Five Steps: Build a Career Before Graduating from College
Contributed by Karen Dikson
In 2015, the Georgetown University center on Education and the Workforce released a report showing that around 14 million college students were working. That’s over 70% of college students. Around 76% of graduate students and 40% of undergraduate students work full-time.
The question is: how many of those students are working towards career progress? The reports show that most of them must work to pay for their education. Since the work does not provide enough finances for tuition and expenses, they must take loans, too.
If you must work, why don’t you do it with a higher purpose? If you choose your positions wisely, you won’t start looking for a job after graduation with a clean sleeve. You’ll already have experience that shows how good you are. We’ll suggest 5 tips that help you start building a career while you’re still at college.
1. Be a Freelancer!
Freelancing can be a real job in today’s economy. People from all around the world are making money through writing, graphic design, coding, photography, and many other skills. Whatever skill you have, you can turn it into a profession that will be related to your future career.
Robert M., a student at Monash University, works as a freelance writer at Best Essays. He shared his experience with us: “During my first year at college, I was wondering: do I want to be a writer or a social worker? I decided to combine these two passions and write about social issues. This company gave me an opportunity to do something I loved and get good money for it. I believe this is a great contribution towards my future career. Every project demands extensive research. I’m learning a lot and I’m boosting my writing skills on the go.”
2. Start a Blog
Did you know that a good blog can bring you good money? That’s not all. A great blog can also make you an authority in the niche you choose for your profession. For example, let’s say you want to be a graphic designer after you finish college. You can create an impressive blog that covers all points of graphic design. You will share your tips and knowledge, and you’ll showcase your projects.
The sooner you start working on your blog, the greater your opportunities will be. A successful online project will look great on your portfolio. It will open the doors to your future.
3. Consider Internships
If you must work for the money, maybe this won’t be an option for you. However, you should consider an internship, even if it’s just for a month during the summer break. The biggest advantage of an internship is focus. When you opt for a position related to the career you want in future, you’re basically building that career during college.
An internship gives you great chances to build a professional network. If you prove yourself as a great worker and you get people to notice you, the organization that gives you an internship opportunity may offer you a job after graduation.
4. Take Part in Professional Events and Conferences
Colleges organize career events for a reason: during an occasion like this, the best students get a chance to be noticed from different organizations. They can develop their professional network and make connections with potential mentors. When you get a chance to attend an event of this type, you need to be very active. It’s not the right time to be humble and shy. Talk to these people; they are there to meet and attract the most talented students.
Don’t stop there! Find conferences related to the profession you’re focused on and attend them. Professional events offer you great chances to build your network. Connect with the people you meet via LinkedIn, so they will be updated about your progress.
5. Get a Job that Demands Communication
When you choose to work throughout your studies, choose your positions very carefully. Organizing the books in a bookshop is a good way to spend your time, but such position won’t get you in touch with many people. Store cashier, barista, help desk representative… – these are some of the most common jobs a student can get. The good thing about them is that they directly face you with people. No matter what career you choose for your future, communication skills will be crucial for your success.
Don’t perceive this as a job you need to have just because you lack the money to pay for college. That attitude leads to frustrations. Think of it as an opportunity to develop important skills that help you become a better applicant to any job after graduation.
It’s never too early to start doing something that will make your CV look good. A student has many opportunities to start building a career before graduation. You just need focus!
About our guest blogger. Karen Dikson is a college instructor and blogger from New Jersey. She writes for several educational websites, including Huffington Post. She loves teaching, writing and helping her students to reach their goals. Connect with Karen via Twitter