National Career Development Month

 Photo by NCDA


November is National Career Development Month. Originally known as the National Vocation Guidance Association, which was established in 1913, renamed itself in 1985 the to  the National Career Development Association (NCDA). NCDA promotes the month of November every calendar year with national contests to promote activities related to career development. Particularly its annual poster and poetry contest in its 49th year. Link for Entry Form  The idea behind the concept for National Career Development month, is to get you to take charge of your professional job search and engage with organizations that can help you in getting to the next stage of your professionals life. Getting involved is much more than just revising your resume or sending emails to potential employers. This is your chance to think outside the box when it comes to your future. If the old approach was not working, you can explore a new avenue and prepare to go into the New Year with a fresh perspective on how to go about your future career search efforts.

The NCDA provides services to professionals that provide, organize and structure career related events throughout the entire year. suggests taking a career appraisal to assess where you are in career planning efforts. Being proactive prior to graduation is the best way to get a head start in the field or industry you are interested in.

There are a host of professional organizations that are available as support for your future endeavors. Professional organizations are there to assist and aid with a plethora of like-minded individuals within their network. Having access to seminars, events and career planning to address you career needs can be instrumental in your success. Find and join an organization and become a member this month to celebrate National Career Development Month, it could be a new step in the right direction for your career goals.

Not sure where to start with your creating a career plan for yourself? You should check out The Career Center’s Career Road Map. The Career Road Map breaks down each step of putting together a career plan in an easy to follow online program.

We want to thank The Career Center staff for all they do to promote and assist our campuses with fulfilling our career goals. We appreciate you!

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You don’t know what you don’t know (Anxiety in the last days)


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Having a sense of anxiety is normal when approaching graduation. As the time grows near completion of college and your entrance into the workforce, you may find that you have concerns about your performance in your industry. Are you really prepared? Are you ready to step into the professional arena with your credentials in hand and armed with confidence and a sense of accomplishment?

The answer is YES! Yes you are capable, yes you are ready, yes you can compete in the industry. You have put in the work, you have earned the degree and you deserve this opportunity. The answer is a resounding YES!

Don’t let fear of inadequacy or inferiority hinder your progress. If you are feeling overwhelmed or have a sense of anxiety over what will happen next, know that you are not alone. Here are some things you can do to combat this negative energy

  •  Talk to your counselor, adviser or professors
  •  Talk to a trusted friend or relative
  •  Talk to a professional in your desired industry
  • Continue to research your industry


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Don’t let fear consume you, take this opportunity to make the most of the time you have left, and make sure you end on a positive. Continue to work on building your resume and continue building valuable experience up until the day you walk across the stage. Remember to attend networking events and build professional relationships as well. That can prove to be invaluable in the way of gaining leads for opportunities that can lead to your dream job.

Here are some additional resources to help you cope:

Powering Through Your Quarter-Life Crisis, The Muse

Alan de Botten Ted Talk, A Kinder, Gentler, Philosophy of Success

You are ready, you have endured the process, you have not only accomplished your goal, you have flourished! Trust that process, believe in your abilities and CARPE DIEM!

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Life After Graduation: From Campus Life to Real Life

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Many of us have spent our college career preparing to become successful and fulfill our career goals upon graduation, not giving much thought to what our path looks like as we try to attain that coveted degree. Have you really thought about what life would really be like after graduation? Yes, no more late night term papers, no early morning classes, but to replace those nuances will be a daily commute, a boss and performance expectations. The stress of being a newbie in the field and all the insecurities that along with your new position.

Lets talk goals, budget, social life and life after college graduation!

Your career has been the focal point of your college career, now with school behind you, the task of moving forward into the professional world has become your reality. Do you have a plan as to how to go about climbing the professional ladder? You will be coming in as a beginner in the industry and want to not only make a good impression, but you also want to perform at a quality level. Continuing to learn and shadow peers within the industry will be important to your success, after all you are still learning and developing your skills and talents. It is important to continue to network and get involved with professional organizations within your field. Building solid professional relationships will be important even after graduation.

Maintaining your finances is a key component in your success tool belt after graduation. No you don’t have the expenses of books and tuition but for many of us, loans are a reality. Combining both loans and monthly expenses can be a challenge coupled with the sense of accomplishment you feel from accomplishing your graduation goals. It is important to create a budget, try to adhere to what is comfortable for you. If you are not a financial wiz or not savvy when it comes to are of finances, then ask for help. A trusted friend relative can assist you in making an outline of your expenses and the income you are earning and help you to establish balance between the two.

