(Source: Bob Orndorf, National Association of
Colleges & Employers)
How to Set Goals
How Prepared are Today's
What Do Employers
What is a
for Liberal Arts Students
Career Success for
Liberal Arts Majors
What Can I Do With
my Liberal Arts Degree?
Marketing Your Liberal Arts Degree
Here are the six
essential lessons for thriving in the world of work and having a
satisfying, productive career.
1. There is no plan
- The economy changes too
fast for your career to have a plan. See the big picture. Be flexible. To
ready to adapt to changing circumstances and situations. Explore and try things
out. Ask lots of questions.
2. Think strengths, not
weaknesses - Find your advantages.
Think of a time when everything was going right and you were at your supreme
best. What were you doing, where were you, who were you with? What words
describe you at that moment? These are some of your strengths! When you are
operating at your peak, doing something you love, chances are you are using all
your strengths. That’s why you are able to operate with so much energy and
3. It’s not about you -
Serving others serves you best. It’s
about making a contribution that’s bigger than one person, for the greater good
of others. Most successful people improve their own lives by improving others’
lives. They help their customer solve its problem. They give their client
something it didn’t know it was missing.
4. Persistence trumps talent
- Keep showing up. Many successful
people say it was their determination to achieve a goal that gave them the
courage to jump at an opportunity or take a risk that brought them closer to
their goal. Sometimes just sticking to it and putting one foot in front of the
other is what is needed to get you through those times of doubt.
5. Make excellent mistakes
- Take risks, but fail forward. Ask yourself:
When did your last mistake or failure teach you a
really great lesson that you wouldn’t have learned if you’d played it safe?
6. Leave an imprint -
Do something that matters. Years from now you'll ask yourself: Did I
make a difference? Did I contribute something? Did my being here matter? Did I
do something that left an imprint?
(Source: Daniel Pink)
What is Networking?
How to Use Networking to Find a Job
Job Networking Tips
Networking Tips for Your Job Search
Proven Networking Techniques for Job Seekers
to Crack the Hidden Job Market
Managing Your Career
The Hidden Job Market
How to be an Effective
Networking: Utilizing Your
Job Market: Finding a Job With No Competition
Access the Hidden Job Market
the Hidden Job Market
Career Success is Within Your Reach
Are you waiting for career
success? Do you believe that if you wait long enough sooner or later your dreams
of success will come true?
When it comes to success, you are
better off spending your time working toward being successful than losing
precious moments waiting for it to happen.
What are the traits of successful
people? They have drive and a belief in themselves. They are confident. They
seem to have the Midas touch. But instead of trying to emulate the qualities
that made them successful, we sometimes assume that "they must know someone."
Or, "they were lucky." We forget that they worked hard to get where they are
today. We didn't see their struggles. We just see the end result, and we want
what they have, NOW.
Career success is not just for
the lucky. It's for those who want it and work hard to get it. There's no
mystery to the process. Follow certain steps and you will be successful. Deviate
from these steps and success will take longer.
So how do you grab career
success? Follow these steps:
1. Believe that you will
Self-belief is such a crucial and
sometimes overlooked element. You have to believe that success is within your
reach. If you do not believe it, who will? The clients that I coach who make
their career dreams come true are those who believe in their goals. How can you
become a believer? Sit down with a piece of paper in front of you. Write without
editing your words. Create your ideal career and life. Create a picture you can
look at every day. What does your picture look like? Does it inspire you? Does
it bring excitement into your mind? Belief comes from within. You just have to
dig it out every once in awhile.
2. Get the facts
Once you are a
believer, back up your beliefs with facts. Find out specifically what steps you
need to take to make your picture real. This way you will be comfortable taking
action. For example, let's say you want to expand into another industry. What
facts do you need? Do you need more training? Is the cost of training within
your reach? If you make the investment will it put more money in your pocket
when you are done? Do you care about money, or are you more interested in a
better quality of life? Write down your questions and get your answers. Then you
will be ready to act.
