Oh to be young and a freshman again. You have so much time to explore, live life, and have fun. While you should do all of those things, you should also start seriously thinking about your career. Why, you might ask? So you don’t end up like every other 20-something millennial working as a barista or Barnes and Nobles because they couldn’t find a job in time for graduation. Save yourself the hassle and follow these rules and get something useful out of school.
Get To Know Your Career Center Pronto
Freshman year is the perfect year to get to know your career year. Any year after that and you are too late. (Yes, I’m looking at you crying senior) These are the people who whip into shape a resume and cover letter. They will also give you a variety of personality and career aptitude test so you can figure out where you fit in and life. Take all of their offerings seriously! No joke, they will be your biggest cheerleader and provide you will random internship, part time job opportunities and sometimes candy. Just remember you are young. you are fresh. And they will like you. People are impress when a freshman goes out of his/her way to meet them. They will look at you like you have spunk or some type of tenacity. Which is a good thing.
Go to the career workshops and events
It doesn’t matter if you are dead set on becoming a senior corporate magazine editor or as undecided as a girl picking out a dress before a party, you have so much autonomy young freshman. Make your mind a blank state and see each possible option before you. If you absolutely hate some of the workshop- I.e. me when I attended a panel on law school, then you know that career is probably not for you. Look for passion in the presenters and speakers. Look for the reaction in the crowd. If they are your people great. If they are not that’s fine too. Cross off that career and move onto the next one.
Create three career pathway time-lines
Three is the key and magic number here because its not overwhelming to the point you don’t get it done and still good enough to give you a concrete distinct options on where your life can go. The five year plan has come under fire because people think its to rigid. Heres a reality check It doesn’t have to be. The reason for doing this is because not every freaking girl goes to medical school right away. Some freak out after Orgo and don’t go at all then feel all flustered and hopeless and like they have to work at Walmart because they didn’t know that there were other careers in medicine out there. Bullshit.
We all have google and we all know what indeed.com is(if you don’t know you do). This is a great resource. Scot out all the potential type of job you can have and the intended field you want to go in. Plan a five year career time-line with a master program just in case you want to go to one. Plan one that solely revolves around your hobbies- I.e blogging, reading books, painting, ice skating. Then google-yay we are using the Internet for good- what kind of jobs and careers are associated with it. See if they are something you can see yourself doing. Finally, plan your last time-line around a an entry level job that requires only a bachelor’s degree and could be the starting point to your dream career. See what’s out there. Go explore.
Use up all that work study money NOW — I mean it
If your a lucky soul and the government is giving you money, you better get into that financial aid office and sign up for a job. If you don’t then stop by the career center( see told you they be your best friends ) and help them help you find your perfect part-time job. Trust me, you do have enough hours in the day.
When it comes to summer: APPLY, APPLY, APPLY
Apply to thirty part time jobs. Apply to thirty internships. Apply to thirty summer jobs. I don’t care if your lazy just get off your damn Candy Crush app and do it. Don’t be afraid if you might not be old enough for a job or it seems out of your league – be like Nike and just do it. It doesn’t matter if you can only find crap shoot jobs like being a summer nanny or working at a camp. You’ll gain some experience and it beats sitting on your arse in front of the TV all day. Your beefed up resume in senior year will thank you profusely.
Your Friends Are Your Greatest Assets
My friend recommended me for a job tutoring students and I didn’t even have to schmooze her for it. It was a perfect little starter job and it is something I could definitely see myself moving further up the ladder in. And if its not then its whatever and I still can put it on my résumé. The key here is that your friends love you and want you to succeed. Ask them how they found their jobs, ask them for recommendations on which job websites to use or how to create a cool Linkedin account. Turn normal shopping sprees into let’s buy some nice looking grown up clothes err interview blazers and skirts and take awesome Instagram pictures. The more you talk about careers and such with friends, the more confident you will feel that you are going in the right direction.