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Finally, your social life! having an outlet for fun and friends has a very important role to play in your mental health and the overall balance we all constantly work to achieve. There may be instances where you feel torn between hanging out or getting a report done for your boss that you know will require hours of preparation on your part. Just like school you have to know when to say no and when to plow ahead with your main responsibilities. It could very well mean the difference between a promotion, a raise or being replaced.

These are just a few areas that you should consider when taking the next step into your future after graduation. There will be obstacles and challenges, there will be good days and not so good days but in the end balance and reward is what we seek to maintain when going from books to briefcases.

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What is Business Casual?

Fresh off the heels of another successful career event, we feel it’s only appropriate to cover some basic information so you are fully aware and prepared for future events to come. After all, looking the part is half the battle, right? Which leads to the question of topic this week, the difference between dressing business professional and business casual. Do you know the difference?

Business professional is exactly how it sounds: professional. This means suits & ties for men, and suits or skirts with jackets and plain high heels for women. But it’s not just the clothing that makes you look the part. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum (avoid costume jewelry), tattoos may need to be hidden, and piercings removed (unless they are in your ear). Refer to the Career Event Prep Booklet for a guide to appropriate attire.

Business causal is a term that is used frequently within many organizational environments. Although you may seem to think you have a very clear explanation of what it means, it can often have an ambiguous understanding. Business casual in it’s simplest form can best be explained as a form of attire that is less formal than what we understand as professional business attire. It is intended to give the appearance of professional businesslike work wear, without the complete and overall feeling of a stuffy suit. Here are some basic guidelines to know if you are dressed professional, business casual or casual when preparing for an interview or going to a career event.

Business Professional vs. Business Casual

photo courtesy of Midvale YSA


Even the color you wear sends a signal and gives a brief description about the mood you may be in, the attitude, and confidence levels. Here’s a color chart to help you think about your selection:

 Here are some fun facts:

These are just a few things to consider when trying to determine if your workplace attire is appropriate. Making a good first impression could very well mean an opportunity to land that interview or the career of your dreams.

Think you’re ready for that job fair or interview? Think you have a handle on what business professional is? Take this quiz by ProProfs to find out!

Business casual attire is on the rise and you should be in the know: The Business Research Lab Study.

The next time you are informed about an event or land that next interview, you will be armed with good information to Dress Like a Success!

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Top 10 Reasons to Attend Career Events

Career fairs are not only designed to help you in your employment search journey- they are also an important component in preparing you for when you are met with the career opportunity of a lifetime. Honing your skills beforehand will help you be prepared when the position you have been waiting for arises. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should attend career based events:

personal development

10. You get the opportunity to explore what employers are looking for in a desired candidate.

9. It’s an opportunity to build relationships within your employment network.

8. Staying abreast of employers who support our events keeps your name and resume in employer’s minds for future opportunities.

7. Attending events helps sharpen and polish your networking and interviewing skills.

6. Career Events are an opportunity to get FREE ADVICE! For instance, you might get help feedback from a professional that will help you fine tune your resume.

5. Personal and professional development. Practice makes perfect. Attire, self representation, and poise are part of the packaging for an employer.

4. You will be prepared for future opportunities.

3. It shows that you are interested in opportunities to succeed.

2. Attending events avails you to other opportunities in the area.

1. It is a FREE service that is planned to help assist you with your short term and long term career goals. It can only work to your benefit.

If you have not taken the opportunity to attend one of the many career related events on either campus, please take a few minutes to get informed and get involved in what your campus has to offer.  There are a variety of career oriented events planned this semester. Click here to see upcoming events! Don’t miss the chance to open the door to your future!career ladder

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Are you Interview Ready?

On Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 11 a.m. in LSF 144 our Fall Career Expo will be underway. Employers from our area will be here to meet with you, speak with you and tell you about full-time and internship opportunities they have available at their organizations.

Are you ready? Ask yourself these simple questions to know if you are prepared:

Hire me sign

  • Have you updated your resume? Or, do you have a resume?
  • Have you researched the employers that will be in attendance? If not, click here to see who’s coming!
  • Do you know which employers best meet your needs? (hint: click the above mentioned link to find hyperlinks with company information)
  • Can you market yourself to an employer? If so, how?
  • What skills do you have that would benefit the employer?
  • Why should an employer hire you?
  • Do you have appropriate business attire?