3. Commit to your
say "I will" versus "I'll try" or "I may someday." There is something powerful
about making a commitment. First of all, the decision to be successful is made,
and the back and forth is done. Second, you have focus and direction that
transforms your outlook and gives you purpose. As human beings we do not always
like to make commitments. We feel that we need to keep ourselves open to all
opportunities because we are afraid that we may walk away from something better.
Yes, you are walking away from something and that "thing" is confusion.
Commitment gives you something greater. A reason to get out of bed every day.
4. Put a plan in place
Once you are committed, map out
how you will succeed. Use the facts you gathered in step two ("Get the facts")
to guide you. Break down your success plan into smaller pieces. Put these
smaller pieces into your calendar. Make to-do lists. Manage your priorities and
say yes only to those things that will bring you closer to success. Delegate and
eliminate those tasks that take up your time. And if you get sidetracked or
distracted, use your plan to get back on track.
5. Keep moving no matter what
There may be days when you do not
want to do the work or you do not believe the effort you are putting in will be
worthwhile. It's normal to feel this way. Your journey will be filled with ups
and downs. Success comes to those who keep moving. It's ok to have doubts. Keep
taking action anyway. Take small steps every day, no matter what. Small steps
today lead to big dreams achieved tomorrow.
So what do you say? You have only
one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!
by Deborah Brown-Volkman)
Finding the Work You Love
How to Make Your Life a
Changing the World Starts
How Successful People
What Skills Lead to
Skills for the Future
Strengthening Your Soft
What Are You Going to Do
with What You Have?
Stop Wishing, Start Doing
Career Orientation: There is a difference between a job and a career. And
there is a difference between job hunting and career planning. The college track
student is reminded to be intentional about his or her career planning efforts
and to be deliberate about adopting techniques and strategies that will foster a
professional career planning orientation and avoid the less sophisticated, less
effective, job hunting orientation.
Proactive Approach: Students need to be proactive, plan ahead, and begin
early establishing a relationship with their college career center. A career is
too important to be tended to only under desperation circumstances and in a
state of panic. It is not wise to solicit help from the career center on short
notice. It is not advisable that students wait until the last minute to address
any component of their career planning or job search process.
Ongoing Process: Career planning is a process, not a one-time act. It is
multifaceted and progressive. To be successful in their career pursuit, students
will need to understand that important things in life take time and require
planning. One visit to the career center will not solve all their problems, nor
will it equip them with everything they need to be effective in the attainment
of their career goals.
Beyond the Degree: A degree alone will not guarantee a lucrative career
upon graduation. In order to be regarded as a serious candidate in today’s
competitive job market, students will need to extend their education beyond the
classroom and expand their experience beyond the degree. To have the necessary
credibility, students must get involved in extracurricular activities and
projects, relevant clubs and organizations, and internships that can provide
opportunities to apply their knowledge and gain experience before graduation.
Goal Oriented: The more goal-oriented students are, the more likely they
are to obtain career success. Once students explore their range of career
options, they should be encouraged to set realistic and attainable career goals.
Without some notion of where they want to go and what they want to do, students
will lack the sense of focus and direction necessary for career success.
Choosing their career goal before they choose their academic major is oftentimes
Active Participation: To ensure they are adequately prepared and fully
equipped, students will need to take full advantage of the services offered and
actively participate in the various programs, events and activities sponsored by
the career center. Students’ attendance at career workshops, career fairs,
information sessions, and other career-related events provides them the tools
necessary to effectively manage their career.
Professional Growth and Maturity: College is an appropriate time for
students to begin thinking and acting like professionals. If they intend to
pursue a serious career, it will be necessary for them to devote adequate time
and energy to such critical details as professional attire, professional
behavior and attitude, etiquette, employer expectations, workplace culture,
networking techniques, prospecting techniques, negotiation techniques, job
market research methods, job search strategies, interview preparation, and
résumé writing skills. Too often, young candidates head out into the job market
with no training in any of these important areas, and they suffer the
Self-Awareness: Students’ ability to make good decisions about their
career and education are greatly enhanced by their ability to clearly and
accurately define who they are. A deep understanding of one’s personal traits is
the basis for understanding one’s interaction with the world around them. It is
advisable that students assess themselves in terms of their interests, skills,
strengths, weaknesses, talents, abilities, values, beliefs, needs, and
attitudes. Students can gain greater confidence in their goal-setting and
decision-making when they possess a firm understanding of their unique
Holistic Perspective: Students must realize that effective career
planning and career development require a holistic and broad-based perspective.
