Paving the Way to a New Career

A friend of mine, who I admire, wrote this profound statement on her social media status, “Don’t let one goal end without setting another in motion.” I immediately thought that it was timely advice for many college students transitioning to a new career. Have you thought about your career transition after graduation? What do you want to get out of your degree? Here are some tips on career planning ahead.

It’s Your Career: Own IT! News Flash: Having a degree in _____(you fill in the blank) is not your instant meal ticket to success. When you hear someone say, “This degree has done nothing for me,” it’s probably a result of poor career planning. Remember in life you’re guaranteed nothing, so be intentional about your next move. Very few people get handed opportunities so create a path to collide with them.

Apply Patience. Your first job after graduation may not be exactly what you always dreamed of, but proper planning will help ensure that it’s at the very least a building block. Most recent graduates obviously lack experience so seek opportunities to gain experience prior to the completion of your program if possible through internships, volunteering, or participating in professional organizations.

Ready or Not Search Early. Keep a pulse on industry trends and what the market demands so you can prepare and align yourself accordingly. Starting your job search before you’re ready will do just that. It will be easier for you to discover where to look, who to connect with and uncover resources along the way without the pressure of finding something immediately.

Write It Down. Whether you create a formal plan, flow chart, journal, or simply list your goals, writing them down will increase your chances of following through. When choosing your career goal don’t write something down because it sounds good. Ensure that it’s connected with your desire and passion. Do not let your present circumstances detour you from dreaming big.

If you’re thinking, “I wish I would have gotten this advice earlier,” it’s not too late to implement these tips. Remember what lies ahead in your career depends on the plan you laid before. Ready or not…set….GO PLAN!

Cathy Francois, MBA, GCDF; Cathy is a Career Advising Specialist for Career Services at UMUC. She is passionate about connecting the UMUC community to their dream jobs.