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Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 04/07/2014. All rights reserved.
ACK! I Don’t Like My College Career Major. NOW WHAT?
In Chinese, the word for crisis also means opportunity.
- WHAT TO EXPECT
- PICKING A MAJOR (Career Tests & Workbooks)
- 4 ARTICLES FROM INDUSTRY EXPERTS
Genius without education is like silver still in the mine. ~ Ben Franklin
My incredibly smart great-niece just went off to college with a full scholarship some 3000 miles away from home last year and is experiencing the inevitable boredom that comes with those first couple years and, what feels even more unsettling to her, questioning the major she originally chose. The first blush of real freedom is setting in and the classes seem a boring rehash of high school. In fact, it feels like she already knows all that stuff the professors are feeding her in class. It’s Déjà vu all over again! Now what? Her plight inspired this article.
TIP # 1: WHAT TO EXPECT
“What to Expect” is a great informational article for parents about what’s happening with their student (academically and emotionally) the first year of college, broken down month-by-month from September thru August of the next year. It includes suggestions about what they can do to help their students. But it is also a great article that any college student should read. Click on the link “What to Expect,” appearing on University of Michigan website.
TIP # 2: BOREDOM
The consensus from college experts such as Randall Hansen, PhD, in “Your First Year of College: 25 Tips To Help You Survive and Thrive Your First Year and Beyond.”, and from my daughter (a PhD candidate who has been teaching freshmen students the past several years) and from my husband who was a college professor and coach for 40 years is as follows: “Don’t worry about majors and careers the first two years of college.” You don’t really have to pin it down until the 3rd year of college after your general education requirements are fulfilled.
The trick is to get through the boring first two years and complete your boring-as-heck general ed requirements. The general ed requirements are going to be a huge “snooze” since they are basically a rehash of high school. They ALWAYS are. It’s a common complaint from College Freshmen. And it’s most intense in February, March, and April if you live in snowy climates. Students are stuck inside. They even have a term for it: “cabin fever.”
The “fix” to the boring-classes conundrum is lots of class variety, time-management, and staying engaged on campus. Have fun with the elective classes and buckle down on the required courses until you get to the real-deal classes in year 3. Get involved in campus activities such as student government and active clubs. Check in with your campus Career Center and your Counselors. The more you get involved in off-campus activities, the more you lose your focus.
My daughter, the freshman college teacher, pointed out,
People think college is going to be sooooo much more exciting than high school but the workout is the same. Getting involved in campus activities is good to do; but really, ‘BORED IS BORED.’ Part of going to college is about managing expectations.
Boring work still HAS to be done, but you can also start to branch out and see if you like some things you didn’t know you liked. Try sampling drama classes or other classes that might interest you. Basically browse the electives. College students are going to goof-off and have fun, period; but the goal is to keep a strong link to the school and be sure to complete enough of the requirements to be in good standing when it is time to settle on a major.
College has plenty of classes to offer that you DON’T already know everything about. Sit down with the catalog and circle the classes you would take if you could take ANYTHING you wanted to. Then, take some of them with your other classes … take any classes that will rattle the cage.
TIP # 3: PICKING A MAJOR
If you haven’t chosen a major or are unsure, DON’T be in a sweat to choose a major these first two years. There are lots of classes to sample before you have to make up your mind. Choose ANY classes you think you might like to sample different areas, but buckle down on the general ed requirements. Don’t lose focus with off-campus distractions.
(a) Campus Resources
Visit your campus Career Center for help in determining what careers might be a match for your personality and skills. They usually have tests and other resources that help you discover careers that match your interests. Visit the campus counseling office for some academic counseling. Let them know you are bored with the general education requirement classes and see if they have any helpful suggestions.
There are a host of personality/ career tests on the internet … some you pay for and some free. I personally tried all three of the following free tests and liked the “16 Personalities” test the best. I found it to be the most accurate. The “Free Career Test” and “What Career is Right for Me?” are pretty good too.
- 16 Personalities (click on the link to take the test)
Take the test and then click through to your personality type. It takes you to a descriptive page. At the bottom of the page it gives you categories: Overview, Key Traits, Relationships, Friendships, Parenthood, Careers, and Workplace. Click on each of the categories to get the specifics. It is pretty good.
2. Free Career Test (click on the link to take the test)
Take the Test, then click on “Print Your Results.” Don’t pay any attention to the “Find a School” stuff.
3. What Career is Right for Me? (click on the link to take the test)
Click on “Start the Career Test Now” and answer questions. It will give you a list of careers you may be suited for at the end.
4. Color Quiz (click on the link to take the test)
This is a fun personality/career test supposedly based on science from color psychologists.
The consensus among Career Coaches is that “What Color is Your Parachute” is still the best book for finding careers that fit your interests.
