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Are you feeling stuck in your current position, seeking a new one, or contemplating a career change? In this interview, author and career coach Valerie Sutton answers common questions about career development. For those thinking about a new career, she offers advice on assessing your passions and your personality, knowing when you need more education to get the job you want, and researching hiring trends in the industries that interest you. For those actively searching for jobs or getting back into the job market after an absence, she discusses how to write resumes and cover letters that speak to your talents, impress potential employers, and help you land an interview.
Jeff Layton: Is there any special advice you give to someone who's in college or just starting out? Valerie Sutton: Okay. If you're going into college, you should not pick a major upfront if you can avoid it. There are some schools that you have to, but one of the number one things about career decision making is exposure to opportunity is why you choose your career, and so you want to keep yourself open to all of the possibilities. So get through all of your basic courses first and then think about the major, and take the time to explore, because that will open up new doors for you in careers.
So, you know, let's takes, for example, my niece. She is looking at colleges right now, and you know my advice to her is that she not pick a major upfront, and that she explore all of the options, shadow, do some informational interviewing and then actually pick her major once she gets her basic classes under her belt. Now, there are some colleges that she is looking at that require you to pick that major upfront. There are some actually great sites of what can I do with this major, and you would want no explore that and just make sure that even if you have to pick a major upfront that you're keeping your doors open and options--you're looking at different options using the career services office at the campus.
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