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New year, new you

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After a good long Winter Break we welcome everyone back to campus and the start of a new year! And while you you were on break, how many of you (be honest) made resolutions for the New Year?

Whether you made them or not, New Year's resolutions are about making improvements in your life. For college students, among those areas needing attention should be your own professional development. Did you think about it over the break, even in the back of your mind, in between enjoying times with your family and friends, schussing down the ski slope, or just catching up on sleep? Or maybe someone in the family gently (or not so gently) suggested that this is an area you might want to spend some time thinking about?  

Well, now you're back and classes are in full swing, but it's also time to put these resolutions into action. To help prime the pump, here are some possible career resolutions to get you going:

  • Seniors - if you don't have one yet, you should think about making a job search plan so you have things moving before Commencement rolls around. Have you thought about how you might reach out to your network and which industries and occupations you are going to research? And if so, is your resume up-to-date and in good shape? Do you know how to make an elevator pitch and conduct an informational interview? Do you know how to dress and present yourself professionally? Or maybe you've been thinking about graduate school. If so, have you registered for the necessary testing dates? Have you researched school options and do you know when the applications are due? Have you spoken with your academic advisor about any of this?
  • Juniors - have you done an internship yet? Over 80% of Simmons students engage in experiential (ie, workplace-based) education during their undergrad years, often as upperclassmen. The CEC recommends you do more than one internship if possible, whether in-semester and for credit, over the summer, or both. When it comes to graduation and full-time jobs, employers prize workplace experience highly. Plus the more time you spend in the workplace the more you will learn about yourself and your interests.
  • Sophomores - if you haven't declared your major yet this is a great time to zero in on the options. Talk to your advisor, to students you know in majors of interest to you, and check out the course lists in those majors and ask yourself what gets you excited. You should also check out "What Can I Do With This Major?" here on the CEC site as well as the Beatley Library Career Guides by Discipline for each major. If you've already selected your major, see if you can line up a summer job or internship that is in an area of interest and might further your career goals.   
  • First-years - with the first semester under your belt, you're no longer a newbie - congrats! As you enter your second semester and begin to look ahead a little bit, consider the types of co-curricular activities you'd like to get involved in during your time at Simmons. They're not just fun and a welcome diversion from your coursework. They also help develop different types of skills, including leadership skills, that employers value highly. You can also think about summer jobs and possible majors if you are undeclared (see "Sophomores").

Whatever class you are in and wherever you are in the career process, Step 1 is: Don't Panic! The CEC has a wealth of resources to support and guide you along the way, starting right here on the website. A good starting point is the UNDERGRADUATES section of the site, with its "Career Toolkit" and access to much more content and additional resources.

As always, if you're not certain about the next steps to take you can come in and meet with a career coach to get things rolling. 

So why not keep that New Year's resolution to yourself to "Get on top of my career stuff"? Take the first step and you're already on your way in the new year to a new you.

Photo: Courtesy of Education Connection