Thursday, December 1, 2011

4 Ways To Have a Career Oriented Christmas

As the semester winds down, odds are you are making plans for travel and looking forward to some deserved time away from school.  However, that doesn't mean you can't make strides toward become more career focused.  Here are four things you can do get yourself in (or even ahead) of the game:

(1) Take some time to sit down and brainstorm your accomplishments.  What awards have you won?  What organizations/clubs are you active in?  How is your GPA?  What experience do you have?  Type up your list and access the section on this page entitled "Do I Actually Need A Resume" and begin hashing out a sample resume.  When you return, drop it by me in the CAVE for critique.

(2) View family gatherings as networking opportunities.  Ask questions about their careers and what they find enjoyable and/or challenging.  You may discover that you have similar interests, and they may be able to give you valuable information on what you can be doing now to get your foot in the door.

(3) Research.  While you are online getting your daily facebook fix, take a second to browse some of your interest areas.  One of my favorite sites to use is the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which provides you with valuable information on salary, education/training, work environment, and job outlook for nearly any career.  This allows you to get a realistic idea of what it takes to get into the field, and what you can expect once you get there.

(4) Did you discover something interesting?  While you are back, and unencumbered by school, take a day to shadow someone in the community who works in a capicity similar to your interest area.  You will want to contact them first to be sure you show up at a time that is convenient for them and is representative of a typical day in the job.  This allows you to get an even better feel for the type of environment you could potentially be working in.

Sometimes the weight of a semester's responsibilities can blind us from taking a step back to consider our own career development.  Holidays can provide a break from these responsibilities and an opportunity to revisit our goals.  Use your time wisely - but be sure to relax and have fun as well!

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