4 beneficial career moves to make while in college
| July 30, 2021
College is such a profound experience. You learn so much about how to navigate the world and connect with the people around you. More importantly, you learn about yourself and what mark on this world you want to leave. Many college students will find their purpose through the careers they choose.
Career choices are closely tied to identifying your passions and purpose in this world. So, while in college, it’s crucial you make moves that benefit your career so you can take full advantage of life after graduation.
Here are four beneficial career moves you can make while in college to help prepare you to excel in the workforce.
Work While You Go to School
Many students are employed throughout their college careers. Although work-related issues are one of the main reasons college students drop out, working in moderation helps you gain valuable experience in the work world before fully diving into your career.
Apply to low-stress jobs that allow you to stay focused on your education. You want to be able to balance school and work and give your best effort in both.
Once you have a part or full-time job, ensure your experience working while going to school is a positive one. Optimize your time with an organized schedule and communicate honestly with your work and school families about your needs. Then, implement a self-care routine to avoid burning out trying to do both. Also, ensure you have a solid "why" for working while in school to stay motivated when balancing gets overwhelming.
If taking on a job while in school isn't a good option for you, get creative in the way you gain valuable work experience and resources.
Find Other Ways to Gain Valuable Work Experience and Resources
Fortunately, there are other creative ways to ensure you gain some real-world work experience while in college, develop long-term relationships that help you after graduation, and create a list of resources that help you grow professionally and personally.
- Gain quality work experience through an internship.
You can work for a company for a set period and essentially learn how to do the job responsibilities you would be doing if you had the full-time job.
- Participate in volunteer opportunities.
This can teach you a lot about the difference between working for and running a not-for-profit business versus a for-profit business. It can also teach you skills beneficial to your career like empathy, humility, how to be non-judgmental, and cultural sensitivity.
- Start your own business.
Starting your own company while in college allows you to hone your leadership skills, expand your business knowledge, and gain experience in how to navigate the professional world overall.
Join Groups or Clubs on Campus
Being part of a group or club on campus is a staple in the college experience. Aside from connecting with other students and learning more about the topic of the club or group, you're also working on skills that can help you in your career. For example, socializing with other students in meetings enables you to develop your interpersonal skills, which can be transferred to your future career. Or taking on a leadership role in a club like the president, vice president, or secretary can refine the skills needed to be a great manager, executive, or CEO someday.
Also, joining a group or club on campus helps you strengthen one of the most important skills for any career, networking. The ability to meet, connect with, and ultimately develop lasting relationships with positive people only helps create a solid foundation for your career that fosters growth. All in all, you need a good circle of people around you to excel in any career, so learning to network early on will give you an advantage once you enter the work world.
If you're interested in joining a club or group on campus, look for one that suits a particular passion. You'll be more likely to stay in it your entire time at college. The longer you're engaged in these groups, the more opportunities you have to nurture skills that will help you after college.
Strengthen Skills that Will Help You in Any Career
There are so many skills out there that will help you in any career. Even if you don’t know exactly what role you want when you graduate, developing skills that help you regardless of the position you take is a great career move to make.
For example, interviews will be integral to your career growth and especially important to you landing your first position after school is over. Knowing how to present yourself, create your resume and supporting documents, actively listen, and thoroughly answer questions are crucial to an interview’s success. While in college, polishing your interview skills gets you comfortable with the process, confident in how you conduct yourself, and emotionally prepared for what’s to come.
You can strengthen skills like interviewing, organization, written communication, relationship-building, leadership, problem-solving, goal-setting, and so forth with some thorough research. Study literature on how to improve these skills and watch videos and other media from experts. Then, apply what you learn in real life to practice and hone those skills consistently.
Ultimately, taking the time to develop skills that will help you in any career ensures that even if you end up in a role that has nothing to do with what you’re studying, you’re equipped with general skills that will help you succeed.
Making the above beneficial career moves while in college helps fast-track your finding a career that suits your skillset, considers your needs, and fuels your passions. Ensure your education is your number one priority while simultaneously doing things that secure your life after college.
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