Most students wait until they are about to graduate to start thinking about their career. However, if you take that approach you miss out on a lot of potential opportunities. Instead, why not start this school year with your career in mind and do everything that you can to prepare yourself? Here are some things that students can do to get themselves job ready:
Complete a Co-op Program. Co-op is an excellent way to try out a career while gaining valuable work experience. Even if you decide that you don’t want to pursue that particular career, you might get some valuable connections that can help you later.
Do Extra-Curricular Activities. Employers like to hire candidates that are responsible and well rounded. If you don’t have much work experience, extra-curricular activities can help you stand out above your competition.
Research Career Opportunities. It is difficult to prepare yourself for your career until you know what type of job you will be targeting. Take some time to research different career options and try to find one that appeals to you. You might even want to do an aptitude test to get some examples of careers that would be a good match for your skills and personal attributes.
Get a Part Time Job. In addition to providing an income, a part time job will give you work experience to put on your resume and access to potential references. Just the process of finding a job is a valuable learning experience.
Keep Your Eyes Open. If you pay attention, you will see potential career opportunities all around you. Many people miss out on careers that would be a perfect fit for them simply because they didn’t know about it. When you meet people, ask them about their jobs. When you hear about different careers, research them to find out exactly what they are. In order to make the best career choice, you need to know all of the opportunities that are available to you.
Being a student is an amazing time in your life and you don’t want to miss out on it by focusing too much on the future. However, if you take a little time now to prepare for your career, you will be in a much better position to get a job after graduation.
(Written by Karen Bivand)