Sophomore, junior, senior–we all freak out from time to time that we’ll end up without our dream job. Struggling to pay off student debt. Regretting the day we signed up to even go to college. Why didn’t I join the circus right out of high school? Oh right, I’m not qualified for that either.
No one can guarantee that things will always work out as planned, but we can take steps to make sure we are doing everything we can to get where we want to be someday.
MAKE A PORTFOLIO
There are a few fields where this may not be the best option, but a physical and/or digital portfolio is becoming a hot commodity today. Whether or not you have an abundance to put put in it, if you start building your professional portfolio now, you’ll find yourself wanting to do more to fill it up and enhance it. These little enhancements will start adding up until suddenly you’ve grown and learned dozens more skills than you started with. You will thank yourself (and me) later.
MEET WITH A PROFESSOR TO TALK ABOUT GOALS
The professors/advisors in your area of study are some of the best resources you could hope for. They are people who (usually) have already been in your shoes, know the ins and outs of working in a similar field, and have tons of advice for you to help you reach your goals. And it’s literally their job to help you, so don’t be shy!
EXPLORE YOUR MAJOR
Nearly every college, university or trade school offers a variety of student organizations; many of these are career-focused. Spend some time visiting a few of the clubs that match your interests. They can teach you a lot about your field of study and the options you have after graduation. Helping you to get a jump-start in terms of networking and preparing for your future.
FIND PEOPLE YOU APSIRE TO BE LIKE
Let’s talk motivation. Start looking, whether on LinkedIn, social media, friends/family irl. Go to some conferences and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself (bring your card if you’d like). I’ve found some of my biggest media influences via Twitter, and have reached out. Now I not only have a role model, but a network connection to boot! If that feels outside of your comfort zone, no worries. It’s still motivating to find someone’s work you admire and a lifestyle you can strive towards.
GET SOME EXPERIENCE
I know… easier said than done. But it doesn’t have to be a job, or even an internship. We all know those are had to come by. Start by volunteering, freelancing (for free if necessary), whatever, until you’ve built up enough experience to fill up your resume and make you more marketable in your field. Then, prepare to move on to bigger things, because that’s where you’re headed!
What’s the best pre-career advice you’ve ever been given? Share below, and join us on Hey! VINA app to meet new vinas in your neighborhood.
(Feature image via Bloguettes)