How can I begin thinking about my future career as a Freshman?
How can I begin thinking about my future career as a Freshman? I picked classes relating to my interest in Business, is this enough or should I do more?
I advise you to seek internships for some practical experience before you graduate. This will also expose you to real business environments and problem-solving scenarios. I gained a wealth of knowledge just by attending staff meetings and listening to seasoned professionals discuss their challenges and share their problem-solving strategies.
Step out of your comfort zone and get involved in clubs where you can connect with people who share your interests and ambitions. Start building your network now and continue to expand it over time. I also encourage you to join the student International Toastmasters club and work on honing your communication and public speaking skills. I became a member of Toastmasters during my time at NASA, and it transformed my life for a mere $10 per month. Regardless of where your journey takes you, it's crucial to learn how to confidently communicate with professionals. This skill won't develop overnight and can't be purchased off the shelf, so it's best to start now and progress at your own pace.
Looking back, my college days were filled with joy. My setbacks were the result of my own poor planning, ineffective study habits, and mismanagement of time for self-improvement. I didn't invest in learning how to interview and present myself professionally. Years later, I landed a temporary contract job at NASA by simply knocking on their door, which eventually led to a permanent position for a decade. However, they eventually laid me off and revoked my security badge.
I then transitioned into self-employment as a "consultant", a role I still hold today. I've recently accepted a contract position that pays me an annual salary of $150K to assist with infrastructure projects. I'm excited to embark on this new adventure and earn a handsome income. Of course, there's always the chance I could fail and be let go - that's the nature of contract positions. But I'm determined to do everything within my power to succeed.
My past mistakes led me to NASA, and I learned a valuable lesson: learn from your own mistakes and those of others. Treat everyone with respect and maintain professionalism. Your success will be determined by the choices you make and the challenges you embrace. I'm cheering for you, Jocelyn! I have no doubt that you'll find success.
Jody recommends the following next steps:
Self-Reflection: Take some time to reflect on your interests, values, skills, and strengths. Consider what subjects or activities excite you the most and what you are naturally good at. This self-awareness will help you align your career goals with your personal attributes and passions.
Research Potential Careers: Start researching different career paths and industries that align with your interests. Look into job descriptions, required skills and qualifications, salary ranges, and growth opportunities. Websites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professional association websites, and career exploration platforms can provide valuable information.
Utilize Career Services: Visit your college's career services center or department early on. They can provide guidance, resources, and workshops to help you explore career options, develop job-search strategies, and improve your resume and interviewing skills. Take advantage of career counseling sessions and career assessment tools they may offer.
Networking: Begin building your professional network by connecting with professors, career advisors, alumni, and professionals in fields of interest. Attend career fairs, industry events, and networking sessions to meet professionals and learn more about potential careers. Join relevant student organizations or clubs to meet peers with similar interests.
Seek Internship or Part-Time Opportunities: Look for internships, co-op programs, or part-time jobs in your field of interest. These experiences can provide valuable insights into your chosen industry, help you develop relevant skills, and build your resume. Even if you can't find a position directly related to your field, any work experience can provide transferable skills.
Informational Interviews and Shadowing: Reach out to professionals in your desired field and request informational interviews or job shadowing opportunities. These interactions can give you firsthand knowledge about the day-to-day tasks, challenges, and rewards of a particular career. Ask questions, observe their work environment, and make connections.
Take Relevant Courses and Explore Electives: As you plan your course schedule, include classes that are related to your potential career interests. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of those fields and build relevant skills. Don't be afraid to explore different disciplines to broaden your perspective and discover new interests.
Remember, career exploration is an ongoing process, and your goals may evolve as you gain more experiences and knowledge. Stay open-minded, seek guidance from mentors, and be proactive in seeking opportunities to learn and grow professionally.