Decision and Preparation

Once you've narrowed your choices

Pick up any training or experience you know you'll need. Intern and Shadow: Get experience and contacts in your chosen field.

After you've researched and interned/volunteered/shadowed in the careers that interest you, you should be ready to make an informed decision about which career you want to pursue first in your life.

Remember, it is highly likely that you will engage in several different careers (not just jobs--careers) in the course of your lifetime; you are not irrevocably committing yourself to a particular path right now. Based on your research, conversations with professionals and internship experience, you know what kinds of training, experience and connections you need to acquire to break into your career field.

Think strategically

What if you can't get into exactly the job you want right away? What kind of job can you take in the interim that will build skills and experience relevant to your chosen career? In what kinds of activities can you engage in the interim that will make you a stronger candidate in a chosen career field--join a professional association? Volunteer with certain organizations? Pick up a language?

Once you've chosen a career

Begin immediately to build your professional connections in that field. Conduct informational interviews with alums in our alumni mentor database, Tribe Connections. An older professional in your field who has agreed to serve as an advisor to you is an invaluable career development move.

Join {{http://www.asaecenter.org/Directories/AssociationSearch.cfm, professional associations}} and try to get to conferences, workshops and other events.

Try to fit in more internship or shadowing experiences within that field. The more of your future colleagues you know now the easier your job search will be later.