by Texas State SLAC
“The future depends on what you do today.”
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. How to prepare? 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:
- Network—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.
- 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.
- Craft your online persona—censor information about yourself 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.
- Pay attention to work—think of your current job, summer jobs, and internships as extensions of your education—no matter where you decide you want to work. Whatever your stage in your academic career, check out Texas State’s Career Center at careerservices.txstate.edu/. At 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.
- Don’t forget your financial status—your ability to go to school and to survive after it depend on having money. Apply for scholarships, grants, and loans when needed. Go to Financial Aid and Scholarships for information ( C. Kellam, Suite 240, 512-245-2315, www.finaid.txstate.edu/), and check with your major department every semester as scholarships they offer vary from semester to semester. Also, ask friends, employers, and contacts for leads: some organizations and churches offer scholarships. Keep in mind that scholarships can be an asset to your résumé! For on-campus jobs for all Texas State students check with department offices in person and check online at Jobs-4-Cats (also under the Career Services website). And don’t forget to see whether or not your family can help you reach your goals
- 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.