You can’t gear up for your future too soon.
Now that you’re in college, you’ve already crossed off that milestone.
The next biggie is your first real career position!
Sure, you’ve probably had a few entry-level jobs along the way, and you’ll have some more before you get your degree. They are all good ways to learn skills to reach your goal. But soon, you’ll be looking at interviews that will make your hard work worth every minute!
Standing out from every other applicant is the goal of everyone. When you start now to prepare, you’ll have that leg up everyone else is rushing for at the last second.
Your freshman year isn’t too early to get started. As soon as you can, use these five tips to nail down the characteristics to help you land your big career break.
1. Get Active on Campus
You’ve already made it to the college of your choice. To get there, you probably remember having to focus on things that made you well-rounded. Grades were important. But prestigious universities wanted proof that you were an all-around good citizen.
Those coveted job positions are going to look for the same thing. Employers offering high-paying, in-demand positions want employees who can handle many responsibilities.
To prepare, you can start by beginning to engage in campus activities. Most universities want to promote a culture of diversity and interconnectedness besides scholasticism. Because of this, you have a lot of options to choose from.
Ask your advisor to point you to the available campus life organizations. These are usually full of fulfilling roles such as:
- Leadership opportunities
- Service-learning volunteer positions
- Research and development groups
- Tutoring or mentoring jobs
Future employers will look for examples of how you participated in campus life, not only how well you did in class. The interaction is where you’ll grow some of the most valuable skills you will need for success in the real world.
2. Take Up Creative Hobbies
Focusing on your education is essential, but it’s not the only thing that will get you ahead. Experiences and enjoyment in life are two primary avenues that will lead you to new skills.
Finding healthy, safe forms of entertainment when you’re in college isn’t always easy. Instead of checking out the nightlife, why not pick up a creative hobby that interests you?
Yes, taking up a hobby during your college years is a top tip for a career preparation guide. A thoughtful side activity is a great way to learn other skills. And remember, creativity itself is a must-have in the real world.
Technology is a massive part of any career, but we often lose the ability to form innovative ideas. Creativity is an essential crucial skill and is inherent in problem-solving. We use it to develop new solutions, products, services, and so much more.
If you want to engage in a hobby that works your creative bones, try one of these:
- Building Legos
- Baking (by the recipe and with your own tweaks)
- Adult coloring activities
- Writing music, stories, and poetry
Anything that healthily puts you outside of your comfort zone is helping you to think creatively. The more of an expert you are in your hobby, the more likely you’ll be learning career skills, too!
3. Follow a STEM Path
You’re supposed to learn a lot of skills when you’re in college. It’s best to schedule a diverse array of courses to have a broader knowledge base under your belt. You may not have an interest in STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). But they’re the future of every industry.
Students aiming for a STEM degree are part of the fastest-growing academic sector. Those with these skills are in high career demand. Luckily, you don’t have to major in a STEM specialization to take advantage of the knowledge.
Depending on your career aims, you might benefit from courses like:
- Graphic art
- Computer engineering
- Higher-level math courses
- Information technology
- Software programming
Take enough courses to give yourself the skills you need to be essential in a world of digital technology. You never know what will assist you in a future career!
4. Build Your Soft Skills
Those STEM courses are going to help you get your job done and make you more knowledgeable. But getting noticed in the first place is a soft skill trait.
All your fellow applicants will have the hard skills needed for the job if they have the same degree you do. The difference between you and them could very well lay in your soft skills.
Do you work well with others? Does your resume show off your experience with problem-solving and creative opportunities? Do you rock the work ethic vibe?
These soft skills are crucial. Many employers in top industries will tell you you’re taught hard skills but develop soft skills. Like the coveted common sense ability, employers lament the downfall of people skills.
Have experiences to grow your leadership and communication talents. Then, make sure you put those crucial traits on your resume!
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5. Look for Internship Opportunities
When you have immersive field experiences, you’re way ahead of the other applicants. You’ve already learned the basics and can hopefully get a letter of recommendation.
Even more importantly, you’ve decided you still want to continue that career path, knowing its pros and cons.
Don’t wait until your degree program says it’s time to intern to take advantage of these opportunities.
Find businesses in your area that are looking for volunteers. If they correlate to your dream career, offer your services. Every skill you pick up during your time there is one you can use in your future!
You spent four years preparing to get into college. And now you can use your secondary education time getting ready for your career.
With real-world experiences and the right courses under your belt, you’ll be a stellar candidate for every job you apply to!
Image Credit: get career ready by envato.com
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