If you’re a senior like me, you may be looking around and feeling like everyone is already on the path to success. One friend is furiously studying for the MCAT. One friend has already gotten into three grad schools. One friend is heading to New York for an interview. One friend already has a job! What happened and where were you when everyone suddenly got career savvy?
Whether you’re feeling behind, don’t know what to do next, or are just flat out freaking out about your career…That’s ok! Even if it doesn’t feel like it, you’re not alone. For every person out there on top of their career game, there is another person who has no idea what to do next. (Believe it or not, even the ones who seem on top of it all probably still have some things to figure out.)
Even better, there are small simple steps you can take that will put you on the right track. The first being…
Relax. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s normal to feel this way. You don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Neither should you. Everyone’s career path is unique. So, wherever you are, no one is ahead or behind you—just in a different spot than you. Make peace with where you are and have faith that you have the ability to get yourself to where you want to be.
Now, even though where you are right now is okay, you should bear in mind that you’ll stay right there without any sort of action. Your career journey won’t progress if you don’t put in the effort to move it forward. But hey, not every step in the career process has to be daunting. Once you’ve taken a breath and relaxed, here are some bite-sized, non-scary steps you can take to get your career journey rolling.
- Make a list of organizations you’re interested in. Something you can do from the safety of your own room is just research. Make a list of organizations that peak your interest, and maybe even take a peek at some job listings. This process will help you find patterns in the general types of jobs and industries that draw you in. If you’ve narrowed it down a bit more, you can begin to understand what certain organizations value and what they might look for in candidates for certain jobs. Regardless of your current mindset, it’s helpful to see what’s out there, and it’s even exciting to see the world of possibilities out there for you to take advantage of.
- Send a message to a BC alum on Eagle Exchange. Take a slightly deeper dive into the industries, companies, and job functions that interest you. It’s the best way to see what things you should really hone your energy in on. And remember, there’s no pressure. Alumni have signed up to Eagle Exchange because they want to help you. It’s not an interview, it’s a conversation and they are excellent resources to answer your questions.
- Set up a meeting with a Career Coach. This is a judgement-free zone. Confused about how to write a cover letter? We’ll show you how! Don’t know what you want to do after graduation? We have a person for you! Scared of the job search and all things career? That’s okay, we’ll help you out! Whatever your situation, the Career Center is happy to chat about any of your questions and concerns, no matter how big or small. You can make an appointment for a one-on-one meeting or we hold weekly drop-ins and career cluster mini-sessions where no appointment is necessary. Talking to a Career Coach will not only help you get started, but also help make the career journey a little less scary and remind you that you’ve got someone to support you along the way.
Ultimately, what it’s all about is taking action. Even the little things can make a difference and show you that your career doesn’t have to be so paralyzing. Try not to let the fear of the big mysterious future create inaction. Take it one day and one step at a time. After all those little steps you’ll find that you’re one big step closer to your goals in no time at all.
—By Madison Mariani, CSOM ‘20