Your students’ graduation is a big moment in their life, and you’ve been a significant part of helping them navigate college and what comes next. As they begin this new phase of life, you can give them something that will be meaningful for years to come: a career advice manual.
What should be in this book of guidance? The only “rule” is to make it personal. You have a lot to impart to them as they begin their work life. We’ve put together some ideas and suggestions for your consideration. With these helpful tips and your expertise, you can create a career advice manual for your students that will make an impression now as they’re transitioning from college to a career and stick with them in the future.
Make it personal.
When you develop a manual with career advice for your students, you’re creating a very personal gift that demonstrates how invested you are in their work-life success. One idea is to start with a simple journal and handwrite some words of wisdom that your students can look back on when they need a boost of confidence. Handwritten notes are much more intimate, and your students will appreciate your efforts.
When you draw from your experiences with the student and their career goals, you can make them feel special and unique. There are many other areas to hit upon when developing this manual of career advice for students.
What career advice for students should you impress upon them?
You’ve made a career yourself out of supporting students, so you have a wealth of knowledge. What you express to students should be practical and aspirational. Here are some topics to consider.
Concentrate on strengths.
Remind students that they can’t be the best at everything, but they can use their strengths to excel in many ways. Strengths equate to skills that will be useful in many jobs.
Embrace failure over fear.
The fear of messing up paralyzes many people. This fear keeps them stuck in a rut. Let them know that failure is a part of life and that what they learn from it matters most.
Counsel students to learn new skills, take on new projects and try new things. Encourage them to move outside of their comfort zone — it's where discovery happens and awareness broadens.
Continue a lifetime of learning.
Those who actively strive to learn new things are often very successful. The desire to keep learning keeps them humble, ready for growth and adaptable. Express to students how to continue to hone both technical and soft skills. Let them know this is an investment in themselves that can yield big benefits. Everything they learn can apply to their work life.
Remind them it’s never too late to restart.
Your students may stumble when coming out of college. They may start a career only to discover it’s not for them. In the manual, let your students know they can always restart their professional path. Bad work experiences will give them more perception and understanding of what they don’t want. If they plan to pursue something new, advise them to reskill and upskill to prepare for a new career.
It’s crucial for students to have initiative as they embark on their careers. They’ll need to make things happen instead of waiting for an opportunity to fall into their lap. They can be proactive in many different ways, including by taking internships, volunteering, joining networking groups and reaching out to mentors or coaches. Reassure them that they are in control of their work life, and thus, they must lead themselves to success.
When you include these points and others that are part of your career philosophy, this golden book of career advice for students will be invaluable. You can also find more tips from experienced and respected educators on building 21st-century learning skills.
Support students with advice and more to ensure they are career-ready.
Simply graduating with a degree doesn’t mean students are career-ready. The advice you provide to them is just one part of empowering them to bridge the transition from college to a career.
Your role is to help your college students find jobs — but not just any job — one that will align with their attitudes, attributes and abilities. A skills gap may hinder their path, but you can also be a resource for them in this situation.
Get information on how pepelwerk can be the career services technology that changes how you advise your students. Start by reading our guide, “Building 21st Century Learning Systems,” which addresses the skills gap and modernizing learning.