The concept of a career encompasses more than the simple matters of employment.
Career issues are intricately related to one’s personal life. They are expressed
through academic pursuits, extracurricular activities, volunteer community
service, leadership development, membership in clubs and organizations, and
continuing education, including graduate and professional school. The concept of
a career encompasses a broad array of life issues, including family,
relationships, finances, health, and leisure.
Assume Responsibility: Students will need to take responsibility for
their own career planning and job search efforts. It is not the role of the
campus career center to find a job for their students. More often than not, the
career center will focus on teaching job search skills rather than actually
placing students in jobs. While many job openings will be posted through the
career center, and many interviews will be available through the career center,
the majority of opportunities that await students will be the ones they discover
through the comprehensive career planning and job search process taught by the
career center. It is the intention of the career center to provide the tools and
resources that empower students to manage their own independent campaign.
Mistakes I Made at
My First Job
College Habits That
Don't Fly in the Workplace
What I Wish I Knew
Before I Started My Career
Find Your Passion
How to Know Your
Design Your Life
Don't Find a Job,
Find a Mission
Do What You Like,
Like What You Do
Our Definition of
Failure is All Wrong
majority of companies still value the personal relationship when looking
for new hires. Networking still has to have the human touch. That’s the
difference in becoming a serious candidate instead of a mere applicant.
Be the initiator instead of the responder. Certainly many job postings
today have online submission guidelines that should be followed, but also
take a copy of your resume and deliver it in person if that’s an option.
You might simply follow up with a phone call or an e-mail message. Many
younger job-seekers today are more about interfacing than they are about
interacting. When 100 candidates or more all apply using the same
interface, it can be difficult to stand out.
Fast Company Magazine)
Stop Wishing, Start Doing
Millennials in the Workplace
to Find Your Passion
Principles of a Great Conversation
Accessing the Hidden Job Market
How Successful People Think
What Should I Do
With My Life?
Soul at Work
In all the work we do… the job and career… impenetrable mysteries are involved.
In our work we find deep pleasure, meaning, fulfillment, and a way to make a
living. When the unique character of our soul blends with the character and
quality of our work, we find a sweet blend of nature and effort that heals many
wounds. Finding the right work often appears to be the panacea that will finally
make life worth living. A career gives us our very identity and offers a
profound sense of meaning and purpose in life. What we do in life is the most
important factor in expressing our individuality. The work we do reveals our
values, vision, longings and desires, ethical sensitivity, and passions… the
greater part of our soul.
(Source: Thomas Moore, The
Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life)
Career Planning Resources
Career Exploration Tools
Job Market Tools
Resume Writing Resources
Skills Employers Value
Getting Serious About Your Career
1. Plan Ahead
us stumble into a career doing less research than when we make a major
purchase. When buying a car, most of us do research, compare prices, shop
around, and talk to people. Our careers last longer than most vehicles. We
owe it to ourselves to devote time and effort to choosing a career or
making a career change. One way to do this is through the career
development is an ongoing, lifelong process. It is an active process. We
must be the driving force behind the process, gathering information,
setting goals, and making decisions. Career development is an
introspective process of self-assessment and reflection. And it is a
time-consuming process that requires proactive thinking and advance
planning. Career development is a holistic process, which integrates our
changing needs, wants, relationships, and situations with the
ever-changing world of work.
2. Assess Yourself
you’ve been thinking about your career path and are seeking some sense of
focus and direction, you can begin by answering the first and most
important question, “who am I?” Knowing the answer to this question and
having a deep understanding of who we are helps us in our career planning.
We can use this information to evaluate possible careers or career
changes, look for opportunities, and find greater satisfaction in other
areas of our lives as well.
Typically, the process starts with self-assessment. Understanding who you
really are is critical to effective career planning. Breaking the process
down can be helpful:
Interests - What interests do I have? What do I enjoy doing? What do I
have a passion for? What excites me? What activities do I enjoy doing
that I don’t realize the passage of time while I am engaged in it?
