Ten years later, I still do it. Every day.

Where were you in 2007?

For most college students, the answer is elementary school…perhaps even middle school.  Is anything the same since then?

Maybe you were listening to music you’d first heard on TV; after all Hanna Montana, High School Musical, and Carrie Underwood from American Idol had four of the top selling albums.  Kid-friendly shows like Phineas and Ferb and iCarly were top-rated.  You’d probably like to say a lot has changed since then, but…

2007 also gave us Dancing with the Stars and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.  There were movies featuring Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Marvel Superheroes on top at the box office.  So, no, maybe things haven’t changed that much, after all.

In 2007, I was working as a career advisor a little further south from Storrs, where I oversaw internship programs and career education programming for all the undergraduates at Yale.  It was there I met my friend and author, Lindsey Pollak, who published her first book that year.  Now in its second edition, Getting from College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World. It’s still widely available, and is an easy read.  Lindsey arranged the book as a series of tips that can be actionable without a ton of effort.  When summarizing her book, Lindsey often boiled her career develop advice down to this simple axiom:

Do one thing for your career every day.

Really.  For me, it helps to know what’s going on in the world, the country, the state, and in my field.  To do this I subscribe to multiple email alerts, such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Hartford Business Journal, the American Society for Engineering Education’s daily briefing (First Bell), and University’ Business’ UB Daily Newsletter, among others.  I scan these at different times throughout the day and click through to interesting or relevant topics.  In this way, I can be better prepared to help you, my students, navigate the complex world of work and be on top of trends and happenings.

What about you?  What is the one thing you can do each day?  Is it reading your LinkedIn newsfeed to see what your contacts are up to?  Perhaps subscribing to a daily digest email in your field of interest?  Perhaps even reading the Center for Career Development blog!  For others, it’s different each day…one day networking, another day practicing a technical skill, maybe another day meeting with a professor.  But something.

So, now that Memorial Day 2017 is behind us, can you give your future just a few moments of your time each day?  Staring right now, this summer, take up my challenge to you:

Do one thing for your career every day.

But lay off the spaghetti tacos.  They’re so 2007.

images from google.com, amazon.com, and John’s inbox…nyt.com; hartfordbusiness.com; asee.org

By John Bau
John Bau Career Consultant, School of Engineering