Your career knowledge is valuable to students
Karen Powell, right, coordinator of job search services, talks with families at Transitions.
Students working on finding their first job after college can use a little help from their families.
Not too much help of course, but the right kind of help.
Karen Powell, coordinator of job search services at WWUís Career Services Center, said families have valuable knowledge about the job market to share with students. She recently offered a few tips:
- Help students recognize and appreciate their strengths and marketable skills. Students may not have the perspective to know that not just anyone can, say, strike up a conversation with strangers, or help their classmates understand calculus.
- Share your own career pathway. Talk about how you chose your own jobs, and why you decided to leave them.
- Help them network. Introduce them to people you know who are in fields your student is interested in. Those contacts can help students find job shadowing opportunities, informational interviews and internships.
- Encourage students to fulfill their GUR requirements in academic fields related to careers theyíre interested in.
- Donít worry if students change their major or areas of interest. Freshmen and sophomore years are meant for exploration. And students who are undecided when they start college tend to change majors fewer times than students who think they know what they want to do, Powell said.
- Encourage students to get in touch with the Career Services Center much earlier than senior year. The center offers lots of resources for career exploration, including interest and personality assessments.
- Urge students to complete internships, which dramatically increase their chances of finding a job after graduation Ė and at a higher salary than their peers who didnít do internships.
- Ask your employer to post jobs on the Career Centerís Web site. Itís free.
- Consider pitching in for an interview outfit.