Many college students may have their career all mapped out thanks to their major, but that doesn’t necessarily answer all the questions surrounding your first job upon graduating college. Students who have a degree such as an English degree (the degree I’m currently pursuing,) may feel that they are just limited to teaching. Yet, that isn’t the only option available for English majors.
I used to feel really limited with the possible job options available to me. My advisor didn’t focus on what I planned on doing after college. He preferred to just tell me the classes I needed to graduate, and basically called it a day. So without having a mentor of some type to at least give me advice, I began feeling frustrated with what I’d do after graduating college. I needed to get some advice from someone who could offer realistic advice, so I decided to ask two of my professors.
Many students just think that their professors always dreamed of being a professor, but that isn’t always the case. Some professors have spent years working in their field, and then decided to use their PHD’s to teach on a collegiate level. So instead of assuming you’re professor is just somebody who always inspired to teach, take a chance to get to know them on a professional level and ask about their professional experience in the industry you’d like to pursue.
Instead of assuming my professors of Business Writing and Technical Writing had used their English degrees to teach, I decided to ask them about their experience, as well as tips. It was refreshing getting some realistic advice on what I could do with my English degree upon graduation. One of my professors had spent over a decade in the technical writing field, but after his years of corporate experience decided he wanted to teach. The same thing applied to my Business writing professor; years of corporate experienced lead to her deciding to teach. But neither of them sought to teach initially, it just was a shift of their career.
The advice I received was refreshing. Both of my professors told me that I could use my degree in English to work as a technical writer, business writer, proposal writer, and even along the lines of a copywriter or staff writer. I wasn’t just limited to having to pursue a job that involved teaching kids. I could use my passion for blogging and writing articles to have a career, but if that didn’t open up right away I could pursue the field of technical/business writing.
If I wouldn’t have asked for advice, I would have continued feeling frustrated with my limited options upon having a degree in English. But asking for advice helped me get a clear direction filled with realistic possibilities of jobs. It’s important to be open to the idea of asking your professor for some career advice. Some of them may not help, while others may genuinely take interest in the careers of their pupils.
You don’t have to schmooze your professor to get them to like you or offer realistic advice, you just have to basically ask them for some insight. You never know when you could be missing out on some valuable career advice. So ask!