If you were to ask any college student walking around a campus right now, chances are that the majority of them will look uncertain when discussing their future careers. The good thing is, that is a very common theme among college students and it does not equate to living in a box after graduation. It also does not mean that students should be comfortable being in that position. Even if you are unsure about your future, there are still numerous things you can work on about yourself including networking, professionalism, leadership, and willingness to learn outside of the classroom. These are the type of traits that employers are looking for out of college graduates so it is important for students to invest their time in college to improve on these right away.
We have all heard it a million times before but that is because networking can be the difference in getting your dream job or settling for an entry level position. Every situation is different so networking does not guarantee everyone to obtain their career goals but it helps get you in the position to. As students begin taking upper division courses in their major, they are introduced to several professors who are connected in numerous job fields. Making an effort to introduce yourself and establish a relationship can open the door for you because professors are always trying to get their students connected with their friends out in the workforce. This is an easy way to begin building up your network.
One thing that can ruin any potential candidate’s chances of getting hired by an employer is their lack of professionalism. This can be the way you present yourself in an interview, a poorly constructed resume, bad public speaking, or wearing appropriate attire for a business setting. Unfortunately, there a lot of graduates who still need work in one of those areas. The good news is the University of Memphis has a career services office located in Wilder Tower available to all students for free. This center has on hand professionals that are trained to coach and mentor students so that can be prepared to go out into their desired career fields. Some of the services offered include resume revisions, cover letter revisions, interview workshops, dressing for success workshops, and more.
Employers are always looking for leaders when interview candidates for a position. When conducting an interview, they are seeing if you have been in a leadership position before and if you have any leadership traits that stand out. Some people have been comfortable with being in a leadership position their whole life and have no problem with that in interviews. For those who are not so comfortable, it would be smart to get involved with student organizations on campus and actually run for positions within them. If you are fortunate enough to be elected, those are great opportunities to grow in a leadership role and also something to use an example if an interviewer asks.
Learning Outside of the Classroom
After graduation, many find out that just making good grades in the classroom is not always enough to thrive in the workplace. It is very important to get internships that work closely in the field that you want to go into when you graduate. That way, you are integrated in how the position works and learn all of the skills or tips you will need if you decide to find another job after college. The internships get your feet wet and will allow you to feel more comfortable with the task that have to beompleted during a normal day of the career job.