“While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.” — Ronald Reagan
So many times we are reminded to live in the present, but we still need to prepare for the future. And if you are reading this, you have a future. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, listen well: it’s never too early or late to have a game plan. In “Advice for Students: Start Planning Now for Life After College,” Dustin Max tells students not to view college as a break from real life but to start seeing it as a stage of real life. Here’s how:
Start making connections by talking to potential employers, attending conferences, joining or creating campus groups that deal with topics that excite you and, most important, get your name out there.
2. Do your research
Make sure that you have a profile set up with career services. Talk to them about your résumé to make sure it appeals to possible employers. If you see an unusual job title, look it up, and see if you’re interested in it. Research companies you might want to work for, and make your résumé appeal to them.
3. Craft your online persona
Censor information about you on the web. Don’t post anything that might make employers shy away. Employers research potential employees, so assume that what you post online will be available to employers, clients, or investors.
4. Pay attention
Think of your current job, summer jobs, and internships as extensions of your education—no matter where you decide you want to work. Listen to what your boss tells you, and learn as much as you can from it. Listen to coworkers because they can give good advice, and develop skills by taking on responsibilities or being innovative.
5. Polish up your writing skills
Remember that, whatever your field of interest, writing skills will get you further than almost any other competency. Employers want to know that you can communicate effectively in writing, which reflects on all of your communication skills. Visit SLAC or the Writing Center to get help.
All of these points can help you end up where you want to go. Don’t settle for a job. Work toward your dream job now. It’s never too soon, and it’s never too late to start.