By Devlin Brush
During the semester it can be hard to find time to think about your career path. Once you’re done with class, it’s time for student org meetings, homework, work, and exercise. And once you’re done with all that… Well, often it’s time for bed. When things slow down for Thanksgiving Break, it can be nice to take the time to relax and unwind before hitting the books again hard for final exam season. However, it can also be an invaluable time to start the cogs turning in your career process while your other obligations are on hold for the weekend. From networking to improving your “look”, here’s a few ways that you can get ahead this Thanksgiving break: Continue reading
By Sarah Evon
It’s no secret that the power of social media is rapidly increasing in our society today. It has veered away from just a Gen Z audience and has grown to include employers, businesses, younger generations, and yes, even our parents are learning to become active social media-lites.
As students, we all know that we need to monitor our Facebooks, Twitters, Instagrams, etc. when going through the job search process. It is inevitable that employers will be using all of the tricks up their sleeves to see what image we put out on more than just our resumes and cover letters.
As I’ve spent more time perusing the “careers” tab on the websites of potential future employers. Looking more deeply into the job search and what I want to be in the “real world”, I’ve noticed how important it is to be aware of my social media presence.
I’m a huge list-oriented person, so I’ve compiled a sort of “Social Media Goals” to-do list for myself. (And of course, it’s an ongoing list…)
- I’m not Kim Kardashian – none of us are – so while I may “like” her Instagram photos, I’m not going to use her posts as a guide for my own. And by that I mean no selfies. Studies have shown that posting an excessive amount of selfies can actually damage your work and personal relationships. According to a joint study conducted by the University of Birmingham, the University of Edinburgh, and Heriot-Watt University, “increased frequency of sharing photographs of the self, regardless of the type of target sharing the photographs, is related to a decrease in attachment.”
- As with most things in life, keep it positive. I’m not one for Facebook statuses or really sharing what I’m thinking via social media, but it is important to be mindful of what I’m “liking” on Facebook and Instagram and “favoriting” or “retweeting” on Twitter.
- Lastly, because I know that potential employers can access my social media accounts, that doesn’t mean I have to limit myself on them. In fact, a goal of mine is to actually increase my social media presence, but in a thoughtful, creative way. As a communications major hoping to go into the advertising/marketing/public relations field, it’s helpful for my career to have a good presence on social media.
While this list is slightly personalized, I encourage all students to keep in mind your social media presence and how you appear to employers, as well as to your peers. Whether that be through a set of goals like me or another method that works better for you, like Nike preaches, Just Do It!
By Marcie Waters
From Harry Potter, one can undoubtedly learn many life lessons (“Wit beyond measure is a man’s greatest treasure.”), but did you ever realize the great career advice J.K. Rowling indirectly provides in her magical series? Through Ron, Harry, and Hermione’s seven years at Hogwarts, they pick up skills and practices that are crucial when looking for and starting a new job. Consider these tips:
1. Get experience before committing to a career path.
Harry definitely got a lot of experience fighting the dark arts before deciding to become an auror. You can gain experience in an industry by interning, volunteering, or joining a student org or professional organization. Conducting an informational interview with a professional in the industry you’re interested in can also help you to gain an idea of what the field is like. It’s beneficial to have a grasp on an industry, so you can be sure you will like the industry you’re in before accepting a full time job in it.
2. Networking. Networking. Networking.
Harry gained many connections throughout his time at Hogwarts by getting to know his professors and fellow students. He even attended networking events, like Professor Slughorn’s “Slug Club” dinners of outstanding students. Anyone can be a potential networking connection, but you can get started by reaching out to professors, alumni, and supervisors. Attend LSCS events like the career fairs, mock interviews, and employer panels to meet professionals. You can also utilize LinkedIn and Twitter to network online with professionals.
3. Work hard.
Hard work does not go unnoticed. Take it from Hermione, who worked hard at Hogwarts; she was recognized by her peers and superiors many times for being the “brightest witch of her age”. Supervisors and professors will be more likely to give you a recommendation if they see you working hard. By working hard, you are also likely to get more done and could have more completed projects in your portfolio.
4. Do not be afraid to fail, but learn from it.
When Ron was learning charms, he failed to correctly execute the “Wingardium leviosa” spell. He learned from his errors though, and was able to successfully use the spell to rescue Hermione from the troll in the girl’s bathroom. Failure is inevitable, but as long as you keep an open mind and learn from the mistakes that you make, you can improve your skills. These situations are not only great learning experiences, but also make for great examples to talk about in future job interviews to show how you problem solve and overcome challenges.
5. Teach yourself.
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione were dissatisfied with how little they were learning in Defense Against the Dark Arts, they formed Dumbledore’s Army to teach themselves and others how to fight the dark arts. If you are in a situation where you feel like you don’t know as much as you should, do some research. There are many online resources that can teach you about an industry, how to use software, or offer advice on strategies. Of course, don’t hesitate to ask coworkers and supervisors questions, but you can also impress them with knowledge you’ve acquired on your own.
6. Meet with a career advisor.
Fifth-year Hogwarts students meet with a professor to discuss their career plans to prepare for their N.E.W.T.s. Harry met with Professor McGonagall to discuss his plans for becoming an auror. If you’re unsure how to make your dream career a reality, visit Career Services to discuss what the next steps should be in your career path. LSCS can also review resumes and cover letters, conduct mock interviews, and discuss job search strategies.
With these tips, you are now ready to face the Dark Lord (or at least your first job).