Before I start, if you are looking for definitive answers or a formula to success, then stop reading right here. I am here to tell you my experiences, things that worked for me in building my career and I hope you can take the lessons that apply to you.
Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to study Psychology. But after the first year of my course, I found out I didn't have the stomach to digest all the trauma that counseling and therapies bring. As a 19 year old, here are 5 things I started changing to land a career in doing things I loved with my skills.
1. Do what you want!
Now, this does not mean that you go out every night, get smashed and not turn up to your jobs and classes on Monday. Oh no no no....
What I mean is choose a job ( or subject) that you enjoy doing. I mean let's get real. Have you ever seen anyone successful and happy doing something they hate? Does Mark Zuckerberg hate being the founder of Facebook? Or does Sunder Pichai (CEO of Google) comes across as someone who hates his job?
They are good at what they do because they love doing what they do!!!
The key is to decide what you like doing early in your life and stick with it until you feel a change is needed. I decided very early in my life that I wanted to explore Psychology. Throughout my high school years, I built myself to achieve this goal. I applied for universities straight after graduating from high school and got into my dream course (Bachelor in Applied Science Psychology). But during my course, I realized I needed to change my path. So after graduating, I applied for MBA (Masters in Business Administration) and my journey has been amazing.
2. Make the most of your time at University!
I know I sound like your parents but hear me out!
Life in University gets exciting very quickly. Some say high school is the best time of your life. It's where you make stupid choices and get away with most of them (MOST..). I say, University is more exciting and memorable. Here you meet people that may potentially be your life long friends, or your partner (in crime or in life ;) ).
You will find the foundations of who you are as a person.
Here you try new things. Things that were frowned upon in high school; like that salsa class your mates thought was for 'losers' and those karate classes that your girls thought were 'so boring and unnecessary'. Universities are a chance to find your passions, aspirations, and morals so use it wisely.
3. Make Connections!
Have you ever thought about how lucky we are to be living in such a multicultural city and able to meet people from all over the world every day? Universities especially are a hub of multiculturalism. Every semester there is an influx of students from different walks of life and this is a chance for us to make friends and polish those connections for life. Who knows, you might bump into the next Mark Zuckerberg ;)
'But I don't know how to meet new people" you say? I hear you.
The Secret is Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer....
Most Uni's have many events running simultaneously and always need students to volunteer in exchange for experience. I know RMIT especially has great volunteering programs and if it takes good music and a big crowd for you to loosen up then join RMIT Student Union Volunteers (RUSU). Some of my most cherished and greatest friends and experiences have come from volunteering in RUSU for different parties (building a career does not have to be boring) and events. I met many important people and it gave me the confidence and experience I need for my future career.
4. Speak Up and Land Internships
I have friends who come up to me, asking what's my secret for landing internships. I say Speak UP!
Looking for internships online is a good enough idea. But this means you are not using your resources well. You know that “person” who stands in front of your lecture rooms and talks for hours while you zone out on Facebook? Yeah THAT! That person is the segue into your next internship.
Speak up in class! Do some research on the lecturer before you go into your first class. Find out what industry he specializes in and if it is something you would like to work in. Study for the lectures. If you speak up your ideas in class (good or bad) you will come across as a confident person willing to step out of their comfort zone to achieve your goals. So, when you go up to your lecturers to ask them if they have any internships in mind for you, I am sure there will be something they can come up with.
LinkedIn is one of the best and easiest platforms to make connections with professionals. I’m lucky to be currently working with Social Star - a boutique marketing agency specializing in Personal Branding and one of the best LinkedIn experts out there! If you don't know much about LinkedIn or haven’t had a well-developed profile, check out their ebook 'Build an Impressive LinkedIn profile' here. I am sure all of you have guest lecturers every single semester. These are industry experts that have unimaginable resources and connections for you to tap into. Find them on LinkedIn and connect with them (no you wouldn't come across as a stalker). Since I have found out about LinkedIn I have added all my guest lecturers online. This gave me a chance to talk to them afterward and find out if our personalities matched for any future projects.
'But does it really work?" you wonder.
Yes, it does!!! I met Andrew (My Boss: click here for his bio) when he came to RMIT as a guest lecturer. After connecting with him on LinkedIn, we started talking. A month later I was interning at his firm and now I am working as his Digital Media Coordinator for the past six months. You know what they say:
'When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it' ~ The Alchemist
I am not saying doing these things will get you the same results I had. But these have helped me land my dream career, I hope they will help you too!
PS: If you liked my blog, feel free to leave comments (have amazing, big discussion) below! Don't be shy to message me on LinkedIn too! Remember it’s all about confidence and connections ;)
Posted by Tina Dochana