Teresa's Career Corner
Fitting Career Goals Into Your Summer
June is here, summer is upon us! Kids are off school, activities and vacations abound! You may be wondering, “How in the world am I going to focus on my own career development and job search when it’s such a laid back time of year?”
While you don’t want to stop applying for jobs or positioning yourself with your current employer, don’t overwhelm yourself. Fitting your career goals into your summer can be accomplished! Keep these things in mind:
Be on a 24 Hour Alert!
When you are at your local pool and talking to new and old friends, strike up a conversation about career paths. Learn about everything you possibly can! You might just come up with new ideas and strategies for your own path.
Don’t Shy Away!
When you are out at the grocery store and see someone you know, don’t turn your cart the other way! Take time to talk with that person. You never know where the conversation will go. I recently worked with an experienced professional who ran into a one-time co-worker. He decided to strike up a conversation despite being short on time. Turns out the guy works at the very company my client was trying to get into but couldn’t get passed the on-line application stage. The one-time co-worker encouraged him to email his resume to him; next thing you know, he’s getting an interview. He’s employed at the company now! True story!
Every Conversation Counts!
While some conversations will seem very productive for you as it relates to your career path, not all will. Don’t be discouraged. If you seem too over-zealous about your own career path, you can be a turn-off. You don’t want this to happen! Just have natural, authentic conversations with everyone and if it leads to career path, great! If it doesn’t then you still have benefited from connecting with that person.
We can often get so self-centered in meeting our own career path goals that that we end up irritating others and ultimately alienating ourselves. Don’t let this happen to you! When meeting new people for the first time, don’t make it all about you; ask the other person what they do for a living. In conversing about their career, you may find you can be of help to them. Go for it! That is, after all, what networking is all about!
Ultimately, you want to give yourself the opportunity to just enjoy the summer. But keeping your career goals in mind as you head to Six Flags, picnic in Forest Park or swim at your local recreational center, just might open up new ideas and ultimately empower you!
Enjoy your summer!
Teresa Balestreri, M.Ed. 1992
Director of Career Services
University of Missouri-St. Louis