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A College Career Planning Guide

Aug 17, 2007
Career planning while you are still in college has many advantages. Ideally, you should start your career planning by choosing the right kind major suitable for the career that you have chosen. So, we start this discussion by identifying the job that is best for you.

Identifying The Job That Suits You

This first step calls for organized thinking on your part. Basically, at this stage, you will be full of ideas and have a wide range of fields to choose from, making your choice more difficult. Here are some crucial steps you must take to identify your ideal career:

1. Most people make the mistake of thinking about all of their options at the same time. As a consequence, all of them appear attractive. But you should consider whether you possess the right attitude and what subjects you were best in when you are in college.

2. Evaluate each option one at a time, discarding those that may not be financially or personally rewarding. Have clarity of thought by assigning the most weight to those that match your attitude and flair.

3. Give serious thought to how you want to spend the rest of your life. For example, a teacher's job entails the least physical work and lots of vacation time, while a traveling salesman's job requires you to travel for long stretches at a time.

4. Consult campus career counselors who will help you identify and improve your aptitude in your weak areas.

5. Setting priorities in life is important. You may find that your parents are your best resource in this area.

Acquiring And Honing Your Skills

Your next step is to arm yourself with appropriate skill sets:

1. Choose a major which will best prepare you for the career that you have chosen. For example, a career as an accountant calls for formal education in those subjects. You may want to start with accounting subjects for careers such as Financial Controller or CPA.

2. Subscribe to industry journals to keep abreast with current events in your field. Many associations have student chapters and enrolling in these gives you many opportunities to interact with industry leaders.

3. Submit an article to industry journals or participate in seminars. Take a part time job that will add to your experience.

4. Studying hard and getting top grades are a must.

Getting Ready For The Final Step

It is when you are in your final year or semester in college that you begin the real quest for a job. Now is the time that you will find out where you really stand in the job market.

1. Gather job advertisements in your focus area; separate the 'must-have' and 'preferable' skills within them. This shows whether you are lacking skills, and if yes, in what areas.

2. Only a good resume gets interviews. An HR professional, student counselor and Internet resources can help you develop one. Nevertheless, creating a good resume is about successfully presenting and highlighting your skills, abilities and experience.

3. Attending interviews is another major test. Learn interview etiquette, be crystal clear in your thoughts and speech and if at all possible attend mock interviews conducted by your college career office.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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