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June 28, 2021

How to Lay the Groundwork for a Successful Career While Still in School

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When you dream about the future, what do you envision for yourself? Sometimes, it’s easy to picture some of your goals, but knowing what steps to take to achieve them is the challenge. Courtesy of Stride Funding, here is how to lay the groundwork for future success while you’re still attending school.

Finding Your Dream

You might not even know yet what you want to major in during college, let alone your future career. Oftentimes, our experiences help to shape and frame our aspirations. While in school, there are many different interests and concerns competing for your attention. When it comes to setting career goals, all your activities can potentially relate to your future if you choose them well.

If you are undecided about things, participating in a wide variety of activities and taking a broad range of subjects can help you determine a good fit while, at the same time, bring you added skills and contacts. As LiveCareer points out, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin while you’re in school, but it’s important to participate in activities that are both interesting and challenging while determining your career path. Happily, there are universities that allow you to set the pace for your education. For instance, if you’ve decided you want to build a career in nursing, WGU allows you to take classes online and flex your coursework with other obligations. Going to school and pursuing a meaningful career doesn’t need to mean giving up a balanced lifestyle, thanks to flexible learning programs.

Check Your Footprint

Remain conscious of your online reputation throughout your school years. Many students tend to forget about their social media presence, but it can be pivotal to future success. Many employers use or plan to use social media as an evaluation tool when they are weeding out job candidates. Ensure your social media presence is becoming to your reputation and sends a positive message to potential employers. If you’ve been falsely attacked online, make sure you have a reputation management plan. You can hire an analysis team which helps you remove the content.

Start Networking

It’s never too soon to start building connections. The relationships you make during your school years can be a key to finding opportunities later. Make the effort to bond with your instructors and other staff who can offer you insights into your options. Aim to network outside of your comfort zone, connecting with others from a diverse background and who can stretch you culturally and intellectually. Joining clubs is one way to get to know other students who share your interests but might not otherwise meet. Volunteering is another smart way to find connections, and it’s also a great way to build skills and experience.

Networking can be particularly challenging for introverts. If you’re struggling, one idea is to practice talking with friends or roommates about your interests and goals. You’ll feel more confident reaching out to potential employers or talking with others in influential positions.

Grab Opportunities

Throughout your school career, there will be certain built-in opportunities that come your way. It’s important to recognize them as applicable and important, even if they seem mundane. Internships are one example. Many companies seek students for both paid and unpaid internships, and some are extremely competitive. Attending a career fair is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up. It’s a chance to talk with employers, learn more about their companies, and make a positive impression, even potentially landing an internship or future position.

Build Your Resume

You might think since you’re in school your resume isn’t relevant yet, but as Monster explains, the sooner you can start working on it, the better. Even positions you think won’t apply to your future career can often be applicable in some respect. Consider what you gained from every job, and start compiling your data. Customer service, multitasking, or communication are pertinent to many careers, and those skills can often be gleaned from volunteer, temporary, or part-time positions. There are even resume templates designed specifically for students -- all you need to do is simply plug in your information.

How does your future look? Start networking conscientiously, take appropriate opportunities, and work on your resume. By laying proper groundwork during your school years, you can set yourself up for a successful career.

Blog written by Amy Collett

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