Developing Yourself Professionally: Using Available Resources to Your Advantage!

By Erika Apupalo, Peer for Career

During your early college years, you should take up the opportunity to develop yourself professionally. This means developing your skills. It begins with assessing which skills are important for your desired career field. Ultimately, it will allow you to become a more well-rounded and competitive candidate when you are getting ready to apply for an internship, job, or fellowships.

In order to develop myself professionally up to this current point, I have tried the following strategies and resources:

1. Find your own inspiration. My primary resource has been Carl Newport’s blog “Study Hacks Blog: Decoding Patterns of Success.” This has poignant and interesting ideas and practices about the meaning of success.
2. Attend resume reviews. Before I entered high school, I was made aware of the importance of crafting a strong first impression. This includes having a good first document to start with.
3. Meet with other professionals. At the earliest stage of my college career, my interests were all over the place. Therefore, I met with professionals from different arenas, such as the Math, English, and Science Departments. They all shared a similar devotion to their careers.
4. Learn about yourself. I am a reader; this is how I make sense of the world. But at times I had to stop reading and see what was in front of me. I had to understand what I wanted in order to move forward with those goals.
5. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Speaking of goals, I was taught a guideline for goal setting, and since I learned how to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely ones, I’ve used this guideline to set my personal and career goals.
6. Adapt. I have learned that personally I like to move at a slower pace. But when necessary, I have quickly adapted to the more fast-paced work environment of the business world since I want to pursue a career in this area.

That’s all for now. I hope that you will find some of the strategies that have helped me helpful for you. Best of Luck!