Enhance your "Work Ready Skills" and build a network of contacts that will support your career goals by developing your own Career Action Plan.
Start today! Your plan should be:
- Continuous and evolving as you grow (update when appropriate)
- A helpful guide that you customize and update
Use the printable version of the Career Action Plan Checklist to personalize it for your own needs:
- Record activities you have completed
- Identify additional activities specific to your preparation
- Make other related notes
- Occasionally, refer back to this webpage and take advantage of any helpful updates, links, and attachments.
Whatever real success you have will be the result of listening to yourself, believing your dreams have value and honoring your vision with action.
- Get inspired! Appreciate the benefits for continuing your education. Consider earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment. Remember to maintain excellence in your academic work from your first semester to your last. The better your grades, the better your opportunities.
- Identify the degree(s) required for your career choice.
- Consider Career Development coursework.
- Identify a support network of faculty and advisors within your discipline to whom you can turn for guidance and advice to develop and critique your degree plan and outline the major courses and electives you plan to take each semester.
- Cultivate a relationship with these mentors for ongoing assistance. Seek them out as soon as an issue arises.
- Identify at least three strong references from your professors who know your scholarly abilities before you graduate.
- Identify strong references from supervisors who know your real world experience and work skills.
- Become acquainted with offices on campus that provide academic support services for additional advising, study skills, workshops and learning centers, for example: to improve your study skills, boost confidence on exams and manage your time better you should check out the Seeds of Success Workshop.
- Review course descriptions of both required and elective courses before the course begins (each semester) to ensure you are mentally prepared and that it is an appropriate choice. In the instance an elective is not appropriate, adjust your schedule ASAP.
- Identify transfer schools and contact their Admissions Office for course acceptance. Review the transfer steps you should follow.
- Attend an Orientation for new students. Make a list of the resources and organizations you would benefit from learning more about.
- Research a club or organization related to your major or career interests during your first semester and become an active member in your second semester.
- Assume leadership roles during your first semester and become an active member in your second semester and contribute your talents to an organization by serving as an officer, chairing a committee, and/or organizing a major event.
- Research the benefits of participating in the Honors Program, service learning projects or other volunteer activities.
- Learn how to establish goals and create action plans to achieve them. Explore Personal Goal Setting.
- Consider character traits or virtues you will embrace that will support your lifelong success. See John Wooden's Pyramid of Success.
- Attend workshops on study skills, time and stress management, and become familiar with wellness resources.
- Find part-time, internships and/or a summer job to gain work experience preferably in your career field. This will help you develop confidence, real world experience and good work habits. Purple Briefcase is one resource you can use.
According to a Career Builder poll, 77% of hiring personnel consider "soft skills" just as important as tech expertise or field knowledge needed to perform a certain job. The top-five qualities employers are looking for:
- Strong work ethic
- Positive attitude
Recognize that you likely have a minimum or 15-30 minutes in an interview to "sell yourself." Self-critique the skills you have. What additional skills do you plan to acquire or enhance? Self-assess your skills.
- Ask someone you value to identify two or three skills they suggest you focus on enhancing - be open to their feedback and write down their comments. You can only get better by acknowledging areas you can improve.
- Take SPC 141, Interpersonal Speech Communication which can help the student become a better team member.
- Critique and enhance your professional wardrobe, if needed. Consider asking for advice from those you would like to emulate.
Remember! Persistence pays off! Continue the search and interview process even after receiving the first job offer. Just because one opportunity might feel right and you think you will be hired, a better fit may still exist. Keep building your network of contacts to meet your goals.