“The school year is almost over and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life”
Are you currently in this predicament? If so, you are not alone. Rather than delay it any longer, here are some small steps you can do right now if you have not started your career search yet.
If you are a senior and you are unsure what you want to do after college, here are 3 tips to help you begin that process:
Reflect. After 4 years of college, you have grown and changed so much so it’s important to reflect. What areas interest you? What skills do you have to offer? What type of work environment do you prefer? Where do you want to live? Once you take the time to ask yourself these questions and reflect, it will be easier for you to narrow down the type of position you would like to pursue and set up a course of action.
Ask your network for help. Start by mapping out your personal and professional network. See who is in your network who works in an industry or job that you might want to pursue and try to set up an appointment to speak with them. Consider going to office hours and chat with a professor that you find interesting. Consulting others can help you get a better understanding of what you might want to do after college.
Meet with a career coach. Although you might be graduating in a month (I know it’s a scary thought), it’s never too late to make an appointment with a career coach. The Career Center coaches are a great resource for students. One of their main areas of expertise is helping students explore different careers. So if you are uncertain in what you want to do after graduation, utilize career coaches while they are close! And remember, you have access to coaching appointments throughout the summer and up to 5 years after graduation. (And yes, virtual appointments are available.)
If you are a junior, sophomore, or freshman without formal plans for the summer, here are 3 things you can do to help with your career search (that don’t involve getting an internship*):
Register for a summer class. Take a class that piques your interest this summer. You might discover a passion for something you did not have before. And this passion might lead you in the right direction in your career search.
Get a job. Instead of stressing about an internship, think about if it makes more sense for you to work at a local restaurant or retail store this summer. These types of jobs are more beneficial than you might think. Beyond providing you with an income, they will teach you applicable skills that employers are looking for like teamwork, communication, and professionalism.
Set up a job shadow. It is very beneficial for you to follow around a professional in an industry or job of your interest. Job shadowing gives you a direct look into the everyday life of an experienced professional. Ultimately, it will give you a better understanding of whether or not this might be a career you can see yourself pursuing in the future. Many people are open to having students shadow them over the summer—consider reaching out to members of your network or a BC alum to set one up.
*And just because we didn’t mention getting an internship, doesn’t mean it’s not still an option. There are plenty of organizations still hiring for internships over the summer. Check out the postings in EagleLink.
Hopefully, these suggestions on what to do if you have not started your career search yet were helpful. For more advice, check out these articles:
- 7 steps to take when you don’t know what to do with your life after college
- To The Student Who Doesn’t Know What To Do After College
- 5 Alternatives To A Summer Internship
—By Courtney Shroeder, MCAS ’19