As much as being an undergraduate student means having a lot of obligations and tons of materials to learn, it’s still not quite the real deal.
Undergraduate studies mean you don’t have to decide on your profession just yet. There are things to explore, try out or give up on – so many paths to take.
And then one day – your student days are over. What then?
Suddenly, you find yourself faced with some difficult decisions.
What is it that you really want to do in life? What are your long-term goals? How to prepare yourself for the real life? How to ensure a job when you’re finally done studying? What are the skills you have to develop?
Yes, it all sounds so daunting. But it’s not impossible to make the right call regarding your graduate studies. You just need to become aware of the things you have to work on from now on.
Become more professional
Being professional means a lot of things. As a starter, stop with the informal clothes. It’s the first impression you make, so make it smart and elegant. Another thing is to show your professors how reliable you are, making sure you turn in essays on time and fulfilling your obligations completely.
You could get a letter of recommendation from a professor or even a specific job to apply for. Also, learn how to listen to others. Most students are so eager to answer that they don’t actually listen to the question. And last – stay away from gossiping. Be discreet and respectful of others because you never know who the person you’re trashing really is!
Have a clear professional plan
Postgraduate education isn’t just about choosing your major courses and studying them. Once you’ve established what your career goals are, do the market research to find out how big is the need for certain jobs. Be prepared to slightly change your professional direction if the circumstances change along the way. It means having several alternative professions – why shouldn’t you be able to deal with different occupations?
It’s crucial to find a good mentor, somebody who can give you proper advice and useful feedback during your studies. Another important thing is to find a good role model, a person who already achieved what you are striving for. Find out as much as you can about this person’s background – it can be really helpful for your future professional path.
Be prepared for job applications and interviews
You never know when a job opportunity can arise, so write a couple of CV versions just in case. Make them in different length and style, for different job positions and have somebody reliable check them. Also, practice for the interview – think about possible questions and work on your attitude and choice of words.
Check out if there are any seminars at your university by Futureproofology or the career center. There could be a great deal of useful information. And lastly, find people who would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation – you need others to vouch for you if you are trying to get a certain job.
Develop interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills frequently get neglected, but it’s a huge mistake. They directly influence your relationships with other people – your colleagues, boss, clients, which leads to building invisible capital, meaning: you never know who can offer to help you regarding a job or a project. So, pay attention to the social politics at your university – it will help you realize who the people who can push your career towards a positive direction are. Also, practice professionalism at the university – don’t mix friends with colleagues. This will prepare you for professional relations at your future job.
Next, seek professional networks at the university because they can turn into actual job offers at some point in the future or at least useful source of information. Your online identity on social networks also makes an impression of you as a person – don’t let it ruin your image by not being careful what type of photos and public messages you post online. Lastly, your peers could be your future colleagues, so always be kind and respectful of them. Don’t create unhealthy and too competitive relationships because you never know what the future may bring.