Six Steps to Prepare for Your Career While in College

Six Steps to Prepare for Your Career While in College
  • Opening Intro -

    Your time in college will fly by fast.

    Before you know it you will be on stage, collecting your degree and turning your tassel.

    Hopefully, you’ll have a job offer in hand too and ready to launch your career.


Career preparation begins early in your college years and extends to the last day of class. Here are six steps to take to help you prepare for your career while you’re in college.

1. Meet with your academic advisor. Your academic advisor is there to assist you as you move through college. This professional may be a department head, a senior professor or faculty member tasked with ensuring that students under his or her stewardship meet the college’s requirements for graduation. Your advisor can help you as you choose your major, by providing career assessment steps and counseling. You should meet your academic advisor during the first semester of your freshman year and at least once annually in the following years.

2. Research your field. With your major declared, you have a fairly good idea what work you want to pursue when college is done. Even so, it is a good idea to know your options. Work may dry up in one area, but improve in another area. Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to locate your intended job title. Follow what the BLS says about work, including salary averages, education requirements and job trends. You may discover that the job forecast is an especially rosy one, but also one requiring you to move clear across the country to get the best job choices.

3. Learn about jobs. If you know what you want to do when you obtain your college degree, do you know people that are doing that job right now? If not, you should find out who these people are and speak with them. These individuals can be school alumni, friends of your family, parents of other students and people who live in the town where your college is located. Set up appointments with these individuals to learn about their jobs. These people can also prove good sources for possible job openings.

4. Take on extracurricular activities. You can help prepare for your career by taking on select extracurricular activities. These activities go beyond part-time work to provide hands-on experience related to your career aspirations. For example, if you are a budding nurse, you might involve yourself in a community outreach program to raise awareness of the importance of getting a flu shot. If you are future town planner, you could use volunteer with your town’s parks and recreation department. You might also involve yourself with a club that aligns with your career goals.

5. Visit your career center. The earlier you visit your college and career center, the better. Generally, students will have made their initial visit by the first semester of their junior year in a bid to work on their resumes and enhance their job prospects. Your career center can also provide guidance for work study programs, internships and other job activities. They’ll sponsor whatever career days are held on campus too.

6. Find an internship. Your best way of getting prepared to enter the workforce is by securing an internship. That internship should align closely with what you want to do. Take your internship as soon as it becomes available. If it comes up in your junior year, then you may be offered the same internship while you are a senior. It can prove a great way for you to learn about your career. It is also may prove a terrific chance for you to be discovered by a company, to meet new people and to launch your network.

Career Prep

College can seem like career preparation. It is. Sure, you’ll be busy meeting your academic pursuits, hanging out with friends and enjoying your extracurricular activities. You’ll also be creating a framework for finding your first job post college.

See Also12 Career Tips for College Students


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Categories: Career Planning