New Year, New Direction

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Typically at the beginning of each New Year, we tend to make a resolution about how we are going to make this year better than the last or steps to take to improve ourselves as individuals in this society. Some of us strive to lose weight while others decide to release themselves of habits, such as smoking or drinking. Some of us decide to save money while others decide to manage their money better than before. Some of us want to manage the stress in our lives better while others decide to vacation more throughout the year.

While all of those are great resolutions to embark upon, I feel that there is one that takes precedence over all the other resolution choices listed. A recent Forbes article (Forbes, June 2014) stated that over 52% of Americans are unhappy with their job and job dissatisfaction does impact your health, personal habits, money and stress level. I encourage each and every one of you to make a resolution that focuses on your professional life.

At the Career and Professional Development Center, we coach our students to become “expert career managers,” which means we want them to take control and manage their own careers. My recommendation is to take your career path in a new direction so that you can have positive results at the end of this year. The last line of the inspirational poem, “Invictus,” by William Ernest Henley states, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” With that being said, it is important that you realize that you are “the captain” of your own “career ship!” The voyage that you travel upon leading you to job satisfaction depends upon how you navigate that ship.

Since this is 2015, I ask you each to follow a system that is outlined by the last number of the year: five. The FIVE method is as follows:

F – Focus on your professional goal. What do you want to do career wise? What will make you happy? Once you answer those questions, then you will need to get an action plan together to accomplish this goal

I – Invest in joining a professional association related to your career goal. There are several organizations that are related to the industry you want to go into. Please take the time and energy to join one so that you can obtain more information about your chosen career path

V – Volunteer and/or intern at a company to gain professional experience. The 2013 Internship and Co-Op Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed that employers made full time offers to 56.5% of their interns. Take that into consideration.

E – Expand and enlarge your professional network. Acquaint yourself with people that are already in the field that you want to go into. Those individuals can definitely help on your chosen career path

Feel free to meet with one of the coaches at the Career and Professional Development Center so we can assist you with your resolution. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

By: Charles Jennings, Jr.                                                                                                          Associate Director for Employer Relations

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