Intentional and Comprehensive Career Planning
By Dr. Jeffrey Alston, Director University Career Services
University Career Services
Welcome to ETSU and your graduate school experience. As an important part of your graduate experience, taking the time to plan, develop and implement a career strategy will enhance your future career success. Getting an early start and continuing to work your way through the steps outlined below can prove to be instrumental in your post education/career success. University Career Services is excited to assist in your preparation of taking the next step into a career that meets your professional goals.
Become familiar with the career and professional development resources available here at ETSU through:
- Your department (Get to know your instructors and advisors - they are a wealth of information)
- Career Services (Activate your Handshake profile)
- Alumni Association (Networking and mentors)
- Graduate School
- Connecting with and joining professional organizations
Delve deeper into knowing yourself as a professional. It’s important to prepare for success by exploring your:
- Leadership strengths
- Work & life values/balance
- Decision-making style
- What motivates you (internal or external)
Resource: Linked-In Learning is free to ETSU students and you can select from a variety of courses or videos from successful professionals who guide you in answering these areas. You can continue to build on this category using this resource.
Learn more about the career paths you are considering by exploring them:
- Find out about the different employment sectors that offer careers that interest you (academia, corporate, non-profit, government, self-employment, etc.)
- See what responsibilities are specific to various job titles
Resource: What Can I do With This Major?
This tool is found on the University Career Website online Career Resource page https://www.etsu.edu/students/careers/links.php Scroll down to icon (above) and click. It will show you the variety of organizations that employ individuals with your degree. Also gives suggestions of courses/certifications you might want to pursue.
- Research salary and job outlook information - ONETOnline.org is a resource where you can research jobs, locations and median pay for the job, title and geographic location. There are many other resources available on this page. https://www.etsu.edu/students/careers/links.php
Additional tips in exploring careers in your specific field:
- Talk to professionals in the careers that interest you (informational interviews, alumni mentoring, mentoring) Linked in is a great networking tool to contact successful professionals
- Take advantage of experiential learning opportunities (volunteering, internships, shadowing, etc.) Handshake is our job/internship platform. It is diverse in careers and geography.
Focus on the essentials
Make sure you are marketable for your chosen career. Make sure you are covering all the bases with:
(Resources for these areas are found in the information above)
Job market preparation
Start preparing yourself for the job market. Create or obtain from trained Career Service professionals a review of the following:
- Job search plan
- Cover letter
- Interviewing skills
- Résumé or curriculum vitae (CV)
- Job Negotiating skills
University Career Services Staff will be pleased to assist you in your preparations for marketing yourself in the best possible way.
Job search preliminaries (Near the end of your studies)
Look for employment using a variety of strategies.
- Build a network to include: professors, classmates, alumni, colleagues, and contacts for referrals
- Applying to campus, general, and niche job boards (Handshake)
- Attending career fairs and similar events (University Career Services sends notices of these events through Handshake)
Transition to a job/start a career (end of your program and after transitioning to your career)
Prepare to exit the university and start another adventure.
- Thank those who helped you in your academic success and your job search
- Read books, attend workshops, and participate in groups related to the transition process
- Start your new job
- Reflect on your job responsibilities, work environment, standard of living, relationships, mental and physical health, and leisure activities
- Become an alumni mentor for other students in your field