Your Career’s “Secret Sauce”

Greetings Unwinders!

I hope your weekend was full of fun and relaxation.  I was going over some of the carreer content this weekend and thinking about all the great advice others had given so far.  There is some great tangible stuff that anyone could benefit from.

Today, however, I thought I would write about something a little less tangible.  It is the art of opportunity.  So many times people go through college and have their heart set on one specific field, which is good, but they sometimes neglect the other life-changing things that exist.  Below is a list of a few things that I think helped develop me into a marketable person.  I call it the Secret Sauce of career-building.  Enjoy!

1. Random Connections:  This one may be the most crucial thing to your success.  For instance, when I came to OU I went to a random involvement fair and met a really cool Faculty member named Jay.  Over time, we became friends and he encouraged me to apply for a Resident Adviser position in the dorms.  He also helped me land a tour guide job (which I love).   In the dorms I met another RA named Valerie who encouraged me to apply for an internship.  This sequence of random interactions continued to shape me as a person and ignite some passions I never thought possible.  Long story short, never overlook a chance to be mentored!  At the same time, if you have been blessed in an arena of involvement, help someone else out by giving them some opportunities!

2. Involvement: At OU, there are tons of places to get involved.  You can literally do anything that interests you, so take advantage of those resources.  You will meet some amazing people with similar interests that may challenge the way you think about things.

3. Be yourself: This sounds like the easiest one of all, but may be the most difficult.  One thing college has taught me is that you have to make yourself stand out amongst others in application wars, but you don’t have to let that define you.  In fact, showing your passions and recognizing your strengths can be one of your best assets.  I recommend taking some time to evaluate your strenths and weaknesses. It may seem awkward, but this really helps when you inquire to friends and family for help.  They may see things that you don’t.  Learn and grow, simple stuff right?

So those are my thoughts for today and things that I am definitely working on as I go through the interview process.  I hope any of this helped you.  One of the best things about OU is that there is a focus on opportunity.  You can be a Cello Performance major and have mentors in the College of Architecture!  Recognizing those opportunities and knowing when the time is right to take them could differentiate between a good career and a great one.

Live long and profit (a career take on the famous saying)!


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No Comments on "Your Career’s “Secret Sauce”"

  1. Kam
    23/04/2009 at 9:53 am Permalink

    Network, network, network. It’s the best way to stand out in a crowded job market. Great post!

  2. Sam
    23/04/2009 at 10:16 am Permalink

    I might add, instead of being involved in 30 different things, pick one or two organizations that you spend volunteering for the whole time you are in school…that way it doesn’t look like you are just trying to make your resume look good and you are actually passionate about those organizations.

  3. chris
    27/04/2009 at 10:30 pm Permalink

    That is a great point. It is best to survey your options then really focus on a few things.

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