Today marks the beginning of Spring semester for my students @LoyolaChicago. Some are returning to campus with internship or job offers in-hand, while others are still on the hunt for their dream career. Regardless of where you may be in your career journey, here are a few tips to maximize the upcoming semester.
If you have already secured a job or internship…
While tempting, you should not forget about your career development now that you have a job or internship. Yes, you have a signed contract in hand; however you still need to develop your personal brand. Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Continue to network. Share the good news of your new job or internship with your network (and thank those who may have assisted you in securing this opportunity). Stay connected with your current network while growing new contacts.
- Continue to learn. The most successful professionals are always learning. Stay current with industry trends; this can be as easy as reading The Wall Street Journal or by continuing to learn from current professionals via informational interviews, job shadows, company visits, and/or alumni networking events.
- Continue to build your personal brand. Having a job or internship does not warrant pushing your personal branding efforts aside. In addition to updating your brand with this new opportunity, begin the shift of positing yourself from job seeker to rising professional.
If you are still seeking a job or internship…
Make sure you hit the ground running. Check out your college’s career services website: Are there any upcoming career fairs; is there programming available to assist with your professional development; are they hosting any company information sessions and/or on-site interviews; does their online employment board show any new opportunities; are they hosting any job shadow opportunities or company visits? Once you have a handle on what is happening on-campus for spring, make an appointment with a Career Advisor to gain assistance with your job or internship search.
In addition to your college’s resources, it is of utmost importance to activate your network. This is the time to promote your personal brand across various channels, both on and offline. Your network is not composed of mind readers. Make sure people know who you are, what you can offer, and what types of jobs (and companies) you are seeking opportunities with. We live in a competitive job market; if you do not promote and position your brand for career success, someone else will (for themselves) and land that job or internship.
Enjoy your Spring Semester–make every day count, and take advantage of every opportunity before you!
Heather serves as a Career Advisor for Loyola University Chicago’s Career Development Center. In her role, she assists students and alumni with their overall career development through individual counseling, group workshops, and in the classroom via her Career and Life Planning Lab. Heather’s areas of expertise within the career space include networking, social media engagement, ePortfolios, resumes, and personal branding. Prior to working in Career Services, Heather worked for Sony Music in the areas of Marketing, Sales, and Promotion.She received her BA in Communication & Culture from Indiana University and her MA in Higher Education & Student Affairs from The Ohio State University – GO BUCKS! You can connect with Heather on Twitter and LinkedIn.