A career path is simply all the positions that you can hold as you grow and expand in your field. Your first job, or even the college degree, that you get can mark the start of your career path. As you start to gain more skills and knowledge, you can progress to new jobs or new responsibilities.
Thinking about your career path in college is a good place to begin. With a career path in mind, you can make better decisions on courses to take, college jobs to pursue, and even internships that will be right for you. Some of the ways that you can choose a career path in college include:
Outline Your Career Goals
The first thing that you should consider is what your career goals are all about. Before you select any career, you need to do some self-reflection about where you would like to be in the future. Some of the questions you can ask to help with this include:
- What do I want from a career?
- What are my interests?
- What activities do I enjoy the most, in my free time and professionally?
- What are my strengths?
- Do I want to specialise in a certain role?
Once you are able to answer these questions and more, it will become easier to find the right career path for you. Take your time to explore your goals and dreams to make sure you find exactly what works for you.
Create Your Career Path Plan
Once you have a chance to narrow down all of the options that are available, you need to create milestones for the career. Research where others end up five and ten years into their career. Note the job titles they have or what kind of work they end up doing.
With this information in hand, you can decide what advancements or titles you would like to have within five or ten years. From here, learn what you need to do to reach those goals. Whether it includes more training or taking on certain responsibilities at work, you need to take those steps to see success.
By establishing these career goals, it is easier to plan based on the progress you would like to see each year. You also need to schedule time regularly to help you reflect on the goals and see if you are making the milestones that you had hoped.
Short-term goals are important to help you get to your ultimate goals, but planning for the long-term is something you should do as well. That is why you need both 5 and 10-year goals. There is still plenty of room for shifting but it helps you to really think ahead.
If you are still uncertain about whether a specific career path is right for you when it comes to a career, then job shadowing is a good option to try. For a few days or a week, you can find a professional in the industry you are interested in and then follow them around to see what the job entails.
There are some companies who will provide those job shadow opportunities and it could eventually lead to an internship and a job later on if you get in the door. It is a good way to try on a career to see if it is right for you too.
When given a chance to shadow a professional, it is important to be respectful as well. Someone is giving you their time to test out a career and that is a big deal. Be on time, do not interrupt or be rude, and have some fun learning along the way. This may help you know whether that career choice is right for you.
Getting several internships while you are in college is a great way to enhance your skills and get you ready for a career. It builds up your skills, helps you to prepare for a job, and can allow you a way to try out a few things and see if they are for you.
Some of the reasons why you should consider an internship during college include:
- It helps you gain valuable knowledge of the industry
- Can get you into a company in your field and may lead to a job in the future
- Is a great way to develop your professional skills
- Adds to your work experience
- You could be recruited from the internship to work full time
- Allows you to network and make more professional contacts
- Helps improve your confidence in a professional environment
- Is a low-commitment way to test out a career path
Even if you are just showing interest in a career path, an internship is a great way to go. You will learn new skills that you can take with you to other jobs and may find out early on that this path is not right for you without wasting as much time.
Discover Your Personality Type
A personality type is simply a set of personality traits that you can group together. There are different methods you can use to help discover your unique personality type. Many of these will focus on how you are likely to respond in different situations. For example, some may gravitate towards certain strengths and interests, including their career.
There are also different tests that can provide you with a list of career choices that will match up with your personality test. If you take more than one test and you notice some similar careers on each one, then this is something you should pursue.
Finding a Career for You
There are many different types of careers out there, but finding the one that will be just right for you. With so many options, it is a good idea to get started early to make sure you have time to explore, make your goals, and find what will work the best for you.