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Resource Center

Steps to Position Yourself for Your Dream Career and for Career Advancement

When you are in college or graduate school, you take courses that will help you in your chosen career path. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to make your career dreams come to fruition.

Step One: Decide on a Career

It takes great effort and determination to position yourself for your dream career, but the earlier you start, the better. The first step is figuring out your true career aspirations. You may know you want to work in the forensic science industry, but what do you ultimately want to be doing in ten years? Fifteen? How will you get to that place?

Perhaps taking an entry-level job to gain experience and working your way up the corporate ladder will get you to where you want to be in the future. Another consideration is further education. Will earning a masters or doctorate degree help you land a job in your dream career or advance your career? What about an additional certificate, or completion of a specialized course? If so, consider continuing your education to gain the skills and knowledge you will need to succeed in your dream profession.

If you aren’t sure what job would be a good fit for you now or down the line, you may want to speak with graduates, professors or others in the industry with similar professions and ask about their experiences. Also, consider subscribing to an industry newsletter or magazine that could provide you more information, or research the career path on industry websites. If you have an idea of what you want to do but aren’t sure exactly what the job entails, contemplate applying for an internship that aligns with your dream career.

Step Two: Be a Hard-Working Intern

Internships are often key to help Utica College students prepare for their future careers. Whether they are paid or not, Career Builder explains that internships can help you gain critical skills that are necessary to succeed in your profession. Though internships can be stressful on top of schoolwork and perhaps other jobs, the experience you gain can be priceless. Not only will you receive real-life experience in your potential career, but also you can build relationships with the companies or organizations you are interning for. At the very least you will be able to get a great reference, and in the best-case scenario, your internship could turn into a full-time job.

Step Three: Create a plan with goals

Once you have determined what you want to do within your dream career, a recent Marketing Week article suggests beginning to set a career plan with goals. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • ::  Where do you see yourself post graduation?
  • ::  Are their certain companies or organizations you would like to work for?
  • ::  Do you have any connections at companies or organizations that might be able to help?
  • ::  Is working in a specific industry important to you?
  • ::  If so, what about that industry enthuses you?

Once you answer some of these questions, begin to plan and define goals. What would you like to achieve by the end of your junior year or maybe the last leg of your graduate program? Options could include completing an internship with your dream company or volunteering with an organization you hope to work for. What do you need to accomplish by graduation? Consider revamping your resume, submitting job applications, completing interviews and attending industry-specific networking events as potential career plan goals.

Step Four: Build your personal brand

In the job market nowadays, it is all about one’s personal brand and suggests this leads to better job offers. Make no mistake; potential employers will certainly research you before they bring you in for an interview. They will examine your social media profiles, see if you have a website and read your blog. Since you can expect prospective employers to do this, you should be prepared and try to impress them by having a professional presence on social media sites.

In order to be prepared, talk about your prospective industry by sharing news, insights and opinions. Make sure your social presence is professional with a bit of personality mixed in. It’s okay to talk about your favorite band or post a picture of a beautiful view, but keep it G-rated at all times. Build your personal brand through these channels and impress possible employers with the results.

Step Five: Research, research, research

Once you are ready to apply to a job that is in line with your dream career, you must do a great deal of research and development. First, when applying for a job, you need to research every aspect of the job and the company before heading to the interview. You should visit the company website, read their blog and even comment on a few blog posts. If you can, research the people you will be interviewing with. Know their titles and roles at the company. The more you know about the company the better, as you may have to use or refer to some of that information in an interview.

Step Six: Don’t give up

Don’t give up on pursuing your dream career. It’s easy to get discouraged by a bad interview for a job that would have been a great fit for you, or not hearing back from a company you would love to work for. Taking a job you won’t be happy with in the long run or giving up completely may be the easiest thing to do, but the only way to make your career dreams a reality is through persistence and honest effort. If you feel defeated, think back to what you are working so hard for: your dream career.

There are many steps one can take to position themselves for their dream career while taking courses online at Utica College. From deciding on a concrete career aspiration and interning to get real-world experience to building a personal brand and researching to no end, all of these exertions take determination and hard work. However, when all your hard work pays off and you land a job you love in the field that you have dreamed of working in, all efforts will be well worth it.

Learn how you can advance in your career or enter a new industry by requesting more information from Utica College today!