As a career coach, I have learned the importance of listening to the needs of my students. This workshop came from listening to my first year students and the challenges they faced adjusting to college and making time for their career development.
How many of you listen to music during the day? Do you have playlists? Do you ever skip songs or put your device on shuffle to get a random mix? There are times that you listen to a great variety and mix and there are times that shuffle is not shuffling as you want it to. This can happen in your first year of college. You may feel like you are shuffling a lot but not always obtaining what it is you want. You may wonder how to get what you want and need in your first year. Think of college as your iPod and all the things you need from college as your various playlists. My role is to help you with the career development playlist. You have other playlists such as student organizations, friends, being on your own, attending class, making good grades and freedom. It’s all new and exciting, but can be overwhelming.
Millennials are multi taskers. You are always doing something, whether it’s joining a club or organization, creating a budget, or attending class, and on top of that you are also supposed to be focusing on a future career. You may feel you cannot really focus past first semester, much less graduation in four years. The key is to prioritize and use time management skills. What’s most important in the first few weeks or month of school? What do you want to accomplish?
There are many things you can do to manage your time. Invest in an alarm clock; it can be an actual clock or your phone. Use a daily planner to keep track of your activities like softball practice, meeting with your career coach, dinner with friends. Write down assignments and due dates or refer to the class syllabus. Set aside time to study, eat, exercise, and time for yourself doing something you enjoy. These activities may sound simple, but they will make a big difference.
Let’s get back to your career development playlist and where that fits in exactly. As you are deciding on or pursuing a major you will need a career coach to assist you. Think of the career coaches as your personal DJ’s. We will help you with putting together or updating your resume, exploring your career interests, finding a job, and more. We administer various career assessments to help you learn more about yourself and how to use this information for future internships, jobs, and careers. How many of you have heard of LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a professional website that connects you to people in your field that you are able to network with. We will help you create your account so you can begin making connections. There are career workshops to attend on various topics such as finding your career passion, soft skills, the interviewing process, and resumania. Make time to meet with your career coach and attend workshops, this will help the career playlist not get lost in the shuffle.
The best part is that career development is done on your time; the ball is in your court. You schedule when you want stop in or meet, anywhere from a brief 15 minutes to an hour depending on your needs. As career coaches we look forward to meeting with our students- you are the reason we are here. We have the knowledge and resources to help you move forward in your career and look at it holistically. There are many factors that aid in selecting a career from the type of environment you want to work in, to where you want to live, or the type of income you want to have. There are many career options as well as graduate school, we can assist with all of this and prepare you for what comes next.
Don’t feel that you must do everything at once. The shuffle is real, prioritize your playlists according to your needs. Your first year you should focus on creating a resume, setting up LinkedIn, exploring career interests, and attending career workshops. You have four years to become prepared for the workforce and your first year is the best time to begin.