4 Habits to Build Career Confidence
We talk about the big word “career” very often during our college journey. But what is the real meaning behind the word? Without assessing what we mean by “career” and how we get there, the pressure of the future can overwhelm us.
I am currently taking a course facilitated by Kristin Eicholtz and Melanie Vallone called 140 Career Exploration. In this course, we clearly define a career as “a long-term goal of an individual.”
If you are a current undergraduate student, chances are you have not yet reached your goal. You are probably preparing for your career by pursuing your major, staying involved in extracurricular activities, and gaining experience through work or internships. This sort of preparation plays an important role in kick-starting your career, but your attitude along the way is also imperative to achieving that long-term goal!
Here are 4 habits to develop as a student in order to build “career confidence” that will help you take the next steps after graduation:
If you feel prepared, you will definitely have more confidence as you embark on your career journey. So be proactive! Look at the situation that is presented to you and learn how to respond appropriately. It is especially important to be proactive during this season of economic distress and hiring freezes. Assess what the proper steps are to finding a job or internship. Perhaps you can consider applying for remote full-time positions as well as on-site to expand your career possibilities. Also, ensure that your resume is as perfect as possible and practice your interviewing skills. Knowing how to job search according to your needs will help you be more confident in deciding which career you would like to pursue.
Look the Part
I am a big believer in “look good, feel good, do good”. Begin paying attention to your appearance and note what is appropriate in the field that you are going into. I do not advocate for blending in, but I do respect the market’s value on appearance. Find what makes your look unique! This is a big factor in a good first impression. You can discover your “professional look” that makes you look the part and feel confident.
Learning how to build relationships will boost your career confidence immensely. When you’ve formed a connection, you know that somebody has got your back! Get into the habit of learning about other professionals in your field of interest. There are executives, established artists, entrepreneurs, medical personnel, and other professionals that can give you advice on how to begin your career. Most people are willing to share the lessons and mindset that got them to where they are. I would recommend having a goal to meet a new professional once a month. You can reach out to them on LinkedIn, find a DSU Mentor, or ask your professor to connect them to you.
Finally, the most important part of developing career confidence is putting in the inner-work. With that inner-work comes the habit of being vulnerable with yourself. You are graduating with one or two majors. One diploma. Four or more years of career preparation. Now what? Take the time to look within and define what value you can bring to the workplace, what assets you have to begin your career, and what the next steps look like to pave your way. Knowing who you are and what you want will have you confidently creating those steps towards your goal and opening those career doors to your bright future.