This semester, I embarked on the wonderful and yet incredibly intimidating journey that is student teaching. Spending just eight weeks within a third grade classroom and then another eight weeks in a sixth grade learning support classroom taught me more than just how to teach others, but how to touch the lives of others. Here are just some helpful tidbits I have learned along the way that can be applied to whatever profession you are beginning.

  1. Always thank the leaders who guide your path. Keep Thank you cards readily available, and be sure to express your gratitude for every opportunity, paid or otherwise.
  2. Use your youth to your advantage. Have computer skills? Why not create your own website to showcase and highlight your abilities. Business cards have a way of floating to the bottom of bags or wallets, but a hyper-link can be accessed through e-mail for an extended period of time.
  3. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious, and to let others know that you have ambition. Now is not the time to be timid, this is the time to let your talents shine and to show what you can bring to the table.
  4. Plan, plan, and plan some more. Set achievable goals that will keep you motivated to stay on the right track, even through the seemingly never-ending job hunt.
  5. Get organized. Keep a day-planner to organize your responsibilities/tasks. Also make sure to use the note-pages to write down any important contact information of people who can connect you to future opportunities. This will be so helpful to you as you are searching for permanent positions.
  6. Maintain professional contacts. Reach out to people who you have worked with in the past, and check in with companies or schools you have interned for. These people will not only help you network, but can also help you when you are searching for positions. A little advocacy goes a long way.
  7. The place is here and the time is now. Become knowledgeable of the resources available to you to help you narrow down potential opportunities. Contact your college to see what services they can help you whether you are a currently enrolled student or alumni. Make the most of these, often free, resources to help you form professional documents and habits early on in your career.

Remember: Believe you can achieve and you’re halfway there.