Career Advice I Wish I Knew in College

A lot of college life is spent focusing on homework, midterms, finals, and of course your social life.

One of the biggest pieces of advice that I wish I knew when I was in college is that it is never too early to start working on your career by focusing on the following steps:

The Power of Networking

It is important to keep in mind that the friends and acquaintances you make in college can help you get a job later in your career. LinkedIn recently published a study that showed that up to 85% of critical jobs are filled through networking! It is never too early to start networking.

Follow these steps in high school and college to set up connections for later in your career:

  1. Set up a LinkedIn profile that includes a professional photo, your educational experience, internships, part-time jobs, volunteer work, and personal interests.
  2. Create a professional email address to keep in contact with your friends.
  3. Research and join clubs and networking groups at your school and in your city that fit your interests.

First Impressions Count

It’s not just your friends that will have an influence on your career. Instructors, teacher assistants, committee members, and supervisors can all become valuable resources in your job search and as you have heard, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

To form positive first impressions in professional settings such as interviews or networking events, the American Psychological Association recommends the following:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Exude confidence
  3. Field questions gracefully
  4. Prepare and practice
  5. Be a good listener
  6. Dress neatly

Take Advantage of Your College’s Career Center

From day one, your college’s career center is there to help you. Take advantage of this opportunity. FIDM firmly believes that hands-on experience is an integral part of education and resume building. That’s why the Career Center assists students in finding part-time positions in our students respective fields during their time at FIDM and throughout their careers.

There is Value in Each Job You Have

You will learn something from each and every job that you have in college and after college. You will learn new skills. You will find out what type of work environment is best for you. You’ll learn how to communicate and interact with different types of personalities. All of these things will help you figure out the best career fit for you.

Do What you Love and You Will Be Successful

Can you imagine a job that you love so much, it doesn’t feel like work? At FIDM, we strongly believe that if you love what you are doing, you will be successful. If you are excited about your work, you’ll want to put more effort into it and aspire to greatness. By trying out different jobs, internships, and environments, you’ll be able to confidently know what you love to do and go after it.

If you are interested in a career in a creative field, FIDM may be the college for you. FIDM is an accredited, private college offering specialized Associates and Bachelor degrees. FIDM is a four year college in California, educating its students for careers in fashion, entertainment, business, interior design, visual and digital arts. Visit fidm.edu to find out more information and take our Career Quiz.

Remember, you can choose to live you life by design or default. Wouldn’t you like to create a life that you designed?

This article was written by DECA National Advisory Board member and Corporate Social Media Correspondent, FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising). You can follow FIDM on Twitter @FIDM, check out their blog and learn more about their partnership with DECA here

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