Thanksgiving — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week
Many of you will be having Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family later this week. Perhaps you will be spending the holiday with a friend’s family and meeting new people. Inevitably, someone, or several people are going to ask what you are studying in college and what you plan to do after graduation — or some other variation of these inquiries. These questions can provide valuable opportunities for networking and enhancing your job seeking skills.
Think about David DeLong’s F-I-N-I-S-H (which I have mentioned previously in several columns). The H stand for getting help from others. People who know and like you (and especially relatives who love you) would be delighted to be a part of your job seeking team. They want to help — but you have to tell them what to do. Be prepared to talk about what you are studying. Describe the things and concepts that interest you the most. Let them know the names of companies that are on your short list (if you have one). Most likely, you do not know everyone who is in their networks!
The ability to explain complex technical concepts to people who do not have technical background is a skill that is highly valued by employers. Granted, some of you are following the path of many family members and will be surrounded by those with strong technical knowledge, but others are not. Take advantage of the opportunity to translate what you are learning into language that anyone can understand. You might even want to try including younger children in the conversation. In addition to being a role model, you would be creating a good STAR story to use in interviews.
All of us at the Fulton Schools Career Center want to wish our students and colleagues a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful to have the opportunity to work with you!
Joyce Donahue is a career counselor in the Fulton Schools of Engineering Career Center. She is a nationally certified career counselor and holds “Master Career Counselor” membership status in the National Career Development Association.