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The Most Powerful Career Advice That Every College Student Needs To Know

The Most Powerful Career Advice That Every College Student Needs To Know

Everyone turns into a Yes-man to get a job after college. That is why many people go through their careers hating their job or jumping off from one company to another. People go to college to get a degree and to pursue their passion and interest. Unfortunately, once they step outside the university they make choices different from the things that they want to be. They seem to become oblivious of their own goals.

College doesn’t only prepare you for a job rather it’s a preparation for life. A college diploma will open doors of opportunities. It will show you how to get there. But remember, your destination — your future success — are yours to choose.

Whether you’ve tailored a long-term plan or you see new possibilities for your future career, these powerful pieces of career advice will empower you as you encounter difficulties in facing reality.

“Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.”- Paul J. Meyer

Life in the real world is different from being a student. Challenges are inevitable as well as failures. However, if you focus on your strengths and use your weaknesses to improve yourself, nothing is impossible to a determined person.

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“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”- Winston Churchill

You are young. It’s okay to make mistakes. If you get into a wrong career path, or you meet a bad boss, or you’re dissatisfied with your job, it’s okay that’s normal. In the span of your career journey, you will surely make mistakes and fail many times. You’re still inexperienced so enjoy exploring life. Fix your mistakes and learn from them, then move forward- That’s the joy of learning.

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”- Albert Einstein

Everyone wants to be successful in life. But instead of running behind success, aim for excellence. Strive for it and eventually you’ll become successful.

“Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small.”- Timothy Ferriss

Dream big and act on it to make it happen. Do what you’re passionate about and embrace it. Whatever you enjoy doing make it your profession. Satisfy your inner interest before others. It’s you who can make your dream come true and not them. Take a chance and trust yourself.

“In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed.”- Sid Caesar

You can concentrate on your goals but do not forget to have life. Study effectively and work hard but don’t forget to relax and enjoy a bit. Go out with friends and have quality time with your family. Pursue your goals while living a balanced life.

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“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”- Eleanor Roosevelt

Envision yourself living to your dream and figure out how you can achieve it. If you dream to become a business person, teacher, doctor, nurse, engineer, etc. then plan how you’re going to reach it. No matter what life throws at you, keep going and live to your purpose.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”- Confucius

Do something that you have talent for and you love doing. Using your interest as your basis in finding your career path will help you determine the right direction towards your goals. If you love your profession, you will have a great time doing the job and less likely to experience stress.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”- Les Brown

There will be moments when you doubt your own ability to succeed. You lose enthusiasm and drive to keep going. But instead of letting yourself defeat by your own fears, why not give yourself a fair chance to do everything that you can. You never know where your courage will take you.

“Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire.”- Bobby Unser

Having a strong desire or will is what keeps you from achieving your goals. If you desire to succeed in life, you can do everything to make your goal a reality. This gives you hope, inspiration, and driving force to move forward and accomplish something.

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“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.”- Anatole France

A dream without action is dead. Having dreams without believing on it is useless. If you dream make sure it’s big, plan on how to get it and be confident that you can reach it. If you desire to get a particular job, even if it seems impossible to achieve, never stop believing and do your best to get it. You can start from taking small steps until you reach goal.

“We become what we think about.”- Earl Nightingale

While you’re young, have a clear vision of your future. Even though you’re still clueless with your destination just think of what you wanted to become. Fill your mind with positive thoughts, dreams, and beliefs so that it would manifest into your life. Stop worrying, stop complaining. Do not let the idea of “what if’s” corrupt your dreams. You might not control everything that may happen to you but you have a choice to take it or leave it behind.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”- Ernest Hemingway

It’s good to have a goal so you know where you’re heading at. However, aside from focusing on your destination, it’s the long journey that will matter in the end. The goal of most college students probably is to have a good career. You study hard to complete your education and acquire the skills needed for your job application. Of course, you can set your eyes towards your goal but do not forget everything you’ve learned and experienced while you’re on your way there.

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”- Chris Grosser

Successful people didn’t wait for opportunities to knock on their doors. They created it that’s why they’re reaping what they have sown. Apply this truth to your life and you’ll definitely accomplish everything on your own.

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“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”- Jim Ryun

Staying consistently motivated in reaching your goals will eventually become your habit. If you continuously do things properly then you’ll keep going until you get to your destination. When you’re motivated, you have a reason to do what you love.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”- Thomas A. Edison

Failures happen to anyone and yes, it happens all the time. Don’t feel hopeless after failing many times. You just have to understand perfectly the purpose of failure in your life in order to realize that it is something you need to succeed. Giving up will stop you from achieving greatness and making a difference. So instead of thinking about quitting, why not take it as an opportunity to make things way better?

Featured photo credit: Graduate via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 13, 2020

Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

Physical Signs

Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

Mental Signs

One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

  • The tension in your neck
  • Difficulties with sleeping
  • Unable to concentrate
  • High anxiety
  • Depression

If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

Desire for an Increase of Salary

The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

Overnight Decision

Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

Rejected for a Promotion

I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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Bored at Work

Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

  • How long have you worked in your career?
  • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
  • Do you receive recognition?
  • Can you consider working in a new department?

If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

  • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
  • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
  • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

How to Make a Career Change Successfully

The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

1. Write a Career Plan

A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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You can learn how to set your career plan here.

2. Weigh Your Options

If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

  • Economic factors
  • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
  • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
  • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
  • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

    A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

    4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

    A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

    • What is required to be successful in the role?
    • What certification or educational development is needed?
    • What are the challenges of the role?
    • Is there potential for career advancement?

    A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

    Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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    5. Research Salary

    Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

    It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

    6. Be Realistic

    If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

    For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

    Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

    7. Volunteer First

    A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

    Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

    Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

    8. Prepare Your Career Tools

    I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

    • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
    • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
    • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
    • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

    Bottom Line

    It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

    Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

    More About Career Change

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

    [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
    [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
    [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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