Career Readiness

Prepare for Your Career–– Whatever That May Be

Like most students, you probably choose to attend WSU to prepare for a future career. The term “career” can mean different things to different people including:

  • pursuing employment after graduation
  • continuing your education in graduate school or other programs
  • polishing a craft like creative writing, music performance or art
  • contributing to an academic discipline through research 
  • creating your own personal journey

At WSU, we use the term “career readiness” to describe the process of learning and practicing essential competencies that broadly prepare you for a successful life after college in your academic field, workplace, local community or family.

These core competencies-- that is your knowledge, skills, abilities and strengths-- are not specifically tied to any individual major or career path. Every WSU graduate can develop career readiness through academic courses, guest speakers, club involvement, student employment and more. It takes being focused and engaged in your college experience.

The ultimate goal is that you will be confident to serve generously, lead responsibly and respond imaginatively and creatively to the challenges of your work, your life and your communities as our WSU mission states.

But it can be really hard to put your college education and experiences into words. The core competencies framework helps create a common language when you speak with colleagues, faculty, employers, family and the public about how the time you spent at WSU prepared you to be successful.

Thinking of a Career Change?

WSU Career Services is not only here to help current students prepare for their professional experience – we are also here to help WSU alumni and new students who are looking to make a career change!

How do you know if it is time for a change? Here are some signs:

  • You dread Monday morning
  • You feel unmotivated or bored in your job
  • You do not see any potential for growth
  • You discover passions for other things and feel pulled towards those areas
  • You feel constant stress, and your physical and mental health are suffering

But that is okay – research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that people may change jobs or careers around 12 times in their lives! It may just be a new position with the same organization, or something completely different – and that can lead to increased satisfaction, a more balanced personal life, a higher salary, and more.

WSU Career Services can offer professional counseling to help you determine your next steps, including career and major exploration, as well as self-assessments to help you solidify your goals.

WSU offers many academic programs that are wonderful options for people looking to make a career change.

If you think you might be ready for a career change, connect with Career Services – we are here to help!

Major and Career Myths

Truth: Your skills, interests and goals could lead to several majors and careers.

People are not one dimensional, and your job alone does not define you. Your interests, strengths, values, and life goals mean that there are many majors and careers that would be right for you.

Truth: Many people have multiple jobs over their lifetime and are happy with their career path.

In today’s world, a person graduating from college now will likely change jobs more than seven times. Start with a career that you could see yourself doing for the first five years.

During that time new opportunities will appear based on your strengths, your evolving interests, and your hard work. As doors open, choose the ones that make sense for you!

Truth: Employers look for certain skills.

More and more, employers are stating that what sets the best candidates apart are critical thinking and soft skills.

In fact, most say that they are confident in training new recruits on specific job requirements, but have difficulty finding people with a good work ethic and skilled in:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  •  Leadership
  • Professionalism

Truth: The best careers are the ones that you love!

Why would you want to do something for any length of time that is not enjoyable even with a high salary?

It may be that you do choose a career that pays very well and is in demand. But don’t make your decision based solely on these factors.

Truth: A degree in Liberal Arts provides the essential soft skills employers want.

Most often, employers are looking for soft skills, emotional intelligence rather than IQ, and culture fit. So, choosing a Liberal Arts or Humanities major doesn't mean you are destined for a poor career.

Employers want to see that you can adapt, work well in teams, know how to take criticism, critically think as well as fit into their culture. They can teach you the other skills needed for your particular position.