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Career fears: Preparing for a successful future

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I was prepared. I had copies of my newly edited résumé, I had practiced a 30-second explanation of my experience and I was dressed to impress. As I meandered into last week’s all-campus career fair, I was surprised to experience fear crawling down my spine.

I looked in intimidation to the businessmen and women hovering around booths in their blazers and slacks. I do not own a blazer, nor have I ever considered the fact that I might have to. At the career fair, that reality came to fruition.

At this point, I came to terms with the fact that my college days are limited and that I will not always have the luxury of being a “half-adult.” College is a state of limbo for many, including myself. I know that one day, I will have loads of bills and responsibilities that do not only pertain to me, and a career is necessary in order to support those.

The career fair showcased employers of all types: small businesses, healthcare systems, large corporations, Colorado recreational companies and banks. With this variety of employers, I got a look at what the job market might look like, and a better understanding of the types of companies I do and do not want to work for.

I understand that everyone works a job they do not absolutely love at some point in their life. People need to eat, to have a roof over their head and to pay their bills. My fear is that in the anxiety that comes along with those responsibilities, I will accept a job that leads me in a direction I do not wish to be on. I fear I will end up working for an organization or corporation whose mission I do not agree with, with people who do not inspire me and in an atmosphere of negativity.

However, I find comfort in knowing that I have control over this. Although there may be times where I am in an occupation where I find myself unhappy, there are many ways in which I can tackle issues. My job does not need to be long-term. Being in a negative position in life should be motivation to push yourself higher, to take risks and to better yourself. The key to being in a career that is fulfilling is being proactive. Don’t get stuck in a rut that could end up lasting years or decades.

Life is short. People say it all the time, but, if we are so lucky, life is actually very long. Someone does not have to do the same job for 50 years. My mother, for example, has been a public relations representative, freelance graphic designer and a travel agent. In fact, it excites me to know I could have careers in different fields throughout my life.

Career center in the basement of the Lory Student Center. Photo by Kathleen Keaveny
The Career Center in the basement of the Lory Student Center. Photo by Kathleen Keaveny.

Résumés, cover letters, internships, applications, interviews, networking and more. Career and internship searches are an intimidating, but unavoidable element in every college student’s life. Fortunately, Colorado State University has resources and people to make your job search or preparation a little easier. The Career Center offers many resources to students, including résumé workshops, mock interviews, job fairs and more. Not only do the students of CSU have the Career Center as a resource, but we also have professors, colleagues, classmates and friends. Reaching out to these people can aid in making valuable connections.

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Although the future is a scary, scary thing, it is important to realize that we do have control over this. It is just a matter of how much you care and how much effort you put in. Having a career is a necessary and important part in our lives, therefore, we should make the effort to ensure that we are not entirely miserable with our jobs.

Collegian Interactive News Team member Kathleen Keaveny can be reached at socialmedia@collegian.com or on Twitter @katkeaveny.

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