Working Your Career in a Tough Economy
By:Maura Devlin, Director of Student Development. One-Day Programs
Despite a week of relatively strong holiday shopping, the outlook on the US economy is certainly not rosy. Concerns about the housing market, Europe‟s debt problems, and our governing parties‟ unwillingness to collaborate on fiscal solutions plague the
labor market. Unemployment is still fairly high and probably will be for the foreseeable future. So what does this all mean for your career and job prospects?
Well, for starters, you‟re already doing one of the smartest things you can do in tough economic times – fortifying yourself for our knowledge-based economy with education! But there are other things that you can do while you are working through your academic work to increase your career know-how.
- First, you can recognize that career development is a process. This means it takes some time to understand yourself, your strengths and your interests, explore careers, career paths and requirements, and to figure out how to gain the skills and value needed for your chosen career path.
- Second, you can work on developing what employers call “soft” skills while you are here at Bay Path. Soft skills include written and oral communication skills, presentation skills, critical thinking and analysis, problemsolving, teambuilding and leadership skills, and interpersonal abilities.
- Third, you can start building your professional network and career understanding. Talk to your classmates, professors, co-workers, and the One Day staff about their careers. Ask them to describe what they do in detail. Be curious about how they got where they are. Learn from their mistakes and successes. Join LinkedIn.com and set up your profile, then ask colleagues to join your network.
- Fourth, you can gain experience by volunteering, doing an internship, or job shadowing in an organization. Which leads me to the fifth and final way you can work today on your career: Reach out to a One Day Career Coach who can guide you through these tasks and activities.
Though no one activity or academic program can ensure immunity to the caprices of a tough unemployment market, engaging in many aspects of career development, enhancing skills and abilities, and being able to articulate value that you bring to an
employer can be the best way to navigate today’s labor force.