Archives – August, 2013

6 reasons working a part-time job now makes you a better full-time employee later

Tomorrow is the Career Services Part-Time Job Fest. From 10 am to 1 pm company representatives will be at the CPCC Central Campus on the Overcash Driveway, talking to students about part-time job opportunities. If you’re looking for a part-time job this is a great chance to meet with employers who are hiring!

If you aren’t looking for a part-time job, maybe you should be (if your class schedule permits). The benefits of a part-time job extend way beyond the paycheck you’ll earn right now. In many ways, working a part-time job now makes you a better full-time job seeker and employee later. How?

When you get a part-time job you:

Experience the job application process: Filling out an application, putting together a resume, writing a cover letter and assembling a reference list.

Participate in a job interview: Part-time job applicants meet with potential supervisors and managers who review their application and ask interview questions that full-time job seekers answer as well.

Develop transferable skills: Part-time employees learn how to work independently or in groups, perform tasks efficiently, show up for work on time, work under a supervisor (or with minimal supervision). These are just a few of the many transferable skills you can develop now as a part-time employee that you’ll list as your strengths later during interviews for full-time jobs.

Learn things about yourself: Do you prefer working in a fast-paced or relaxed environment? Do you enjoy working behind the scenes or at the forefront of the action? What skills do you naturally use more than others? You can learn a lot about yourself in certain situations, a part-time job experience being one of them.

Have work experience to put on your resume and talk about in future interviews: Job seekers with no work experience have an extremely difficult time developing a resume. Even if your part-time job is in a field completely unrelated to your studies or future career plans, employers look favorably upon applicants with prior work experience. Additionally, employers don’t like discussing hypothetical situations during interviews. For example, if they ask about your communications skills, they want you to provide specific examples from work experience where you put your communication skills to work.

Develop time management skills: Students who successfully balance a work and class schedule automatically acquire time management skills. A solid GPA and a solid recommendation from your work supervisor is a great combination that future full-time employers will look upon favorably.

 

 

August 26, 2013

10 tips to make the fall semester your best yet!

The CPCC fall semester starts this Thursday. Whether you’re a new student or returning for your final semester, here are 10 tips for thriving and surviving from now through your last final exam in December!

1. Go to class: You know those classes where you can get by with simply reading the book and only showing up for exams? They don’t exist.

2. Participate in class: And not just because class participation often counts for a good portion of your final grade. Get to know your classmates; you never know when you might need to borrow their notes or want to set up a study group. Take advantage of the instructor’s office hours to ask questions about topics covered in class. Online classes offer ways to participate through discussion boards and email, so take advantage of them.

3. Invest in a planner: It doesn’t matter if you prefer the “old fashioned” paper planners or download an organizer app. Time management and planning are key to your student success. Consider developing a semester timeline or organizing a calendar by the semester, month or week. Everyone has different organizational methods. Develop the approach that works best for you.

4. Get your family, friends and employer on board with your schedule: Meet with your work supervisor now to figure out a work schedule that is conducive with your class schedule and allows time to study. Let family and friends know when your “crunch” times are throughout the semester (some weeks will be busier than others).    

5. Prioritize: In addition to being a student, you’re likely also a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father or employee. Being successful at school means that being a student has to be one of the top two roles that you pay most attention to – and the number one role as often as possible.

6. Learn to say no: To the friend who hasn’t seen you in forever and wants to meet for drinks (the night before a big test). To your partner who wants to go out of town (the weekend before a big project is due). To anyone who is asking a favor that conflicts with your study and class schedule. Practice the following: “It’s really important that I focus on my studies this semester. I’m sorry I have to say no.”

7. Take advantage of campus resources: CPCC has many student services to help you navigate the college scene. Whether you’re having academic issues in class or experiencing personal struggles at home. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.   

8. When you schedule permits, get involved in campus or community clubs and activities: When you feel you’ve gotten accustomed to the college student schedule, consider getting involved in clubs or activities. Student clubs are great avenues for meeting others and making the campus feel more like a community. Volunteering is a positive outlet for building skills, meeting people and making a difference in the lives of others.

9. Don’t bite off more than you can chew: In theory, working a part-time job and maintaining a full course load may sound doable. But if you find yourself struggling (personally or academically), it might be time to sit down, reevaluate your schedule and make some changes.

10. Maintain healthy habits: Pulling all-night study sessions and consuming large cups of coffee come with the college territory – on occasion. But good grades will be hard to come by if a good night’s sleep and healthy lifestyle are forgotten.

 

 

August 13, 2013

Mirror mirror on the wall: Career assessments aren’t crystal balls

There’s an old saying: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This expression rings true when talking about career assessments.

Career assessments are surveys that can help a person examine their interests, abilities, values or preferences as they relate to different jobs or industries. The theory behind most career assessments is that people function best or enjoy their work more in professions that best compliment who they are. Discover what interests, abilities, values and preferences make you tick and you’ll find a career.

Sounds perfect, right?  Not so fast. Many people have high expectations about what a career assessment actually is.

 

A career assessment isn’t a test that:

  • Tells you what job you should pursue
  • Directs what academic program/major to study
  • Provides the answer to “what should I do with my life.”

Many people who take assessments expect all of the above and are disappointed when results fail to deliver. So should you bother taking career assessments? If approached with the right perspective they can be very helpful.

Career assessments can:

  • Confirm some career interests you may already be considering
  • Enlighten you to new career interests you may have never thought about
  • Provide lists of careers and academic majors  to explore further
  • Give you a better sense of who you are as an individual

Hop online and you’ll find many career assessments that people can take on their own. You receive the results immediately after completing the surveys. Be aware that many of these assessments aren’t scientific. In other words, their design and results haven’t been proven to be valid. Additionally, taking the assessments and receiving results isn’t as important as what you do with those results.

Meeting with a career counselor is the best first step in taking career assessments. A counselor first determines if assessments may be beneficial or if your career needs could be met through other avenues such exploring careers. If your counselor believes assessments could help, he or she can suggest which one would be most appropriate. Through CPCC Career Services, CPCC students pay a fee of $10-$20 for assessments that cost hundreds of dollars when administered through private counseling practices.

The conversation you and your counselor share when reviewing the assessment results is extremely valuable. You’ll dissect what the information means and develop a plan of what to do next. It might be researching careers, volunteering, talking to people in different jobs or another career action step.

So the next time a friend suggests that you “take that test that tells you what career you should do,” remember that the test doesn’t exist – because if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

But meet with a career counselor to see if an assessment could help develop a career action plan. This plan puts you in the driver’s seat of determining what career you should pursue.

 

 

August 5, 2013


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