Are you a graduating student this year? Have you thought of what you are going to do next? I’m sure you are getting that question from everyone and anyone! If you are about to graduate, odds are you changed you major at least three times before you got to the major you are graduating with. The national average for students is to change majors at least 3 times while in college.
This relates to your career because it is just the same as a major in many ways. Chances are that you will change companies or careers more than three times in your adult life.
I work with many college students on the West Coast, if you are a student and you are graduating in the spring or summer, I strongly recommend you find an internship. Being a student is great, many companies will only let you be an intern if you are a student. What an internship is, it’s a way to gain experience in an area that you are not familiar with.
I was a Sociology and Spanish major in College (imagine that!). I thought I wanted to get into business so I contacted broker at AG Edwards, a financial services company, and asked if he had any intern openings. It turned out he was looking for one and that semester I interned for him. That is when I knew that was one thing I did not want to be…a financial planner a.k.a. sales (no offense, it just wasn’t my field). I was stuck cold calling people all day. My point is, this is the time to test different fields out if you are unsure of what you’re currently studying.
Also, I would recommend going to your Career Development Center and taking a personality inventory test. Something like CHOICES looks at your personality and matches you with potential careers (MBTI is also popular one).
Don’t feel pressured by your self imposed “deadline” to just jump into any job. And don’t feel you’ll be stuck in that one job the rest of your life. “Careers” these days are a far cry from years ago, when a person would literally work for the same company for 30 years and then retire with a pension. Those days are long ago. Generally, most people tend to change jobs every 3-5 years on average. You will find your careers will vary greatly. I know a student who has gone back to school after being in food service/retail, the military, manufacturing/factory work, and government service (firefighter).
Employers look for many things as they hire new people. They are looking at your character, education, professionalism, and experience in their hiring decisions. The best thing you can do now if you are unsure of what you are going to do next is to get an internship. Be proactive in your career and find out what you like and don’t like. The worst thing that can happen is you intern for a few months and realize that’s not something you want to do for the rest of your life. That would be another reason to get an internship…find out what you don’t like.
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