Going to college opens a lot of doors, and one of the main areas it provides opportunity is in the career world. From the minute you start considering what major you might be interested in, there’s an inkling of understanding that this major you select could translate into your future job. Essentially, it could end up being what you’ll spend a lot of time doing in life.
Whether it’s communications or chemistry, radio broadcasting or teaching Kindergarten, there are tons of resources out there that can assist you in making sure your resume is in top-notch shape, you’re prepared for interviews, and you’re ready to take on the world. As a high school student or current college student, you might not be interested in prepping for a future interview—at least not at this stage.
We get that! So we’ve compiled a list of a few ways you can naturally start prepping for your future career, and our goal is that you don’t feel overwhelmed. You might already be doing a lot of these things—if so, awesome. If not, don’t stress. College is the perfect time to try stuff, make a few mistakes, and try again. Consider these ideas as you consider college, and get ready to land the career of your dreams.
1. Extracurriculars count
That art club you’re a part of? It counts. That theatre production you got involved with last Fall—that counts too. The volunteer hours you spent with your hall at Feed My Starving Children? Important!
Employers look at resumes and consider more than just your grades. While your GPA is important, don’t discount the other stuff you’ve gotten involved with too. The great thing about extracurricular activities and volunteerism is that you often are naturally led to activities and groups you enjoy. Whether it’s playing intramural basketball—which shows your penchant for teamwork—or tutoring fellow students in grammar, revealing your experience teaching, your involvement in college activities will most certainly sway your future employer as he or she considers hiring you. So make sure to include the activities you were involved with in college on your resume.
2. Internships are basically built in nowadays
Most college programs naturally build internships right into the classes and credits required for graduation. Depending on what you’re majoring in, you’ll most likely be expected to reach out to a business or organization advertising its need for interns.
Some colleges have partnership programs with companies, and internships are easily assigned. If your program doesn’t require an internship, it’s still a good idea to try and get one or even two. The experience you’ll gain in the real world will help you know if that sort of job will be the right fit for you—and it will show any interviewer that you’re passionate and serious about procuring a job in the field.
3. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
There’s no doubt about it: networking works. When people mention the above mantra, they’re not joking. Cultivating relationships with teachers and professors can pay off in the end because these instructors are often well connected in their specialty’s community.
Whether you’re at a party, walking to class, or chatting with your lab partner, don’t discount the job opportunities that can arise through your connections. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all great tools to turn online relationships into real-life connections that could get you into a great career.
4. Reaching out doesn’t hurt
Many a job isn’t actually advertised. If you’re interested in working in a particular industry or a certain company, reaching out with a letter of interest (spell-checked and edited for grammar mistakes, of course), along with your resume, might open doors you hadn’t expected.
Some employers have open positions they haven’t had a chance to advertise yet, while still others might have a need in the future that they’ll keep you in mind for. If you’re passionate about a particular organization, letting your passion be known will make it all the more likely that you’ll get hired—employers really like employees who will be passionate about their position.
5. The Lord is in control
While your future job-searching days might already sound stressful, it’s important to remember that the Lord is ultimately in control. Yes, it’s still important to work hard, use your gifts and talents, and take advantage of opportunities that come your way, but don’t let anxiety and fear overwhelm you. Our Father is a good God, and we can trust Him with everything—even our future careers.
You’re journey to a vocation will be unique, and there can be meaning and purpose in many a job. So don’t lose hope before you’ve even started. Ask God for clarity and guidance as you look to the future and consider what you were created to do.