Your New Career Starts Here Webinar for New and Prospective Students
SJSU’s School of Information has a wealth of resources available to make the move from graduate student to information professional a smooth and successful transition. Jill Klees, our school’s career counselor, hosted a career webinar on September 10th that introduces students to the iSchool’s extensive career development resources . It’s okay if you couldn’t make it, because you can listen to the recording here, as well as check out any previous career webinars for iSchool students.
The webinar, entitled ‘Your New Career Starts Here!’ is a great way to become familiar with the iSchool’s resources, and really helped motivate me to start connecting with people, networking, and exploring my career options so I can try to pinpoint what my ideal job might be.
As Klees was quick to point out in the beginning of the session, “Engaged and connected students who have joined student associations and do internships—those who are maximizing their educational experiences—are the most successful in their careers.” If that sounds like someone you’d like to become—and it does, doesn’t it—then take advantage of the school’s career development resources, and not just the courses that the school has to offer.
Klees outlined the importance of an intentional job search, rather than a scattershot approach with your resume. She recommends using a number of resources offered by the iSchool to take a three-step approach to career development: assessment, exploration and then finding a job.
Self-assessment resources include looking at the self-assessment chart on the website to think about your interests, the type of work environment you prefer, and who you work best with. As these three areas mix and overlap, you’ll get a better sense of what career fields might be a good fit for you. And once you identify a direction you want to head with your career, you’ll be able to better choose courses you’ll want to take at the School of Information to best fit your career goals.
Another way to explore your career options is to read about the school’s Career Pathways. These web pages provide ideas about the skills needed to work in each area, plus typical job titles. You can also learn more about Career Pathways by reading a post on this blog regarding the Youth Services Pathway.
You can also explore various career options by reading about current students and alumni pursuing that pathway – something you can do by checking out the school’s Community Profiles. Career Pathways offer a broad set of guidelines to help you choose your coursework at the iSchool with a specific career field in mind. The Community Profiles provide specific examples of what your peers are doing as they pursue a range of career opportunities.
During the webinar, Klees was quick to remind us that the people featured in the Community Profiles “have been in your shoes. When they started out, they may have been overwhelmed and confused as well.” She urges students to reach out and connect with some of these alumni and current students who are featured in the community profiles (or our alumni career spotlights), and to use these resources to build your professional network.
“Start building your network early,” Klees says. “Don’t wait until you’re just about to graduate. When it comes time to really do your job search, then you’ll already have your network establish. Networking is the number one job search strategy. It’s the best way to find out about job opportunities.”
She recommends contacting some of these people and requesting a short 20-30 minute informational interview. The professionals who present during the career colloquia sessions and whose profiles are a part of the website have put themselves out there for you to get in touch with them. Be thoughtful and considerate of their time, of course, and get in contact with them. They would be happy to share the exciting and interesting aspects of their career, and can offer valuable advice for your job search.
Other great ways to start building your network, ahem now, are to join professional associations and attend conferences—even virtual ones, like the upcoming Library 2.o14 Conference on October 8th and 9th. “Try to fit these things into your busy lives,” Klees urges. The networking connections you’ll end up making are invaluable resources to looking for your ideal job. You can take advantage of student rates to attend many of these conferences. Some professional associations also offer free membership, which is a student rate that’s tough to beat.
After you’ve done a bit of self-assessment, career exploration and networking, then you’re ready to find a job. The school’s career development site has an extensive list of job search and placement agencies, including the university’s SJSU Handshake site, which is a campus-wide site current job postings. If you have yet to join SJSU Handshake, you can do so using this link.
Your new career starts here—at the School of Information—with all its classes, internships, student associations, webinars, career development resources and so much more.
What are you doing now to work towards your ideal career? Share with each other and start networking here!
For further reading, check out:
Image courtesy of cooldesign.