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What Can I Do to Start my Career Now?*

The first thing you can do on your path to a successful 21st century career is simply recognize that you have to start now.

Get to know Yourself

What are your goals? Success is not a one-size-fits-all concept, nor is the definition of a good job universal. Spend some time thinking carefully about who you are, where you want to go, and what you want to do.

Browse Job Listings

Browsing job listings can help you clarify your goals for your first job after graduation and help you define what you need to do to achieve those goals. Don't worry if your goals change over time, most people's do. However, creating a goal now and starting to work toward it will be far more useful and productive than waiting.

Go on Informational Interviews

An informational interview is just a conversation with someone who is working in an occupation that you would like to explore. One of the major differences between a job interview and an informational interview is that in an informational interview you will be asking most of the questions

Create a Coherent Course Plan

By thinking carefully about your goals in advance, you can carefully choose topics for class projects, elective courses, and additional minors or second majors that will help you reach your career goals.

Work with your advisor to develop an integrated set of courses.

Do an Internship & Volunteer

A well-chosen Internship allows you to sample potential careers, build your resume, and learn new skills . A wide range of internships are available to sociology students in the for-profit, non-profit and government sectors both in the United States and abroad.

Although volunteer work is less formal than an internship, it can help you build a winning resume. In addition, long-term volunteer experience can help counter-balance limited work experience, especially if the volunteer work was in the same market sector where you eventually hope to work.

Join or Charter a Sociology Club

Taking a leadership role in the sociology club will help build your resume and give you an opportunity to demonstrate your organizational skills. Lead a service project for the club, become a club officer or start a sociology club if your department does not have one. A sociology club can be combined with a chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta ( AKD) the International Sociology Honor Society.

Create your Core Resume

Your resume is a core document that you will build over time. Make a list of all of the activities, leadership roles, volunteer assignments, jobs and internships that you have had in the last 2-4 years. What skills did you gain? What were your strengths in these positions?

Start building your core resume now, even if you just declared your major. Starting early gives you a chance to see what areas of your resume you need to spend time bolstering before you graduate.

*This text is an excerpt from 21st Century Careers with an Undergraduate Degree in Sociology.