There are several ways to discover new opportunities in life and along your career path
By Darius Harris, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
Many students want to obtain beneficial experiences like internships or volunteer opportunities in their areas of interest, but they just don’t know how to find them. The following suggestions can be helpful both when trying to choose a career path and for finding opportunities along the way.
Tip #1: Reach out to people at companies directly to find career opportunities
Once you have put together a list of companies that peak your interest, you can begin to reach out to people. Create an inquiry email (you can Google “sample inquiry emails”), but then tweak it each time towards each company and their specific needs. Be sure to discuss your strengths, as knowing these things will help you determine what it is that you can offer an organization.
Different methods of reaching out to people at various companies can include direct email, messaging via LinkedIn, referrals from other personal connections, and even sending a letter through the mail.
Tip #2: Be sure to follow-up on your outreach when looking for career opportunities
Create a reminder system so that you remember to reach out, in regards to the career opportunities you are seeking, after one week. This will let you know if the contact person received your resume and/or correspondence. You can set reminders on your phone calendar, so that you get an alarm to reach out. Chances are the person you contacted probably received your inquiry but just may be busy, and they will appreciate the reminder… which further highlights your interest.
Tip #3: Networking and informational interviews can uncover career opportunities
Networking is key to a successful search for career opportunities. Informational interviewing is a powerful (and underutilized) networking tool that can jumpstart your career. Why you should conduct an informational interview?
Well, informational interviews allow you to:
• Learn more about an organization, its needs, and the requirements for a particular job
• Generate other job leads
• Connect with decision-makers and expand your professional network
• Explore your career options and clarify your goals
• Build confidence in yourself, your job search process, and your interview skills
• Demonstrate professionalism, initiative, and motivation to a prospective employer
• Take control of your job search by interviewing an employer before you even apply
You can begin the process by identifying who you want to interview and then asking family, friends, co-workers, alumni, and others in your immediate network if they can help put you in contact. Do not forget to connect with people on LinkedIn, and other social networking sites (remember there is a Stride group on LinkedIn).
Tip #4: Find a career mentor to help you uncover even more opportunities
A career mentor is a person with specialized knowledge. They can help to educate and motivate you in your career pursuits. Mentors guide less-experienced people through the learning process by establishing trust and modeling positive behaviors. To find a career mentor, start with your family, to see if they can introduce you to someone. You can also ask your teachers and counselors.
Interested in learning more about getting started on your career? Be sure to check out the Stride Insights article, Finding Your Path, for additional reading on the subject!
To learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and what it offers, be sure to visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html