Don’t Get Stuck; A College Student’s Guide, Part 4

By: Glen

A fear that many people have is being stuck with a “dead-end” job. This is why more and more people are attending college. The expectations of today are that people need a college degree (or more) to get the job they want. Unfortunately, running off to college and getting a degree is not the cure-all to avoiding being stuck. If this is true, what is the answer? This is the fourth in a series of posts to help give some ideas for what to do while at college to give you an advantage in the world. Read Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3 for other tips.

Never Stop The Research

I have had a number of students who are close to me say things like, “I don’t need to start a job search yet, I am not looking for a job this year.” Procrastinating on a job search can end up being more stressful than you might realize. Recently, the University of Minnesota Duluth had their annual graduation fair for students who are graduating this semester. Our office was present to inform students that the services we offer are available for life. That’s right, you can use our office as an alum. One of the questions we asked students who approached our table was, “What are your plans for after graduation?” This revealed a shocking fact:

A large number of students have not looked at the job market even though they are only 3 months away from graduation.

So, here is my question to you: what are your plans after graduation? Hopefully your plan does not require you to move back to your parent’s house for a year, because I think that is something we would all like to avoid. It is never too early to start thinking about the future. Here is a suggested timeline of career planning offered by our very own Career & Internship Services office.

Graduating Husky

For those who just want some quick pointers for a career planning timeline, here are some tips!

First Year

  • Discover more about yourself. Broaden and hone your interests by joining clubs and discovering ways to be active in the community (college or city; both work just fine).
  • A good way of making a final decision on a major/career path is by looking at actual job postings. What are the requirements to achieve the jobs you find interesting?

Second Year

  • If you haven’t already, participate in extracurricular activities. Seriously. These activities can be at school, work, or in the community.
  • Starting a job/experience that is related to your career path is a good decision at this point.

Third Year

  • Continue participation in activities!
  • Take some more time to look at the job market. What else do you need to do in order to be qualified for the jobs you are interested in?
    1. Do you need experience? Search for entry-level jobs or internships that can help you gain the experience.
    2. Do you need a graduate degree? Now is a good time to look at different degree types and discover what is right for you!

 

Fourth Year

  • Continue participation in activities!
  • Now that you have narrowed down your search for a job or graduate school, start applying to those as soon as you can find the time and energy.

So, to be more successful in your ventures, never stop looking at the job market. By taking a glance every month or so, you can keep up to date, and reassure yourself that you are on the right career path. I will end this post in the same manner I ended the previous three: if you don’t want to get stuck, don’t sit still. Be proactive. Never stop looking. All of those clichés are applicable. Whatever you do: don’t do nothing.

Read Glen’s other posts

2 thoughts on “Don’t Get Stuck; A College Student’s Guide, Part 4

  1. […] A fear that many people have is being stuck with a “dead-end” job. This is why more and more people are attending college. The expectations of today are that people need a college degree (or more) to get the job they want. Unfortunately, running off to college and getting a degree is not the cure-all to avoiding being stuck. If this is true, what is the answer? This is the fifth in a series of posts to help give some ideas for what to do while at college to give you an advantage in the world. Read the other parts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, & Part 4. […]

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