Inspire Lite: Crossroads Individual Exercise
This blog post is part of our collegiate programming for Inspire Lite. Alpha Xi Delta has modified existing programs from the Inspire manual, our undergraduate member development program, and created some brand-new opportunities so we can continue to inspire, and be inspired by our Sisters. To view more Inspire Lite programs, click here.
This is an uncertain time...BE RESILIENT, BE KIND & BE YOU!
When thinking about your summer experience or entering the workforce these days may feel surreal. We know that this is not the world you thought you’d be graduating into or the summer you planned for. It can feel stressful if you do it alone. The good news is that there are plenty of immediate actions you can take to increase your appeal to organizations. Did you know there is an entire team dedicated to helping you with career topics!? Who is that you ask? Did you guess your own institution’s Career Services team? Yes, that is right! You have career coaches who are here to help you develop or enhance your (virtual) competencies, and set action-oriented goals for yourself! How do I know this? Because I am a career coach at an institution!
I am going to highlight a few ideas, resources, and mindsets you can adopt and utilize to overcome these challenging times. Resiliency, Sisters! I know you can do this because you each have talents that inspire others.
R- Remote SupportMany career services teams are working remotely so you can leverage resources offered by your university. Check out Handshake (a job and internship discovery platform for college students). Also, be sure to check out micro-internship and remote project-based work opportunities through Parker-Dewey. Your career services team may also be offering resume review, coaching and mock interviews. Take advantage of these resources!
E- Eyes Open, Sisters!
Keep an eye on emerging economic trends. Be careful, however, to not get bogged down in media coverage. While developing an agile mindset in response to rapid disruption will be critical, students take heart! There are many reasons to persevere despite this noise. As Dan Black Global Recruiting Leader at EY said in a recent discussion about the hiring landscape for graduating students, “Employers know that investing in the future of their organizations means investing in students and interns.” You are the future of our workforce! Don’t forget that, Sisters! Students and recent grads are critical to employers and you will continue to be during and after COVID-19.
S - Self-Care
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond is unique to you. Take time to do things that help lift you up. Self-care is important to start before you look for opportunities. Remember, no problem is too big or too small. AllOne Health is a great resource as well! This telephonic counseling service is available to you as an undergraduate member and is no cost. It is accessible 24/7/365. You can call 1-800-756-3124. If you have any questions, you can call the 1-800 number or you can reach out to your CARE Territory Director, too.
I - Immediate Actions
To successfully enter the workforce or gain a summer experience (virtually), you can take immediate action! You’ll need to enhance your appeal to an organization that is hiring and arm yourself with a “virtual toolkit.” I would encourage you to explore LinkedIn and to start out with this LinkedIn Checklist.
L -Love Yourself and Life-Long Learning!
Redefine success for yourself, since the path ahead will look different from what you planned or expected. Instead of defining success by the merits of securing the “right” first job after college, one practical approach may be to cultivate a plan A, B, and C. That is okay because you can continue to learn, too. Sharpen the skills that will be important in any future position or learn something totally new. Checkout free websites or apps: LinkedIn Learning, Kahn Academy, Udemy, Coursera, DuoLingo, Vault, and more.
I - Interviews
Virtual interviews here we come! Across the country, companies are shifting to virtual interviews. Be ready for the new wave, and I know you can do it. Here are a few best practices to help you build your confidence. 5 simple actions to help you prepare and develop your own virtual interviewing strategies. Some career centers offer mock interviews so be sure to check your institution and certainly schedule this opportunity if available!
E - Energy
Build your energy as if you’re preparing for a marathon, not a sprint. In the weeks and months ahead, be patient and kind to yourself. Develop support systems to help you maintain progress.
N - Network
Develop a support network and utilize the resources available to you. How do I connect with alumnae or Alpha Xi Delta Sisters? Through The Empowerment Network! Check-in with professionals in fields of interest and get your questions answered. The vast alumnae or Sister connection is always a great resource for you. Gain valuable insights about how COVID-19 is impacting an industry of interest and where to find opportunities. You can also learn about career preparation and job/internship search tips, about a job’s day-to-day responsibilities, and tips on applying to professional schools.
T - This Is Your Time!
"Reinvention may become one of the hallmarks of your generation." - R. Nakamoto You have the ability to regenerate, adapt, and use resiliency as you build your future at the same time as our society rebounds from this unprecedented event. We believe in you, Sisters!
Self-care comes in many forms! What is one thing you have done that is for your wellbeing?
What are two action items you can do this week to help you prepare for your upcoming job search?
Who could I connect with to help me learn more about ____? This is helping you expand your network!
About the Author
Joelle Fundaro Randall, Western Michigan University '06
Joelle loves helping students articulate their skills, values, and interests as related to their future careers and passions. She provides 1:1 career counseling and coaching to undergraduate and graduate students, and coordinates and presents a variety of workshops, programs, and events. Joelle is passionate about diversity, inclusion, and equity, and helping students realize their potential! She works at the University Career Center at the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor and serves as the liaison to Services for Students with Disabilities and First Generation College Students.
She received her master's degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and strives to support students to develop holistic approaches to their lives and careers beyond graduation.