6 Career Goals for College Students

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College is the cradle of the best experiences, friendships, and adventures. It’s the time when many college students reshape their views, conceive new ideas, make cuts, and establish critical life pursuits. And with that, they constantly grow and change.

Deciding what you want to do in the future is an indispensable part of your college years. To this end, it’s of the utmost importance to set actionable short and long-term goals. Of course, you can’t plan your entire life out, but such benchmarks can help you develop academically and professionally.

Clearly defined goals are best in writing, followed by deadlines. This way, you keep yourself motivated and pave your path toward success. Here are six examples of specific, achievable, and time-bound objectives for college students.

Become a Thought Leader

People skillful at influencing others to adopt their opinions are known as thought leaders. This ability is partly innate, but there are many steps you can take to make your words and actions resonate across the broader masses.

Thought leaders are field experts, everyone likes to listen and follow their examples. Contemporary instances of trusted names include Elon Musk and Greta Thunberg. However, one must focus on a specific niche to become a thought leader. Start by expressing your views on a professional topic in public, and consider writing a research essay on career to substantiate your views and thoughts. Don’t be afraid to get into hot debates in class and beyond the school facilities, proving your view point.

However, all your attempts may fail if you don’t build a solid social media base. You must also develop a robust network of professional contacts. Once you weave the ideal web, promote yourself by sharing your thoughts and contributing to a blog.

Remember that you can’t be knowledgeable in every topic. Stay within the limits of your expertise and build on that by attending special courses, training, and industry seminars. Your long-term objective could be conference speaking, publishing a book, or earning an advanced degree.

Achieve Top Grades to Attract Better Job Offers

The ambitious professional goals for college students steer towards a high graduation status. Hence, it makes sense to concentrate on improving your overall performance. But why are scores so decisive? In short, many reputable companies prefer to hire students who graduate with flying colors.

Often, there is no rationale behind this selection. But many employers believe that top achievers are more efficient and actionable. Moreover, they deem these college students will bring better value, skills, and knowledge to the company.

The higher your grades, the more internships and employment opportunities will unravel ahead. Many prestigious employers will only consider top-of-the-class graduates. They want to attract talent and gain a competitive advantage.

Learn a New Language Studying Abroad

How can you broaden your horizons and get valuable insight if you never experience a new culture? Can you communicate and understand people from different backgrounds if you never learn a new language? Of course not.

Hence, make it your goal to visit a foreign country and learn its language while in college. This long-term goal will help you look beyond your comfort zone and explore different approaches to life-long learning. Plus, you can build connections that will be helpful in your future career. And don’t forget that a second or even a third language would be an incredible add-on to your resume.

Career Goals for College Students

Take Soft Skill Classes and Visit Job Fairs

If you’re trying to set some smart goals but have no idea where to start, consider boosting your soft skills. More specifically, learn how to dress and attend interviews professionally. Polish your resume and body language to impress your future employers or collaborators. Though nobody will teach you these tiny details in college, they can set you apart from other candidates.

Besides taking lessons on soft skills, attend as many job fairs in your vicinity as possible. These events aim to help college students grow their professional networks and choose a promising career. Moreover, you’ll discover more about the latest industry standards and trends and what it takes to become a successful applicant.

Get an Internship

Another goal for college that always pays off is an internship at a renowned company. This way, you can gain hands-on experience in the preferred field and see how things work in practice. Ideally, an internship should last anywhere from three to six months.

Typically, you shouldn’t expect to get paid. But your should sacrifice your financial goals for future salary expectations will be worthwhile. Unpaid learning experiences will also help you establish a career. You can explore opportunities offered at local companies. However, if you don’t know where to land an internship vacancy, ask your advisor to find a match for your abilities and interests.

As a college student, you must try at least two jobs to see what fits you best. For instance, if you study law, head to a notary public office to get acquainted with the daily work performed within the firm. Conversely, if you’re an IT student, apply to become an intern at a top-notch company to get ahead of the pack. IT internships are common, so you shouldn’t have problems finding your place under the sun as long as you’re willing to learn, experiment, and improve.

Learn to Speak in Public

Almost any enterprise highly appreciates applicants with honed public speaking skills. This ability is particularly in demand for key roles and leadership positions. However, the skillset you must possess isn’t straightforward to grasp. Above all, you must polish your articulation. You should speak fluently and with an engaging tone, assess and meet the audience’s needs, stay focused, and control your anxiety.

The best way to address your lack of public speaking skills is to take lessons or attend a workshop. Learn how to maintain eye contact, modulate your voice, and have a logical flow of thought. As scary as this challenge may seem, the ability to mesmerize the audience is a valuable asset.

Wrap Up

Setting college goals is vital for any ambitious student who wants to pursue a successful career. Some see these objectives as self-improvement. Other people enjoy reaching targets that make turning points in their lives. Therefore, everyone should tailor a plan to lead them up the career ladder.

Whatever your reason for setting new milestones, remember that you only grow by learning. Hence, never limit yourself to one or two goals. Have several stepping stones ahead, and allow yourself the time and space to reach them. Mixing short and long-term career goals is ideal because it gives you the flexibility to face failure and succeed.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan