As the beginning of the school year approaches, it can be hard to get back into a school groove. Every year brings with it the anticipation of a new semester, but this year brings with it some extra challenges. With some students remaining at home to take online classes instead of returning to campus, it can be difficult to find motivation in the same environment.

Not only is it hard to remain motivated toward classes, we must not forget about focusing on careers as well. Here are some tips about how to remain career focused during the semester and while taking online classes:

  • Get organized. Balance your schedule between classwork and personal time, but don’t forget to dedicate some time in your schedule for career research and preparation.
  • Take a class from your school or a workshop from your Career Center about career development; talking to your classmates and professors will help you stay motivated, even over Zoom.
  • Join a club that will further your resume diversity. This will give you a new network of classmates to connect with.
  • Reach out to your academic advisers. Talking it over with someone who knows your career path can help you further visualize the steps you need to take.
  • Career fairs. Attend conferences or events that can help with your job search. The WestPACS Career Fair helps college students find jobs and internships every year. Our virtual Collegiate Career Fair will be held at 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21. Register here!
  • Campus career center. Visit or talk to your campus career center! They have tons of resources to help you prepare for anything you need from events to interviews and resumes to elevator speeches.
  • If you are preparing for an interview, confidence and muscle memory will help you through. Research practice questions and create your own. Ask yourself these questions, write out your answers, practice in a mirror, have a friend ask you. Do this with your elevator speech too.
  • Consider the difference between phone and video interviews compared to in person. Make sure to remain lively and professional even through the screen.
  • Use LinkedIn and other online platforms to get yourself out there for employers to see. Make sure to include an online resume and portfolio on your accounts.
  • If you don’t mind the extra studying, consider working through some career development books. “What Color is Your Parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles is one for job seekers of all kinds.