You are not going to be in college forever, and, according to Sarah Meade, the Troy campus’s career development counselor, it is important to start early on your career plans.
Networking is an important part of finding a job. According to Meade, only about 25 percent of jobs are advertised.
“That’s a huge pool of openings that are filled simply by networking,” Meade said.
It’s important to build relationships with your professors and other professionals in the field you desire entering.
People you know
“Every job I’ve ever had has been obtained through networking,” Meade said. “It’s all in who you know, as the saying goes, and not due to favoritism.”
Social media can also be helpful for networking. Today, most companies have Facebook pages. According to an article by Allison Doyle, the job search expert for About
.com, connecting with your company on Facebook and watching how it does things is a good way to start.
Social media are something you have to be careful with as well.
“Once it’s out there in cyberspace, it’s out there to stay,” Meade said. “First impressions are huge when it comes to landing a job.
“Even if you nail your initial interview but a potential employer views your social media profile and sees something they disagree with or makes them see you in a different light than your interview, you may not be hired.”
Getting involved on campus is another way to network. Those students you interact with may have connections that could help you in the future.
“I think getting involved in clubs and your community with other students is important because you get a face-to-face interaction with people that you won’t get with social media,” said Taylor Hatcher, 22, a senior physical education major from Hartford, Ala.
Meade made a similar statement about face-to-face contact being more important than primarily using social media.
“Social media is a convenience and at our fingertips, but it’s always beneficial to put a face with a name if you made initial contact through social media,” she said.
Some social media sites are primarily uses as networking platforms. LinkedIn is a prime example of this.
“It’s basically an online resume you can keep updated quickly and accurately, get recommendations from other professionals, and network with a vast array of companies and people,” Meade said.
Doyle said that LinkedIn is a great way to make contacts and keep them, but setting up a professional Web page for yourself is an advantage as well.
Knowing your personality type is important as well, according to multiple psychology articles. Your personality type indicates what type of job might appeal to you. This could help those who are undecided.
Before you get too deep into networking for a particular career, you should be sure that it will appeal to you.
Cruise Young, 23, a marketing major from Slocomb, Ala., who was a senior in the spring, said that he would be happier in a career that fit his personality.
“Choosing something just for money will be all right in the beginning, but after a few years you will be miserable,” Young said.
The Myers-Briggs personality test is the dominant test to discover your four-letter personality type. Once you take the test, it will give you a list of jobs that will suit your personality.
The test can be taken in the Career Services Center and also online.
“Take advantage of every opportunity available to you here at Troy,” Meade said. “Remember to step out of your comfort zone because you never know what you could learn.
“Be serious and put in the effort now because it does pay off in the future, but don’t stress if things don’t always fall into place as you, or your family, had planned for you.
“Take your time in figuring out who you really are, and once you make up your mind, go full force ahead, but always have a Plan B.”