- What skills do I possess? What are my talents and abilities? What is
it I can do that I do better than others?
- What are my values? What things do I believe in? What motivates me to
work? What things in life do I consider to be important? What gives me a
sense of purpose?
Career Planning Resources
Career Exploration Tools
Job Market Tools
Resume Writing Resources
Skills Employers Value
3. Explore Your
have done some self-assessment, you can move to researching and exploring
your options in the world of work. You’ll need to gather detailed
information and learn about various careers.
exploration may include on-line and library research and other activities
that allow you to learn about various occupations. It may also include
talking to people in the field through informal discussions, information
interviews, job shadowing, and mentoring.
objective is to match your personality traits with appropriate vocational
settings. What careers align best with your interests, skills, and
4. Get Focused
your self-assessment and exploration you should have a clearer idea of
what you are looking for. Now is the time to establish your direction and
set some goals. Where do your interests, skills, and values intersect?
Where do your talents and the needs of the world cross? What do you want
to do with your life? What do you want to work towards? What do you want
to accomplish? What is your mission? What is your purpose in life? What
will you gain satisfaction from doing? What is your calling?
your goal includes identifying specific action steps that will move you
forward. Your stated goals might include your area of interest or
specialty, your functional area, your choice of an industry, your choice
of a location, region, or market, and the names of companies or
5. Take Action
Sometimes people get stuck looking for the “perfect” action step. Remember
that any step forward is an accomplishment. In the action phase, you
begin making choices about the activities you want to commit to. Based on
your goal, you can select the appropriate academic major, coursework,
clubs and organizations, extracurricular activities, community service
projects, part-time jobs, and internships. Any activity or project that
will get you closer to your goal is a good use your time. Involvement in
these activities increases your experience, skills, and credibility.
phase of the process you might want to begin thinking about strategies.
It would be wise to begin working on such critical elements as resume
writing, cover letter writing, interview preparation, job search
strategies, networking techniques, prospecting techniques, and job market
this process is a cycle, after taking action you should re-assess how your
plan is going. You may need to alter your goals a bit. Perhaps you stumble
across a different occupational path that appears to be a better fit for
you. Use this information to ensure your path is taking you where you
really want to go.
Real World Tips for College Grads
Get Noticed and Get Ahead
Welcome to the Real World
Reality of the Real World
Rules to Follow to Get Ahead in Your Career
Transition Tips for New College Grads
Career Success: Tips to Excel in Your Career
Tactics for Getting Ahead at Work
Showing Professionalism in the Workplace
Six Steps for First Time Job
done it! You made it through college, have your degree in hand and are
finally ready to make your mark. You are now in the real world and it's
time to get your professional life started. If you are in the middle of
this crossroad, it can be scary, exciting, confusing, overwhelming or all
of the above. Following are some steps to make a successful
college-to-real world transition.
1. Pinpoint Your Direction
After four (or five, or six) years of college, you are completely certain
about what you want to do, right? If not, now is the time to determine
what your strengths are and identify what kind of careers suit you. Are
you someone who loves to be around people? Or are you happier crunching
numbers or creating computer programs? Consider all of your strengths,
weaknesses, likes, dislikes and interests when thinking about your career
plan. Read about fields that interest you and talk to others who are doing
jobs that you find interesting. Focus your direction on positions and
fields that match your interests and talents.
2. Do Your Research
It is vital to learn as much as you can about the companies that interest
you and to consider all of your options, says Pam Webster, a recruiting
manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. She should know: Enterprise is the
nation's largest recruiter of college graduates. "You should be
open-minded about opportunities in companies and industries you might not
have thought of before," she says. Once you have identified companies that
you want to target, Webster suggests looking at their Web sites, reading
news articles and talking to current employees to learn as much as you
can. "You also need to look at a company's stability," she says. "Is the
company going to be there for the long term?"
