Career Development Intentions
From Career Services - January 18, 2013
This is the time of year when many people have made (and perhaps already broken!) New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never been a fan of resolutions, because they often seem to be formulated out of guilt, or a sense of something that one “should” be doing, rather than what the person really wants to do, believes in doing, and can be truly intentional about doing. Having said that, I think there is really value in reflecting on what direction your life is going and deciding how you might like to re-focus your energy. And, since this blog is career-related, I am thinking of that reflection and re-focusing especially in terms of career development. So, I propose that as spring semester begins, instead of resolutions, you set some intentions for how you will foster your career development.
Here are few suggestions to get you started:
In 2013, intend to:
- Network more consistently: Instead of only reaching out when you need something from someone, keep in touch with people you respect and want to maintain a relationship with by sharing news stories, offering assistance when appropriate, and showing interest in their work.
- Use LinkedIn more effectively: That means keeping your profile up to date; asking for and providing recommendations; adding to your skills and expertise section as appropriate; making sure your LinkedIn URL is on your resume.
- Keep my resume current: Never knowing when the perfect job opportunity will show up, it is essential to always have an up-to-date resume. Remember to include relevant classes, new skills, field experiences and volunteer work – anything that will strengthen your credibility.
- Seek out time with my mentor: If you don’t already have one, find a supportive mentor to act as a sounding board, exchange best practices, and perhaps even job shadow.
- Take advantage of available career services and resources: Job search can be lonely and sometimes discouraging, especially if you trying to do it all on your own. It is a sign of strength and maturity to ask for help, and it is really helpful to feel supported while going through the job search process. School of Public Health students and alumni all have access to great career services and resources, so take advantage of them!
- Make work/life balance a healthy priority. It is very easy to become overwhelmed with all the obligations of grad school, work, and relationships. This can lead to feeling burned out and becoming physically ill. Remembering to keep things in perspective, get enough sleep and exercise, and eating well – not to mention just laughing and relaxing now and again – will help prevent you from becoming “unbalanced.”
This list of intentions may not fit for you. Remember, your intentions need to be something you want to do and believe in doing, so that you can really be intentional about following through. So, take a little time to reflect on your own career path and consider where you might want to focus your energy for 2013. And resolve to have a great year!