Deciding on a major and a future career can lead to sleepless nights and elevated stress levels for college students. College students need to quickly match their interests with a career path that they hope will make them happy and make choices with their time and finances that will impact them through their entire careers.
While following your heart and true passions through this process can light a fire for a successful future, best-selling author and branding executive Dan Schawbel warns Millennials against adopting the mantra of “follow your passion’ as a career plan. Instead, he recommends that college students follow these realistic tips to developing and following a career plan:
Pick a career that matches your lifestyle.
Companies hire for “cultural fit,” so instead of applying for a thousand jobs hoping to get a few interviews, do your homework and zero in on the employers with the culture and the right amount of flexibility and benefits that work for you.
Carve out your own niche.
Clearly explain on your résumé, and during interviews, what makes you special. Be specific about what the company will gain from hiring you, depending on the types of roles you’re gunning for.
Experiment with several jobs and filter down.
Schawbel had eight internships before he graduated college. He learned about the type of company he wanted to work for, the size, and the job function—all of which helped him figure out what to do upon graduation.
Be realistic based on actual job prospects.
Think about which companies are hiring in which fields, and how your skills can fill those needs, if you want to pursue a long-term career that pays well. He recommends going to PayScale’s website to identify the salaries of jobs you’re interested in and Indeed.com to see what companies are actively hiring. Then apply for the jobs that match your skills.
“Your plan should be flexible. It will change, whether you like it or not, and you’ll need to adapt when that occurs.”
– Dan Schawbel
Schawbel’s recommendations for Millennials coincides with the Dardis mission to train students in professional communication, image and sales skills in order for them to be successful in their future careers. Through a six-week business simulation, students can apply their new professional skills while also participating in a networking event with organizations that are interested in recruiting and hiring Dardis graduates.
Click here to learn more about how Dardis can play a crucial role in your career plan.
Photo credit: Flazingo Photos via Flickr