career tips

Preparing Students for Successful Careers

Instructors and administrators recognize the important role they can play in preparing students for successful careers. No matter what they teach, all instructors contribute to their student population’s success through their reinforcement of intellectual skills such as critical thinking, information literacy, and communication, as well as the specialized knowledge and skill base associated with their fields. If you’re hoping to provide your students with additional guidance as they seek to make the transition from school to the workforce, you will benefit from Angele Blackshear-Brown’s presentation “From College to Career: Teaching Skills to Transition Today’s Students Into Tomorrow’s Professionals,” given during the 2014 Read More…


Career Opportunities Start in the First Year

Guest Contributor: Britt Andreatta, MA, Ph.D.   First-Year Experience instructors have a tough challenge when it comes to talking about post-graduation career opportunities. On the one hand, first-year students (and often their family members), come in with some set goals and strong opinions about how to get that “high-paying job” at graduation. On the other hand, most of their opinions are based on misinformation, and can actually undermine students’ educational experience. We have all seen the myopic focus on two or three fields like medicine, law, and engineering, which narrows intellectual exploration and may disregard a student’s natural interests and aptitude. The Read More…


Five Ways to Explore Professional Development Opportunities

As an educator, you also possess an affinity for learning, and recognize that the pursuit of increased knowledge and skill keeps you on a continuous path of growth and development of great personal—and professional—value. On the path towards professional development in particular, it helps to explore a number of different means that can help you make the progress you’re hoping to achieve. In his book 101 Ways to Find Work… and Keep Finding Work for the Rest of Your Career!Dr. Charles Michael Austin shares five ways to explore professional development opportunities. We’ve summarized them below. You might also consider Read More…


Tips for Students: Choosing Your Career

Some students enter college with a strong sense of which career path they want to take. Others may have a general sense of what they’d like to do, but may not be sure how to choose the best option from among their many interests. No matter where they currently stand in the process of selecting a potential career, they undoubtedly recognize the importance of making that decision. For this reason, they may appreciate some pointers that can help them choose wisely. In their book FOCUS on College and Career Success, Second Edition, Dr. Steve Staley and Dr. Constance Staley offer students advice for choosing a career path that suits their interests, Read More…


Steps for Giving Effective Feedback to Colleagues

You’re likely used to providing feedback to your students after they’ve completed an assignment or examination. But at times, in the name of improved departmental relationships or on-the-job performance, you may need to discuss a situation or pattern of behavior with a co-worker. Depending on your relationship with the person, this can be a challenging and sensitive endeavor. These tips, adapted from suggestions provided in Richard L. Daft and Dorothy Marcic’s Building Management Skills: An Action-First Approach, can help you provide effective feedback to mentees, direct reports—and perhaps colleagues—in a clear, cogent, and respectful manner.

Tips for providing effective feedback

When you’re providing Read More…


When NOT to Use E-Mail

Though e-mail is certainly convenient, and it can be used to communicate in a professional manner, it has its limitations. In certain situations, a polished letter or personalized, handwritten note may be more appropriate and could, in fact, support your overall goal of communicating courtesy to others. Given that we’re so used to dashing off a quick e-mail, you may on occasion wonder if it actually is the most effective and professional means of sending your message to others… or, if you should take the time to send a more formal note or letter. If this is true for you, Read More…


How to Conduct a Video Interview

In previous days, when you wanted to apply for a job in a far-away city, you’d have to take the time to travel to the site, or you’d need to set up a time to talk on the telephone. But now, given the availability of online communication tools and software, as well as the relative ease with which they can be used, you may find yourself conducting or participating in an interview that takes place via an online video-conferencing or chat service. A video interview provides both the applicant and hiring managers the benefit of seeing one another and observing each Read More…


Developing Your List of Professional References

When you’re preparing to interview for new positions, you need to submit a number of items to the organizations where you’re hoping to be hired. Of course, depending on the position for which you’re applying, different institutions will ask for different types of documentation. However, most will require a list of professional references who can speak about the nature and quality of your work. Given the influence that these individuals may have on interviewers’ perception of your experience and character, it follows that you should take great care in developing your list. In their book Creating Career Success: Read More…


Tips for Students: Making Connections in College

Spring is in the air and while college students may be hard at work studying for finals, they may not have found the time to have an active social life as well. Good on them for buckling down, certainly, but a well-balanced life is what keeps students happy and motivated. According to author Julia T. Wood in her text, Communication in Our Lives, Seventh Edition, socializing helps us to build the much-needed communication skills that we use every day. “We spend a great deal of time communicating. We talk, listen, have dialogues with ourselves, participate in group discussions, present oral reports, watch Read More…


Writing a Personal Mission Statement

Do you have a vision for how you’d like to make an impact on your school, community, or—on a grander scale—your country or the world? Have you ever said something along the lines of “My mission in life is to teach others” or “I’ve made it my mission to help students understand, and perhaps even come to love, the topic I teach”? Just as you may have a personal mission in life, as well as a vision for how you’d like to make an impact on the world around you, many organizations also outline their vision and mission in a manner Read More…