A Midsummer’s Daydream

If you are even just skimming this first sentence, then you MUST read this blog post to the end, because it’s meant especially for you. I mean it.

I say this because it’s almost August and you’re reading a career services blog. Shouldn’t you be doing something else with your time? Well, as long as you’re here, read on.

It’s not every day that I might venture to make fun of my readers, but here’s the thing. If you’re a college student, you should really stop looking at screens. Instead, look deeply within yourself. Reflect. Assess. Think. Contemplate. Consider the future. Daydream. Put away your screen, and banish FOMO.

No matter what you’re doing this summer, there is certainly going to be value in really thinking about what you’ve been up to this summer and how it can help shape what you might want to do after you graduate.

If you’re at a career-related internship this summer, here are a few things upon which I think you should reflect:

  • Can you describe the culture of your summer workplace? Why do you like or dislike it?
  • What is your relationship with your manager this summer? Are you mentored? Ignored?
  • What skills are you gaining or improving in your position? Would you like to work in the same manner when you graduate?

These questions can help you begin to make better career-related choices and your start to consider opportunities for after UConn.

If your summer has been more of a “just working at a summer job” sort of experience, think about these questions:

  • Do I like working independently, in a team, or with a mix of both?
  • Can I concentrate in an open workspace environment?
  • Do I want to work in a position that requires a great deal of face-to-face interaction?
  • How important is my employer’s mission and goals to me?

These last questions are less about what you did this summer, than they are about how you did your work this summer. All too often, we get caught up in job titles or company names and forget that it’s the workplace environment those is often the most important element of job satisfaction.

I hope that this moment for self-reflection wasn’t too painful. After all, fear of missing out shouldn’t be related to someone else’s Insta post…it is far more important to miss out on truly understanding yourself, your own strengths, and your motivations. Once you get closer to those, you’ll be one step closer to launching a career that is meaningful for you.

See? All that, just from a daydream.

By John Bau
John Bau Career Consultant, School of Engineering John Bau