5 Career Planning Tips to help College Students

Congratulations! You’ve graduated college. But the hard work is only just beginning. It’s a tough job market these days, and you face a challenge, not only in finding employment, but also the right career that rewards all your efforts up to now.  You’ve had to decide what you want to do for your career, and take the necessary steps to get there. But there are countless other millennials out there also looking for employment – some of them your fellow students – and plenty of employees with the experience you lack.  So what can you do to steal a march on your competitors? Here are some career planning tips to help college students get ahead before they graduate …

1. Gain some work experience

Experience counts for a great deal when managers decide who to employ, so any professional work experience you have gained will be to your advantage. It’s never too early to begin; even your summer job at school or Saturday job will be useful experience that puts you ahead of your competitors who wasted their time. Work whenever you can, and by the time you graduate you’ll already have plenty of experience to put down on your resume. Even if you didn’t enjoy the work, it will show that you have a strong work ethic and willingness to learn; you’ll also find out more about what you enjoy and be able to apply the skills you’ve acquired to future employment.

2. Be willing to experiment and try out new things

You’re right at the beginning of your career, and part of the new generation of business owners and go-getters.  Even if you don’t aspire to reach all the way to the top, you should keep an open mind and try out anything that you can. You may have ideas that could be invaluable to employers, and your unique perspective means that you’re going to think of things that no-one else can. Take every opportunity to learn from others, and show management that you’re someone worth listening to.

3. Network

This truly is one of the most important aspects of business, so get a presence on LinkedIn and other social media sites and use it to make connections. You should also attend local networking events for professionals. It’s an invaluable opportunity to put yourself out there and right in front of the people who matter. On paper, you’re just another anonymous job seeker, whereas if you get to know businesspeople in person, you’ll stick in their mind when they need someone with your skills.

 4. Ask and learn

You should never be afraid to ask questions. Going from college to the workplace can be quite a leap into an unfamiliar world, and however much you think you know, you’ll soon realize that there’s still a great deal to learn. So don’t be shy about asking how things work. This will help you learn and grow, and gain the experience you need to progress. There’s a lot more at stake when you’re being paid to do a job, and while some of your college experiences will be relevant, you’ll find that in other ways you’re still quite unprepared.

5. Take initiative

If you want to work your way up, it won’t happen automatically. You need to begin at the bottom and gradually progress to management level. To do that, you have to show that you have what it takes to solve the problems that arise. Identify what needs to be fixed, and come up with the answers. Bosses are looking for people who are capable of finding solutions and getting things done, so make yourself indispensable. Treat every task as important and strive to do it well. This will make you stand out from the others.

Maria is a writer, educator and reading enthusiast. She leads an educational portal for students, Essays.ScholarAdvisor and writes about education, blogging, writing and social media. Maria is passionate to share her own experiences, knowledge, and thoughts with others

Author: SmartStudent

SmartStudent is an educational portal that provides information & advice to aspiring students. regarding applying to university, choosing a course, what to take to university, finding student accommodation and much more.

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