Career Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Happy 2012, Holy Cross!

Personally, I’ve always found New Years resolutions exciting: the potential of the best year yet, the hope of doing better.  That being said, I’m not the best at keeping them. But with graduation around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about my career and what I need to do to succeed in my first job.  In reading up on this topic, I’ve come across some easy-to-accomplish resolutions that would advance any student’s career.

"I resolved to advance my career!"

Raise your hands for success!

1. Explore. Check out available jobs on Crusader Connections; search through career exploration websites (like these); talk to alumni in a field that sounds cool; consult a trusted professor about potential career paths; Google “careers which involve [something that interest you]” … the possibilities are endless.

2. Find a mentor or two. The counselors in Career Planning are always available for consultation, but think about others too: professors, coaches, family members, a former manager at your summer internship…someone who you can bounce ideas off of and who can point you in the direction of resources.

3. Educate yourself. This is the big one. Yes, we’re in school. Yes, we have enough homework for the next four years. However, I can speak from experience when I say that while the education we receive at Holy Cross is invaluable, it is not enough. In both my internship in journalism in Washington, D.C. and in Human Resources this past summer I was at a disadvantage given my little knowledge of technology. Take 5 minutes a day to watch YouTube videos on programs/technologies you’re unfamiliar with. You should know how to do basic commands in Excel (beyond addition and subtraction); Mail Merge in Microsoft Word, and how to use PowerPoint before your first day on the job.

4. …and get more familiar with social media. Yes,  you’re addicted to Facebook.  No, that does not make you an expert on social media.  Are you familiar with RSS feeds? SEO? Do you know how to use Twitter? Are you on LinkedIn? (Psst look for a post soon on how to use LinkedIn better!) According to the Boston Globe, “Familiarity with social media is increasingly important as companies are turning to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to conduct business, connect with customers, and screen job candidates.” Again, taking a bit of time to learn how these technologies are changing business will make you a more viable candidate.

5. Have fun! Take interesting classes; join organizations that matter to you; take part in an immersion program. Take note of what interests you and how you can incorporate it into your career. Pursuing your passions is a key to professional success!

Need help meeting any of these resolutions? Come into Career Planning to make 2012 a successful one!

Related articles:
“Increasingly, basic job skills aren’t so basic”  in The Boston Globe.
“Five Resolutions to Boost Your Career” on divine carol.