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Career Advising for Every Undergraduate

Career Advising 101 – how to uncover your career passions
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College life is full of distractions. Apart from the people in your space, who will distract you from achieving your dreams, the University can quickly become overwhelming when you're trying to maintain a good grade. Amidst these distractions, there are plenty of ways students can take to leap toward achieving their careers. Below are things to consider to get into the game.

Take a look at where your passion lies

Your passions could be in a lot of different places. The gym? The office? The campus? Family? The computer? The television? A business? Entrepreneurship, etc. Whatever it is, People tend to act upon those things that have meaning to them. The more urgent a particular cause is to you, the more likely you are to act upon it.

Prioritize Your selected passion

After the selection process, write down the things that are most important to you and then rank them by order of passion. The things that matter most to you are likely your passions and will provide clues to your career purpose. You have to make sure that all aspects of your selected interest appeal to you. In order to do this, you need to really think about what your dream job would be. Is it to become self-employed? To have a particular job title? A healthy work-life balance or a decent business?

Make a comparison and consider other factors

Compare your career options against your list of prioritized skills. You should consider factors beyond personal preferences. What is the current demand for this field? If the demand is low or entry is difficult, are you comfortable with the risk? What qualifications are required to enter the field? Will it require additional education or training? How will selecting this option affect you and others in your life? Gather advice from friends, colleagues, and family members, then consider potential outcomes and barriers for each of your final options.

Make a choice and set smart goals

How many paths you choose depends upon your situation and comfort level. If you’re early in your planning, then identifying multiple options may be best. You may want several paths to increase the number of potential opportunities. Conversely, narrowing to one or two options may better focus your job search after graduating from the university. For example, it will be better to have a wider experience in content development and general knowledge of graphics design than to have general knowledge of almost anything you can find.

Have an action plan

Now that you’ve identified your career options, develop an action plan to implement this decision. Identify specific, time-bound goals and steps to accomplish your plan. Set short-term goals (to be achieved in one year or less) and long-term goals (to be achieved in one to five years). Make sure the goal is specific, and measurable with clear criteria to determine progress and accomplishment.

Finally, it is important to be realistic about expectations and timelines. Write down specific action steps to take to achieve your goals and help yourself stay organized. Check them off as you complete them, but feel free to amend your career action plan as needed because your goals and priorities may change.