This past weekend, some members of The Torch visited Los Angeles for the ACP National College Journalism Convention. Although the convention was focused on journalism, much of the advice and information given can be used in all careers. Whether it is the importance of networking, or the intrinsic value of preparation, the following ten things are vital pieces of advice for anyone who wishes to be successful in their career of choice.
1) Networking is key. Social skills are something that many people may struggle with, but can be very beneficial. Establishing and developing relationships with coworkers can potentially help you move up in your career, as well as create a broader network. Remember, you never know who you might need in the future, so be nice to everyone — you might be able to use that relationship to your advantage and they could, in turn, use you. Socializing is also one of the best ways to get advice. When you’re unsure about something, or need help, set up a meeting with someone that can help you out. The majority of people like to talk and will probably be flattered that you care about their opinion.
2) Be careful on social media. Once you post a video or photo online, it’s there forever. Even if you try to delete something, it is likely that people have already seen it and some may have even downloaded it. Be professional online, and be aware of what you are posting. Potential employers are able to see your social media and posting something disrespectful or unprofessional could affect whether or not you are hired.
3) READ. Reading not only increases your writing skills, but also keeps you up-to-date with relevant events and issues. Read
whatever you can find, whether it is your student newspaper, the New York Times or a sports magazine, read it!
4) Hustle and be proactive. Success is not going to be handed to you outright — you have to work for it.
5) Be well-rounded and get involved. Sitting around and doing nothing doesn’t help you, so try to get involved with organizations, volunteer or do anything that could be used in a portfolio. You can draw from all your experiences, so get out there and experience something!
6) Don’t be an elitist. Everyone starts somewhere, so no matter how small, mundane or pathetic the job or activity may be — do it with a smile on your face.
7) Be confident and creative. Everyone’s opinions are different. Your ideas may not always be accepted, but that doesn’t mean you should keep quiet. Take initiative and show that you are engaged and thinking.
8) Be prepared. Whether you are conducting an interview — or being interviewed — preparation is important. It can be extremely embarrassing if you are unprepared. Do your research and know what you need to have ready.
9) Proofread everything. Spelling errors and grammatical mistakes are a definite deal-breaker. If you turn in a cover letter for an internship and have even a few spelling errors, your application will be thrown out immediately. Always use spell check, but spell check is not bulletproof, it can miss things. So read your writing — even read it backwards. Reading it backwards will help your eye catch mistakes that you may habitually overlook when reading it straightforward.
10) Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This idiom can be used in many situations throughout life. This could mean not relying on applying for just one internship, because that internship could fall through. Overall, don’t be overconfident in anything and always have a backup plan.
The Torch won first place in the 2016 ACP National College Journalism Convention Best of Show Award for Two-Year College Newspapers on Sunday, Feb. 21. We are excited to share this award with our readers, and are committed to continuing to provide information that empowers people and offers a platform for discussion.
Statements and opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the author or authors and may or may not be shared by the staff and management of The Torch.