Imagine this: you’re in the first semester of your university journey and you see all your fellow peers joining student clubs, applying for internships, spending day and night in the library and there’s you who have no idea what to do or how to even begin.
The good news is you’re not alone. According to McGraw-Hill Education’s Future Workforce Survey, only 40% of college seniors feel prepared to pursue a career after receiving their degree. This shines a light on the value that tertiary education institutions have in preparing their students for the real world. For the students, this means that completely relying on your schools to achieve career success might not be the wisest choice to make.
While these statistics may appear grim and harrowing for a university student to see, the good news is you can take charge of your own career planning! You can set yourself up for better job prospects and career opportunities upon graduation and here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Ask yourself what do you want to try?
University is the time to explore! With the 4 years being in school, you get to explore different expertise and industries through your modules or through internship opportunities. By narrowing down some career interests that you have and would like to learn more about, you now have a direction to work towards instead of mindlessly wandering around.
Step 2: Build your professional inventory
Even if you’re not completely sure what job you would like to do in the future, there are still some professional tools that you need to have in your toolbox and there is no better time to start building them up than now (even if you’re a year 1 student). These tools include your resume, interview skills, career coaches, and more. Having these resources on hand gives you that added edge and increases your preparedness to enter the working world.
Step 3: Put yourself out there
The mistake students often make is to only put themselves out there when they feel they are “established” to some extent. This is a sabotaging move to make! Put yourself out there on networking platforms or events, talk to people and build your connections. It does not matter if you only have that one part-time job on your portfolio. Talk about what you’ve learned, your dreams, goals, values, and ambitions. These are what makes you who you are and what people are interested in when they speak to you.
Step 4: Actively search for opportunities
Whether it’s a part-time job, internship, or case competition, these are great opportunities to learn and hone your skillset. It does not always have to be big companies and big names that are worth your time. The experience and hands-on experience that you get from every single opportunity is something that contributes to your learning so don’t limit yourself. Through actively participating in them as a freshman, we guarantee you’ll be ready for the workforce when your time comes.
Entering a university where you’ll be thrown into the deep end to fend for yourself is not always an easy journey. Keep the end goal and the 5-step roadmap in mind with every decision you make. Use it as a form of career guidance whenever you feel lost or directionless and as always, if you need any more career help, Kinobi is always here for you.