First love vs your first career
It’s Valentine’s Day this week, but rather than talking about your One True LoveTM let’s have a chat about finding your first ‘One True Career’. Unlike ye olden days, it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself in just one career; chances are you’ll have several throughout your life. Yet, like the initial blush of young love, the first career you start your journey with is new and exciting and can help you figure out what you want (and don’t want) from other careers in the future.
So here’s some quick advice about how you can find your perfect first job match.
Find yourself a matchmaker
Everyone has to start somewhere, and chatting to someone about your future is a good starting point to really figure out the type of work you want to be doing, and how your degree can help you get there.
Organising a chat with one of your lecturers or tutors (maybe one who teaches your favourite subject, or has industry experience you envy) to discuss potential career paths can be a good way to get stuck in. Even having a chat with one of your mates who might work in an industry you’re curious about can give you new perspectives on where your career could go.
Of course there’s also always UTS Careers’ Drop-in service (wink wink) where you can have a free consultation with a Recruitment Advisor. They’re literally trained to give you career advice and have a good understanding of career planning so they can help you start setting some goals and clarifying your options.
Set up your profile (no, not your dating profile – your LinkedIn profile)
LinkedIn is sort of the holy grail of career help. Not only can you start making connections with people who work in your industry, but you can also find jobs, learn about new industries, and get the latest goss on your industry of choice.
But, like any good online profile, you need to have yours set up properly before anyone’s going to start checking you out. Show recruiters and others in your field what a catch you are. This means a professional photo, a concise summary, a clear breakdown of your experience – basically creating an easy-to-access first impression.
We’ve written heaps of content around mastering LinkedIn, so be sure to check out articles like How to make best use of LinkedIn while you’re still in uni or Why university students should publish on LinkedIn or even the classic CATS! + getting started on LinkedIn. UTS also offers a heap of different workshops around creating a great LinkedIn profile so keep your eye out. (There’s even one on today in the Student Learning Hub!)
Find yourself a career ‘spring fling’
You’ve written a great profile, people are loving your vibe, you kind of know what you want from your career, and now it’s time to start putting yourself out there IRL.
Rather than necessarily diving straight in to a full-time job (unless you find one you love, you do you boo) it’s a great idea to undertake some volunteering or internship experience to really start nailing down what brings you joy. Especially while you’re still studying, undertaking these shorter term roles lets you try out different styles of work, workplaces, and industries without the pressure to ‘settle down’ once you’ve graduated.
Plus you can build up your experience and start forming those connections that may lead to some pretty sweet opportunities in the future.
Find your Fairy Jobmother
Now that you’re putting yourself out there in the real world, it’s a good idea to land yourself with a proverbial fairy jobmother – AKA a mentor.
Finding someone to help give you professional insight into your field, set you up with some mad career inspo, and can help you navigate the sometimes murky waters of finding your first career is a fantastic idea. Not only can you learn from their mistakes, but they can also give you advice based on their own experience and act as a sounding board when you need to make the more difficult decisions.
Finding a mentor can be a difficult task, so jump on to the Professional Mentoring Platform to find someone who can set you on the right path.
If you follow the advice set out above, you’re well on your way to finding your very first One True Career!
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
By Mia Casey