College students are constantly revising and updating their resumes, exploring career options, and hoping to land their ideal job. In order to expand your professional reach, one important outlet is creating a LinkedIn account so you can network with professionals from all across the country.
Another critical action is obtaining an internship. They are a great way to gain hands-on experience and learn new skills at a company or organization.
The truth is that whether you think you’re set on a career or not, you may not have a clue what that job entails until you’re directly exposed to it. Internships are a way to figure out whether or not you actually want to go into that industry.
You may do an internship and find that the work environment was too boring, or too stressful or you may fall in love with the way the industry operates and works.
If you’re having trouble finding good internships, you can visit internship websites like Indeed.com or Internships.com, or ask professors, advisors or mentors at your campus.
Despite doing an internship and getting to know some aspects of an industry or field, you won’t always be interning in the specific position you want a career in. Therefore, it’s also important to read up on careers that interest you.
Taking various factors into consideration like average annual salary, entry-level education requirements, and job outlook, may help you decide on different career options and find what best fits you and your future goals.
For many students who have no clue what career or industry they want to go into, this information can seem useless. Understandably, it’s difficult to apply for internships or research career opportunities when you’re on the fence about what you want to spend the rest of your life doing.
Perhaps a good step to take is to reflect on what truly interests or fascinates you—whether that’s helping others, being creative, writing, or experimenting. Reflecting on what type of work or activities you thrive in the most may help you find some career options to look into. You may also find value in simply asking yourself: what do I want my future to look like?
Thinking about the place you want to live in, how many hours you want to work in a week, and the general lifestyle you desire, are all important factors to consider when thinking about career options. Oftentimes, we get so engulfed in figuring out what we’re passionate about that we forget the fact that we want to do more things than just work all our lives.
While some students thrive under pressure and seek a career that will challenge them, others want a more practical occupation that will facilitate a comfortable lifestyle while also allowing time for leisure and family.
Even if you’re still not sure, you can always focus on building your resume and having an online professional profile to share with others, whether it’s LinkedIn, other social media accounts or your very own website. If your interests change, just update your profile.
And most importantly, give yourself time to figure things out. It’s not the end of the world if you decide to change your career goals or major. Just listen to your heart—and your brain.