If you can effectively answer these questions then you might be ready, but in case you are still wondering if you have all of your ducks in a row, check out our Interview Prep Book. Take a moment to read and prepare yourself before attending any career fair. Being prepared is the best first step you can take when looking for employment opportunities.

We hope to see you at the Career Fair making a great first impression and winning over the employers!


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10 Myths about The Career Center

There are many myths surrounding exactly what it is that we do at The Career Center. We are here to make your job search experience as painless as possible, but in order to do that we must separate the myths from the facts. Here are your top 10 myths:



10. We find you jobs and/or internships

  • It sure would be nice (and would certainly be easy) if students could walk into The Career Center just before graduation and choose a job from a menu of opportunities prepared exclusively for them. Unfortunately, getting a job is not as easy as ordering dinner. By law, The Career Center staff cannot select candidates or make hiring decisions on behalf of employers; employers have to make these hiring decisions themselves, and that means that students have to be prepared to apply for jobs and professionally present their qualifications in interviews. We wouldn’t want someone else choosing a job for us; we would want to be a part of that process.What we actually do is assist you in your job and/or internship search effort. Our job is to help you explore, prepare and evaluate employment options.

9. You only need our services when you have reached your last semester of classes.

  • You can and should come into our offices early in your academic career. We encourage you to start your career planning as early as possible. We can do this through a variety of ways, such as career assessments, career exploration activities such as informational interviews, teaching you job search strategies and making sure you are offering a well developed professional package that will impress a future employer.

8. We write your resumes for you.

  • Our job is to help you learn how to create a resume that is appropriate for you at this stage in your career. We do not write resumes for anyone, but will provide you with tools, resources and guidelines to make your resume work for you.

7. You are guaranteed employment when you come to the Career Center.

  • Sorry, we are not job search agents. We won’t contact employers with your resume trying to convince them that you are a great candidate worthy of consideration. We legally can’t recommend individual students to employers. We work on behalf of all students and alumni of Purdue University. We do a lot of employer relationship building in order to make employers aware of the recruiting services we offer and the talents and qualifications our students possess. Seriously, log into CareerTrax and search the employer and jobs/internships database. We also post job and internship opportunities on our Twitter feeds that are not posted on CareerTrax. We reach out to many employers, and a lot of employers use our recruiting services, but you have to apply and you have to close the deal. We can help you with salary negotiation, professionalism, and transition from college to the workplace.

6. Services are not available to alumni or anyone from any other Purdue Systems schools.

  • The Career Center services are a lifetime benefit and are available to all students and alumni of Purdue University regardless of their campus affiliation.

5. Good companies do not participate in our career fairs.

  • We have built a distinguished network with local organizations to bring you the best possible opportunities by being an extension of the Purdue family. Employers recruit on college campuses when they need to. If they can generate a sufficient number of qualified candidates for their job opportunities without physically coming to campus, they usually won’t come to campus. And, employers that do recruit on college campuses do not necessarily go to all college campuses, recruit to fill all types of positions, or recruit all majors. Lastly, on-campus interviewing is not the only tool employers use to recruit entry-level talent from colleges and universities. As a job seeker, your job is to research and understand the hiring dynamics of the industries you wish to enter and adjust your job search strategies to your industry. We actively recruit employers and host career fairs and virtual events throughout the year. Our students can also attend career fairs at other colleges. Check out our Career Events page to learn more about the opportunities that are open to you.

4. Networking is not important and only benefits outgoing students.

  • This myth keeps people from participating in an activity that could benefit from tremendously. Business and careers are all extensions of networking.

3. You have to pay for services at the Career Center.

  • The services at the Career Center are completely FREE for students and Alumni of entire Purdue System.

2. Coming to the Career Center is a complete waste of time.

  • Not coming to the Career Center can cost you valuable time. Get in the know, find out about events, the benefits and have a professional resume to present when opportunities arise.

And the biggest myth of the Career Center is……..drum roll please!

1. That drop advising hours are our “new” hours of operation.

  • The Career Center Service hours of operation are Monday -Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This post was adapted from Matt Berndt, University of Texas through NACE, LinkedIn and the Wall Street Journal.

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