Are you in the transitional period of graduating college and entering the workforce? Are you unsure how to get the most out of your experiences in the professional world? These four tips that all young professionals should know can help you out.
Find your passion
If you work in a field you enjoy, you’re more likely to succeed. During this transitional period, it is a good time to look back on what you’ve done in the classroom, at work, and with any research or internship opportunities you’ve had. Was your Cybersecurity internship fulfilling, but not hands-on enough? Was your English teaching assistantship great, but you wanted to teach in person rather than online? Take note of these things and find what you like, what you’re good at, and how you can apply these things to your future career.
Get a mentor
Mentors are a great tool for when starting your professional journey. They have been in your shoes before and can help you get to where you want to be. Make sure to pick a mentor that has similar interests as you, too. If you’re interested in research, it could be worthwhile to reach out to your favorite professor in your academic department. You could also find someone through an internship or job you worked if you’re more interested in hands-on application. Either way, be sure to pick a mentor with the same career interests as you.
Grow and maintain your network
Networking is essential in the workplace, and with technology like LinkedIn, it’s easier than ever to connect with professionals in your field from all over the world. Use this resource to connect with peers, family, professors, mentors, and advisors to broaden your network and potentially learn something new from them. You never know from where your next job opportunity will come. Having a large professional network can increase your chances of finding something you like!
Consider postgraduate education
While an undergraduate degree can land you a good job, having a master’s degree, Ph.D., or a postgraduate certification can help you stand out from the crowd in your application. Many master’s programs have options to either be a full-time or part-time student depending on your work schedule and other responsibilities. Also, many employers may fund your education if you work full time. Specialized degrees like sports management, film production, and cybersecurity are great options for someone who knows what their career goals are. But more broad degrees, like an MBA, are great for anyone interested in an administrative career without having to pin down a specific niche.
If you enjoy an applied approach to your education, check out the many applied graduate programs and post-baccalaureate certificates, UMBC’s Office of Professional Programs offers.