(d) Summer Internships
Test the waters for possible careers by working an internship during the summers. Contact your campus career center, family, friends, and do a ‘summer internship’ job search on Indeed.com for your geographical area. Click on Indeed.com, then type ‘summer internship’ in the “What” box and the geographical area in the “Where” box. Click on “Search.”
TIP# 5: ARTICLES FROM INDUSTRY EXPERTS
- “Unhappy First Semester?” This article is written by a college counselor about first & second year college doldroms and possible solutions.
- “10 Things No One Tells You About Your Freshman Year Of College”
- “5 Tips for College Students to Make the Most of Their College Experience.”
- “Your First Year of College: 25 Tips To Help You Survive and Thrive Your First Year and Beyond.” ~ by Randall Hansen, PhD. But check #14, #17, #21, #22, and that little box on the top right side: “Top 10 Reasons College Students Leave.” (He charges for his tests.)
NEED A LITTLE INSPIRATION?
We wouldn’t ask why a rose that grew from the concrete has damaged petals; in turn, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun. – Tupac
So many times, it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive.
It’s the Eye of the Tiger. ~ Apollo Creed, Rocky
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. ~ Aristotle
Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer
Images by Shutterstock and Bing Free Vector Images.
Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 02/25/2014. All rights reserved.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT CHANGING JOBS?
- 5 Tips for Making it Easier.
- Great tips from 8 Industry Experts.
- Ben Franklin’s “The Way to Wealth.” Really?
A client recently asked me, “What is the hardest thing about changing jobs?”
But, undoubtedly, the hardest part is the stress involved in acclimating yourself to a new company culture, new people, and a new set of processes.
The best advice for dealing with changing jobs actually comes from the book, “The Way to Wealth” written by …. wait for it …. one of the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. That wizard of famous quotations appears on $100 US bills for a reason!
1. PREPARE TO MAKE THE BEST IMPRESSION
- Plan one week’s wardrobe in advance.
- Do a dry-run drive to work before your first day.
- Do a 15 minute workout (yoga, bicycle, etc.).
- Eat breakfast.
- Leave early each day to be sure to get there on time.
2. ORGANIZE TO SAVE TIME
- Ask your manager for a go-to person to learn the ropes. Take notes.
- Get your desk/office and computer software organized.
- Find your bearings: lunch room, bathroom, the IT person, restaurants, drugstores, grocery stores, etc.
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
- Try to remember names when you are introduced. Make notes at your desk.
- Read the orientation materials that personnel gives you.
- Pay attention. Do more listening than speaking.
- If the new technology seems difficult, remember that you are in learning-mode. Now is not the time to be negative. Coach yourself. You can do it. Remember, the best players on a team learn to “shake it off,” “get back up,” and “get back in the game.”
- Observe social alliances and company-culture conventions.
- As you learn about new processes, projects, and people, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.” ― Benjamin Franklin
- Be friendly to EVERYONE.
- Ask people about their favorite lunch places.
- Accept lunch invitations.
- If there is down time during the training process, volunteer to help out on any projects.
- Don’t compare the new job to the old job, or say “this is the way we used to do it.”
- Go home and de-stress – yoga, walking, or the gym.
- Do those things you love to do – movies, reading, the theatre, sports, friends – you get the point.
- Make a to-do list for the next day.
- Get plenty of sleep.
(1) “Starting Your New Job” from Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/career-transitions/201311/starting-your-new-job
(2) “10 Tricks to Starting Your new Job on the Right Foot” from US News Money http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/10/31/10-tricks-to-starting-your-new-job-on-the-right-foot
(3) “Start Your New Job Like a Rock Star” from Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/07/25/start-your-new-job-like-a-rock-star/
(4) “10 Must Reads Before You Start a New Job” from The Daily Muse http://www.themuse.com/advice/10-mustreads-before-you-start-a-new-job
(5) “9 Things Successful People Do In the First Week of a New Job” from Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/9-things-to-do-in-the-first-week-of-a-new-job-2013-8
(6) “Starting a New Job” from Career Planning http://careerplanning.about.com/cs/firstjob/a/new_job.htm
(7) “Starting a New Job” from Mind Tools http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_29.htm
(8) “10 Tips for Starting a New Job” from Toolbox AfterMarket http://www.aftermarket.org/Magazine/InsiderArchives/Toolbox/StartingFresh.aspx
“The Way to Wealth,” by Benjamin Franklin
You are probably VERY familiar with the best quotations found in this book’s early advice for success and enterprise, but did you know B.F. originated them?
1. “There are no gains, without pains”
2. “One today is worth two tomorrows”
3. “A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things”
4. “Get what you can, and what you get hold”
5. “Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright”
6. “Have you somewhat to do tomorrow, do it today”
7. “The eye of a master will do more work than both his hands”
8. “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”
9. And the cautionary poem:
“For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”
Kind Regards, Sandy, You Resume Writer
Ever had a Manager so inspiring, it changed the way you worked?
Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 2013. All rights reserved.
- What Makes a Super-Manager?
- 4 Easy Ideas to Empower Your Employees.
- Helping Employees Find Meaningful Goals.
- Plus “Top-10 Management Movies,” management movie lists from Forbes, INC., Business Week, and the New York Times. (See movie lists at the bottom of the page.)
As an IT recruiter for 17 years, I had several managers. Four of them made a significant impact on the way I perceived my work and, ultimately, the way I do business as a resume writer and small business owner.
Let’s talk about one of these inspiring managers today. She was a tough manager who demanded excellence, but was innovative, creative, progressive, and had a strong sense of community. Did I say she was innovative?
The company I was working for was a traditional, and respected, nationwide company. It had recently purchased the company at which my new manager was working.
“Our” company was a consultant-placement business, replete with savvy sales reps and recruiters motivated to work towards the company’s profit goals. Recruiting can be a competitive and aggressive business. “Head-hunters” as they are euphemistically called, sometimes garner an unsavory reputation for their tactics, although “our” recruiters were bound by the company’s strong code of ethics and legal standards.
The purchased company was a non-profit consultant-placement company for disabled programmers. The employees at the purchased company were completely invested in their company’s mission, so it wasn’t surprising to find that the ones who stayed on after the purchase experienced some dissatisfaction. The quest for meaningfulness in one’s works is, after all, an important factor in happiness.
Two of us from the traditional company were folded into this ‘new’ branch.
1. A consultant was brought in by our ‘new’ manager to lead us through a decision tree in choosing a “Mission Statement” for our ‘new’ branch.
2. A second consultant was brought in that led us, as a group, through a decision tree process that helped us, individually, to determine what was most meaningful in our lives.
3. To foster a sense of community and loyalty with the consultants we placed, our manager implemented off-site dinners or in-house pot-lucks every couple of months that included the consultants. What made this different was that speakers suggested by employees were invited to give talks on timely topics regarding health and finances. And I would argue that a sense of community may be more important than teamwork. Community gives teams, introverts, and consultants a sense of belonging.
4. Another program was “choose-a-charity.” A portion of our branch profits would be given to charity and could be deducted from company taxes. Each employee, at an employee get-together, wrote down the name of their favorite charity, folded the piece of paper, and dropped it in a jar. After shaking the jar, someone pulled out a folded paper, and that was the charity we, the branch employees, chose to donate to that month.
And it worked. We were all invested. We loved it. And our manager for implementing it.
So, what makes a super manager? Short answer: a manager who inspires and empowers their employees!
Here’s wishing that each and every one of you have such a manager!
Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer
Inspired by this experience, JobTownResumes.com implemented a donation program to favorite charities. Five percent (5%) of each resume sale is donated to the charities listed on the JobTownResumes.com “Charities” page.
Here it is! My Top 10 Management-Style Movies, plus “Everything I Know About Management I Learned from the Movies” by Mike Hoffman from INC. Magazine, The “The 30 Must-See Movies for Business Students” from Bloomberg, “Great Movies About Business” from Forbes, and “An Executive’s Favorite Films About Management” from the New York Times.
The Top-10 Management Style Movies:
- 9 to 5 (1980) Comedy (PG): Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
- Wall Street (1987) Crime, Drama (R): A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
- The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Comedy, Drama, Romance (PG-13): A naive young woman comes to New York and scores a job as the assistant to one of the city’s biggest magazine editors, the ruthless and cynical Miranda Priestly. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
- Working Girl (1988) Comedy, Drama, Romance (R): When a secretary’s idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss’s job. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
- Office Space (1999) Comedy, Crime (R): Comedic tale of company workers who hate their jobs and decide to rebel against their greedy boss. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
- Outsourced, (2006) Comedy, Drama, Romance (PG-13): After his entire department is outsourced, an American novelty products salesman (Hamilton) heads to India to train his replacement. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
- Elizabeth (1998) Biography, Drama, History: A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Drama, Family, Fantasy (Approved): An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. (in JTR Bookstore)
- Norma Rae (1979) Drama (PG): A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
- The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) Biography, Drama (PG-13): A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he’s poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
The Sandy Sidebar Blogs © is written
by Sandra Jackson, the Resume Writer and Principal at JobTownResumes.com.
We hope you will enjoy these blogs that offer advice about resumes and job hunting. They incorporate humor, movies, pop culture, current events, and sports into the information you need to optimize your job hunt. Enjoy!
“Easy Reading is Damn Hard Writing!” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.
“While these blogs are humorous in nature, make no mistake about it, career development and job hunting is serious business. It takes research, networking, and knowledge of what employers are really looking for to land the position you really want. These blogs attempt to incorporate all of the above. My intent is to make you smile, but give you serious tools to get where you want to be. Hope you enjoy!”
Kind Regards, Sandy,
Your Resume Writer