The best advice isn't always written in a book or found on Google. Advice is best when it come from experience.
We'll profile a different member of our CDEL Team so you'll get to learn more about them, what they do here and they'll share their experiences with you in career development, job search, learning and working. We are giving you tips and advice from the people who have been there. Get ready for the advice you need, cause CDELSays...
"Don't box yourself in, you are more than your major and minor." - Ashley
Attending convocation, walking across the stage and getting the sheet that proclaims you have met the requirements for a Bachelor of ______ is one of life's great moments. Finally, you can put those couple of letters after your name and do your famous happy dance (or maybe that was just me...). Then what about when someone asks you what you learned during your degree? Sure, you can tell them about your focus areas and research topics, but what about all those other skills that you worked on and perfected over the past few years. Ones that will never be recorded on your degree, framed or have their own course, yet will be what helps you land that first job or score a scholarship.
Not only did you graduate with a university degree in an area you are interested in, you were also a university student for 4+ years. Think of the skills you obtain as a student: you have tons of research and writing experience and you probably completed numerous group projects speaking to your ability to work, and may be even lead, a team. And let's not forget the time management and organization it took to complete all those things, sometimes while working a job or raising a family. These skills are usually called transferable skills, skills you can take and apply to many different situations (Google it). The skill sets of students' are much in demand in today's workplace. Add to that the more specific skills you acquired through your Arts, Science or Social Work degree and you have a killer combination.
Don't box yourself it, you did more than complete a Bachelor of ______ , you've spent over four years committing yourself to perfecting your student skills and balancing the rest of your non-student life. And that is certainly something to be proud of.
Ashley Verge is our Graduate Recruitment Coordinator. As part of her role she organizes employer information sessions, manages the job postings and event section of My MUNLife and holds consulations with students. You can contact Ashley at averge @ mun.ca.
"Forget the plan... yes, you heard me! Move your feet!" – Denise
Oh that career plan! Everyone thinks they have to have a "career plan." So much focus on the plan, so much pressure to decide today where your life will be 20 years from now. It's too much AND it's not exactly how life happens. The biggest moments in your life are not planned. The decisions we are faced with each and every day often take us in directions we could never have predicted if we tried. Stop focusing on the plan, focus on living your life.
Your career happens through everyday decisions. Sometimes those decisions seem small at the time but they often have larger effects. Find something that interests you and go do it, because stuff happens when we move. Make decisions, try different things, move! Every day we have the opportunity to change something if we are not happy with the direction we are going, so stop worrying about it. It's easy to get wrapped up in everything and get stuck in your own head worried about "the plan." Stop. Get out of the house, get out of your head, just do something new. Go to an event, volunteer, talk to new people. Focus on things that interest you today and do that. I once heard someone offer this piece of advice "move your feet" and I really like it because it means you move yourself forward with every action, in all aspect of your life! Every step you take leads to something bigger and contributes to the directions your career will take.
I know some of you absolutely must have a plan, and love to plan! Actually, I do understand, I too love planning. There is a sense of security in thinking this is my plan and this is what I am going to do. Intent is important in that it initiates movement but it doesn't have to be intent for 20 years from now, that's all, a more reasonable intent includes the near future and evokes immediate actions. Just keep in mind that the way you set out to do things will not always be the way they happen. I wouldn't want to miss out on something wonderful because I am so attached to my plan that I didn't recognize the opportunity knocking at my door, and I wouldn't want you too either. Things happen, life happens! Don't be so caught up in your plan that you can't take the time to notice opportunities that are around you. When new ideas pop up, embrace them and see where the possibilities lead.
So move your feet, follow your passions, it will bring you to things you actually enjoy. And isn't that what you really want in a career?
Denise Reynolds is our Career Development Coordinator (Arts). Meeting with Faculty of Arts students and alumni, running the ArtsWorks program and facilitating the CBC Gzowski Internship are just some of the things Denise does. You can contact Denise at gdreynolds @ mun.ca