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Make Your Career Goals a Reality. Here Is How In 5 Easy Steps
While earning your college degree, you may think that preparing for a career is a long way off. In reality, graduation and professional opportunities will be here before you know it. While your studies require most of your focus and efforts now, there are five easy things you can do to plan ahead now for a successful future.
Earn Top Grades
You probably already intend to do your best with attending classes and completing assignments. Keep in mind that you will be competing with other graduates, many with a high grade point average, or GPA. Get help with difficult courses and stay focused on the future when you start to lag. Later, you will be glad that you worked hard and earned above-average grades, and so will your future employer.
Take Special Courses
Look for specialized seminars, workshops, and campus training that will not only help you to excel in college but also look good on your resume for future employment. Learning how to communicate effectively, for example, is a valued skill across all industries and job sectors. Even noncredit courses on topics like the environment or political issues can broaden your insight to issues that may impact your career. These extra courses can also enhance your resume.
Get Involved in Extracurriculars
You might feel as though you don’t have time to participate in extracurricular activities. But many groups, clubs, and organizations on campus can enrich your college experience and better prepare you to become a global citizen after graduation. For example, a foreign language club can help you to become bilingual, especially if you are taking language classes. Many companies prefer to hire bilingual employees if they have a choice among equally-qualified applicants. Sports activities convey a sense of your ability to be a team member, another quality prized by employers. Without slighting your studies, try to join a group or two where you can be exposed to new ideas and extend the learning experience as well as develop skills that will be sought by future employers.
Become a Volunteer
Some students lack the time to volunteer on campus or in the community due to focusing on their coursework. But if you can find a few hours each month to donate to a worthwhile cause, it can be beneficial in several ways. One advantage is that you will gain hands-on experience in using your skills to help others by doing things like tutoring math or becoming an English language partner for immigrant students. In addition to learning about another culture, you will get the feel-good feeling that comes from helping someone in need. Volunteerism also expands your resume with a dimension that other similar applicants might lack.
Identify Prospective References
While you’re in college, start considering professional people you can ask to be references on your resume. This could be a professor, an adviser, or an administrator who knows something about you and your academic progress. If you are volunteering or participating in extracurricular activities, you might also be able to recruit a community leader or a team coach as a reference person on your resume.
Try to incorporate steps like these during your college years in addition to completing coursework toward an academic degree. Your life will be more rounded and interesting, and your career resume will become stronger for the time when you start applying for career positions.
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