3. Assemble Your Toolkit
It is important to have the right tools for any task. The tools needed for
a job search are a résumé, cover letter and a portfolio of your work. Take
the time to develop a résumé and cover letter that clearly convey your
strengths and experience. Here are a few tips to remember:
about the type of résumé you need. A functional résumé, which highlights
your abilities rather than your work history, is a good choice for
first-time job seekers.
on accomplishments and results you have achieved, rather than simple
descriptions of experiences.
action words in your résumé and cover letter to describe your experiences,
such as "initiated," "produced" and "managed."
you are low on practical work experience, look to your part-time work,
school activities or volunteer positions. "Evaluate all of your experience
and translate how it applies to any job you might apply to," Webster says.
One of the most important tasks in any job search is networking. Take
advantage of any resources you have, including your school's career
placement office, friends who graduated before you and are already
working, friends of your parents, former professors, and neighbors. Join
professional organizations and attend professional conferences. Send
e-mails to ask if your contacts know someone who can help you. Establish
an account with a reputable on-line networking community (i.e. LinkedIn).
Pass your résumé around and ask others to do the same. Call your contacts
to see if they know someone who works for a firm you are interested in
5. Play the Part
If you want to join the professional world, you need to act and look the
part. Buy a business suit and wear it to all of your interviews. "Make
sure your e-mail address and voice mail greeting are appropriate," Webster
says. That means if your e-mail user name is "crazygirl2005," you might
want to get a new account. Webster says you should also remember to be
professional at home. "Be prepared for a phone call or a phone interview
at any time," she says. The more you play the part of a well-trained
professional, the more people will see you as a professional.
6. Don't Give Up
The real world can be a real challenge. Set realistic expectations and
recognize that you will probably have to start at the bottom and work your
way up. You will likely face rejection as you start looking for your first
full-time job, but everyone goes through it. Just remember to be
proactive, be persistent and remain confident that there is a great job
out there for you!
Kate Lorenz, Career Builder)
Larry Smith: Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career
21st Century Career Success
Reality Checks for Career Planning
What is a
Brendon Burchard: How to Get Ahead
Steve Jobs: Rules for Success
Paradigm Shift: Job Search vs. Career Management
Planning Guide: A to Z
Michael Litt: Why You Have to Fail to Have a Great Career
Brendon Burchard: How Successful People Think
Proven Networking Strategies of Successful Entrepreneurs
Career Ship: Mapping Your
Myths About Choosing a Career
Scott Dinsmore: How to Find and Do Work You Love
Your Life's Work
I first got
into the career field because I recognized how central work is to the
happiness of the individual and the character of any society. Work offers
the individual the opportunity to share acts of love and beauty, to see
goodness reflected in the image of his or her work. Since work is what we
do with most of our waking lives, we must, if we count life valuable,
consider what we are working for. For all too many, work is drudgery, the
thing to do to pay the bills, or a mad chase for material wealth and
social status. I saw how bored, alienated, under-challenged, or
over-stressed so many are in their work, and how their unhappiness at work
affects families, friends, and communities. It seemed to me that the
popular conception of work as principally a matter of economics and social
status was at the heart of the matter. Many individual tragedies of
alienation, emptiness, and despair, as well as community, national, and
global problems seemed to be aggravated, if not caused, by this conception
A growing number of people are expecting to find a place for their heart
and soul in their work, a place to express their unique talents and
abilities. They want a greater sense of joy and meaning in their work.
Your life's work is the work you were born to do -- the most appropriate
vehicle through which to express your unique talents and abilities. More
than a job or a career, it is your special gift to humanity.
Traditionally, your life's work was called a vocation, a word which
literally means calling. The work you love -- your calling or life's work
-- is your unique and living answer to the question, what am I here to do
on this earth?
