7 Career “To Dos” for Summer

Congratulations to CPCC students who completed the spring semester. If you’re taking a break from coursework over the summer, enjoy a much deserved rest from your studies.

Additionally, summer is a great time to get a jump start on career planning. Remember all of the things you’ve wanted to do but couldn’t because of your class schedule? Over the next few months, consider the following seven items you can accomplish to better prepare for the world of work after graduation.

1. Find a job: In addition to the paycheck you’ll earn, you’ll learn valuable on-the-job skills. Part-time, full-time or temporary work gives you exposure to the world of work, whether the setting is an office, restaurant, retail store or warehouse. You’ll develop an understanding of what it means to be an employee. Check out EmploymeNC, an online job board, for job postings.

2. Volunteer: Give back to your community, network with others from a variety of professional backgrounds and develop strong skills all at once. Volunteering is also a great way to get a feel for the world of work. Check out resources like Hands On Charlotte and Volunteer Match for volunteer opportunities with a variety of organizations in many different settings.

3. Update your resume: Take the time to update your resume now so you won’t be rushing to do so when you begin applying for jobs. Get feedback from a career counselor through email or in person.

4. Research career options: Utilize many career exploration websites to learn about career options related to your major. Check out the following extensive resources:

Occupational Outlook Handbook

O*Net

CFNC

Career Services

5. Arrange information interviews: The best way to learn about a career is speaking to someone in the profession. Information interviews are the best tools for finding out what it’s really like to work in a particular job. Use your network of friends and family or meet with a career counselor to discuss a strategy for locating a professional to speak with.

6. Polish your skills: Skills are talents and abilities that are used daily in every aspect of your professional, academic and personal life. Are you hoping to fine tune your computer skills? The better your skills the better your chances for success. Check out college and community programs that offer computer instruction. If you want to fine tune your math skills (perhaps to retake the placement test), look for tutoring resources. Do you want to improve public speaking skills? For a small fee of $20, the Toastmaster’s International organization can help.

7. Create a LinkedIn account: Regardless of your career choice, LinkedIn – dubbed the Facebook for professionals- is an invaluable tool for networking, job searching and professional development. If you aren’t familiar with this social media tool, take the time to create and develop your LinkedIn account.

Take time this summer to refocus and re energize for your return to class this fall as well as start your career planning for your entrance to the world of work in the future.