The beautiful weather has finally arrived, and summer is right around the corner. Whether you are taking classes, working at a job in your hometown, interning someplace new, traveling, or enjoying some much needed relaxation, summer is a great time to make progress in your career development. Below are five easy tips to help break down the sometimes scary world of career exploration into realistic, enjoyable, and productive steps.
1. Reflect. Life on campus is busy, and oftentimes there doesn’t seem to be time available to think about the big picture. Set aside time and space for yourself this summer to consider the following questions: How did your year at BC go overall? What were your favorite courses? What experiences were true highlights? What were your biggest challenges? In what areas do you feel you have developed? Thinking about these questions can help you to pinpoint areas that brought you joy as well as areas of growth for you. Then think about how all of these things contribute to your future aspirations. What subjects excite you? When do you feel most energized? Asking yourself big questions and allowing yourself time to ponder over the answers will bring about new levels of self-awareness, and point you toward resolutions regarding how you spend your time at BC.
2. Shape up your social media presence. Most students consider the point of social media applications to be purely social. However, it is not an uncommon practice for employers to research a potential candidate by searching for them online. Take a look at your social media profiles. Are your profiles public or private? If any are public, what would a potential boss think of your content? Some social media applications are also used professionally. Do you have a LinkedIn account? Think about creating a profile to showcase your experience and skills to future employers. Read about creating a profile here. Making your online presence professional during the summer will save you time later on when you are applying to positions.
3. Talk with someone interesting. Is there anyone in your life who you think has an interesting job? Think about your friends’ siblings, parents, your parent’s friends, extended family, professors, an old coach or mentor–these are all people in your network. Talking to people who work in fields that you are interested in is a great way to gain career knowledge. Step out of your comfort zone and ask one of these people to have a conversation about their job. Ask them what their daily life is like, and what their path to their current position looked like. The more people you talk to in jobs of interest, the more you’ll get a sense of whether that job is truly of interest to you.
4. Set goals. After you’ve reflected on your past year, start thinking about the year to come. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to spend your time doing? What BC resources can help you?
5. Meet with a coach. Whether you know exactly what you want to do or are still discovering your interests, there is a career coach waiting to talk to you! The Career Center is open all summer, and coaches are available to meet over the phone, through video chat or in person. We love supporting students as they explore what brings them joy, and welcome everyone to engage with one of our awesome career coaches to talk about your personal journey.
—By Julianne Smith, Associate Director, Career Education