Encouragement for the Liberal Arts’ Job Hunter

I found this article while perusing www.idealist.org.  They have an entire career support blogging for humanities majors and I have found it incredibly encouraging and helpful.  The author of this blog is Ashely Lee, a Visual Arts major with minors in Psychology and Women’s Studies.  She discusses how going to college as an 18-year-old she had enough trouble choosing what she would study, let alone decide on a career track and what direction her adult life would take.  She chose liberal arts, something she was passionate in, and decided to figure out what she was doing with her life later.

This is very similar to my story.  I came into college with a desire to study social work but at my advising appointment during orientation, decided I wanted to go pre-med.  My sole reasoning for this was job security and safety.  A year into pre-med classes, I realized not only was I was not passionate in the slightest about what I was studying but also that I hate doctor’s office.  I hate going to the doctor, or dentist, or dermatologist, or orthodontist.  I avoid it at all costs and “accidentally” miss appointments.  So why was I wanting to be a doctor, again?  I switched to English literature.  I have always loved words, writing, and reading and the one English class I had taken in college so far had stretched my mind ten times more than any math or science I had taken.

So here I am, a week away from being done with my college degree with an English Literature major and a Spanish minor.  And I am now trying to figure out “what I want to do with my life.”  It is daunting and overwhelming.  And a lot of times I give into this mindset that I can’t do anything with an English major besides teach.  This post speaks directly to how wrong that mindset is.  Lee writes “Luckily, as it turns out, if you know how to talk about what you studied and make connections between what you did in college and what you can do at work, you can still find a great opportunity.  All it takes is learning how to own your education.”

That is what I want to do – own my education.  I want to learn how to market myself: my studies, my experiences, my passions, and my extracurricular activities.  My college is not and will never be my identity.  It is just a part of who I am.  Lee gives some tips on job hunting that I found incredibly practical.

  1. Identify transferable skills I gained in the classroom (here is a helpful link on skills that hiring managers value http://idealistcareers.org/6-skills-to-include-on-your-resume-when-changing-jobs/ )
  2. Reflect on what I did outside of the classroom
  3. Embrace my background and learn how to talk about what I studied and why
  4. Make a game plan, decide what you want to pursue, and start going for it!
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