By Laurence Boldt, How to Find the Work You Love)
Habits of Employees That Get Promoted
Shocking Statistics: Millennial Challenges
Confused Millennial: Entering the Workforce
How to Get a Promotion at Work
New Grad to New Job
Fastest Ways to Get Ahead in Your Career
Behavior at Work
Guide to Getting a Promotion
"Meaningfulness begins with recognizing that you are not alone, that you
are part of the human community, that everything you do sends a ripple
through the entire human family. Allow your natural compassion to suggest
creative ways that you can serve. Meaning is not found in acquisition, but
in feeling ourselves a part of something greater. To the extent that your
work takes into account the needs of the world, it will be meaningful. To
the extent that through it you express your unique talents, it will be
Boldt / How to Find the Work You Love
“What the world needs is more people who know what they really want to do,
and who do it at their place of work as their chosen work. The world needs
more people who feel true enthusiasm for their work… People who have taken
the time to think out what they uniquely can do, and what they uniquely
have to offer the world.”
Bolles / What Color is Your Parachute?
"There can be little joy in aimless
activity. It is debilitating. Negative attitudes and poor self-esteem
fester in the frustration of purposeless labor. Aimless labor is like
traveling in a rudderless ship. You are powerless to propel your vessel
port of call. On the other hand, virtually nothing on earth can stop a
person with a positive attitude who has his goal clearly in sight.”
-Waitley & Witt
“One of the most powerful processes we've found to cultivate the passion
of vision is creating and integrating an empowering personal mission
statement… Accessing and creating an open connection with the deep energy
that comes from a well-defined, thoroughly integrated sense of purpose and
meaning in life… Creating a powerful vision based on principles that
ensure its achievability… A sense of excitement and adventure that grows
out of connecting with your unique purpose and the profound satisfaction
that comes in fulfilling it.”
-Stephen Covey / First Things First
Career Planning for Today's College Students
Competitive Job Market Strategies
Can I Do With This Major?
Proven Networking Strategies of Successful Entrepreneurs
How to Feel Satisfied in Your Career
How Prepared are Today's College Graduates?
Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career
Shortcut to Nowhere
As each semester draws to a close, and we are no less than a few weeks
away from graduation, students start making their way into the Career
Center to see about getting a job. For many of those who wander in right
before graduation, in desperation mode, this represents the first and only
visit they've ever made it to the Career Center. To them, pursuit of their
professional goals is nothing more than simple job hunting. Our challenge
in the Career Center is to demonstrate to students the huge difference
between career planning and job hunting.
For too many of our students, career planning is a foreign concept. Even
though they chose to come to college because they saw a link between their
college degree and career success, they really are no more serious about
their career than to relegate it to mere job hunting.
For most important things in their lives, they know they have to put forth
extra effort, plan and prepare, and even do a little research. But,
somehow, when it comes to their careers, they suddenly get lazy. They
suddenly feel a great need to take all kinds of shortcuts.
Most people, it seems, exert more time and energy planning their
vacations, their weddings, and their purchases of automobiles and homes.
Most people understand the importance of preparation when it comes to the
necessary effort required to participate in sports and athletic
competition. But when it comes to their careers, planning is something
they generally don't think they need to do. When it comes to the
competition of the job market, the desire to exert rigorous effort is
missing. When it comes to their careers, it's all about job hunting.
They answer ads in the newspaper, they scan job lists, they post their
resumes on the internet, they go through staffing agencies, they rely on
on-campus recruiting, and they fill out applications in the HR department.
And they have deluded themselves into thinking that they're really doing
Career planning, on the other hand, is about setting a career goal and
selecting the right major based on that goal. It's about exploring career
opportunities and researching various industries and companies. It’s about
developing an early passion for a cause or an ideal and engaging in
worthwhile activities that will help build knowledge, experience, skill
and credibility while still in college. It's about knowing what you want
to do and pursuing that objective.
Career planning is about not being at the mercy of the job market. It's
about being the initiator in the job market, not the responder. It’s about
being a serious candidate, not just an applicant. It requires a
relationship-oriented mindset, not a task-oriented mindset.
As we see our students head out into the job market, we have not observed
that they encounter difficulty or failure because the market is bad or
because they lack qualifications. The reason they fail is because they
lack focus and credibility and because they have replaced real career
planning with mindless job hunting.
Students can take charge of the direction of lives. They can learn to
manage their careers. They can be successful in their pursuit of a
rewarding profession if they will begin early enough devoting the
necessary time and energy to the process. They must not wait until the
Proven Networking Strategies
Occupational Outlook Handbook
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