So you're ready to get a job! Below are some suggestions to help you on your path! According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), there are several areas within career readiness that you should demonstrate when you start your career after college. Find out how you stack up.
Effective Communication is one of the most essential abilities an employee can demonstrate. Here are some helpful tips for communication in your first year:
- Actively Listen
- Be willing to take direction
- Practice asking relevant clarifying questions
- Convey your message through nonverbal communication (make eye contact, tone of voice, hand gestures)
- Friendliness, Respect, Confidence and Empathy:
Job Preparedness refers to the actions an individual takes in order to get themselves employed. Taking the time to work on how you market yourself to employers can have big rewards in the end. Here are some ways to prepare yourself for the job market.
Whether you have loads of employer experience or none at all, it is important to communicate who you are on paper for potential employers. Relevant experience can be found through a variety of mediums including classes and volunteerism. Make a list of all “tasks” that you think might fit into a “skill”.
Writing the perfect cover letter takes time! Always be sure to have your letter reviewed by a peer, mentor, or career professional.
- Practice your elevator speech - Who are you? In two minutes or less!
- Participate in Mock interviews.
Professionalism focuses on how individuals present themselves in behavior, attitude, and dress within the workplace. Having a strong professional reputation and a quality work ethic ultimately lead to workplace success and development of desire qualifications by employers after college.
Keep in mind the developing your professionalism will happen gradually, but developing healthy professional habits in the first year are a great a way to ensure your success as an employee. Here are some helpful tips:
- Be productive
- Utilize your time at work productively. Avoid common workplace distractions such as inappropriate social media or phone usage.
- Navigating being the world of being a student employee can be difficult. Find a balance between your work, social, and educational spheres.
- Begin to create your brand
- It is important to project a professional presence for your industry. Always dress for the job you want! Be sure to ask your employer what attire should be worn in the workplace. Check out this great guide to dress codes from Indeed!
Job Development is an active process in which an employer updates and reviews your duties, tasks and responsibilities. You and your employer should engage in discussions about your workplace performance and build on your skillset.
- Create an updated versions of your duties, tasks, and responsibilities for you and your employer.
- Start with feedback. What do you do well? What are your areas of growth?
- Think of ways to boost your level of responsibility within your position. Show initiative and demonstrate you are looking to take the next step in your job. For instance, along with your general filing and scanning, ask to learn the process behind these documents or perhaps offer an alternative method for collecting the data.
Employers are looking for individuals who have both a global mindset and intercultural fluency. Gonzaga offers students a variety of options that allow students to engage in this skillset, navigating across difference. Increase your fluency by checking out some of the options below on your own, with a friend, or with a co-worker!
- Download the DICE Calendar and attend an event, workshop, or lunch and learn opportunity!
- Take a look at this month’s Diversity Digest
- Attend a cultural club meeting
- Volunteer with Center for Community Engagement
- Microsoft Suite
- Social Media
Effective communication includes the ability to manage conflict with both supervisors and co-workers. Understanding how to blend different perspectives, skills, generations and so on allows for a better work experience. Engaging this skill will build trust and leads to greater responsibilities.
Finding Confidence in Conflict, TedXDayton – Kwame Christian
Learn more about conflict resolution.
Networking: Now that you have had the opportunity to develop yourself within on-campus employment, it is time to project these skills outward and begin to discern on your next steps after college. It is okay not knowing what you want to do just yet, but participating in the activities below will put you on the track to success in your final year!
- Attend a Trek
- Meet with Career and Professional Development
- Attend an internship/career event
Give yourself the opportunity to develop the skills you have learned and translate them into a lived experience. If you are interested in taking your work to new areas, living the experience firsthand is a great way to apply many of the skills listed above.
Gonzaga offers opportunities for you to take your learning across the globe
- Study Abroad
- Participate in Justice in January
Everything that you have been working toward has all contributed to your brand. Your brand is the way you present. It’s your attire, your work ethic, and it’s who you are as an employee.
- Social Media Responsibility
- Schedule a Meeting with Career & Professional Development
- Finalize your applicant materials for your next step (Resume, CV, Cover letter)
Professionalism is a skill that you will always be working on as an employee. Your first few years you and your employer are working together to develop your professionalism however, by the time you are in your exit year the responsibility shifts completely into your court.
- Self-Accountability is key to your success an employee. There are no mistakes, just learning opportunities.
The Gonzaga Alumni Mentor Program (GAMP) - works by matching students and graduates with mentors in industries/professions related to their academic majors or desired career fields through ZagsConnect, our online mentoring platform. The primary goal of the program is to establish a relationship between the mentee and mentor that facilitates informed career decision-making and the development of a network that results in increased career opportunities.
Join GAMP on ZagsConnect at zagsconnect.gonzaga.edu.