Why professional development? Here at the Office of Sustainability, we think it is of vital importance that we teach our employees how to succeed in the careers and fields that interest them. Not only do we help them discover what they want to do with their lives, we help them find ways to incorporate sustainability into their chosen professions. With our professional development program, we aim to promote a brighter future, personally and environmentally.
Please note: This website's purpose is to serve as a resource for our employees. While we encourage interested parties outside of our office to review the offerings below, these resources were created for the use of current students and staff within the Office of Sustainability. Resources or services associated with the information below are only available to our current students
Find your dream job
In what types of jobs can you see yourself working for the rest of your life? Which careers would inspire you, keep you motivated, and encourage you to fulfill you potential? Complete this Dream Job Analysis to discover your skills, strengths, and potential career goals:
Dream Job Analysis [PDF]
Once Office of Sustainability staff/employees have completed the activity, send your work to either your supervisor or the student responsible for managing professional development and set up and appointment to discuss your goals for this year.
Critically analyze your academic and career goals
Did you select a major that adequately fits into your long-term goals? Do you know what types of sustainability-related career options are available to you with your chosen major? Take some time with a career advisor, mentor, or professor to weigh your options and adjust your plans as necessary. Many online resources exist to support such an analysis. Try starting with the Green Degrees and Careers Guide created by UCLA's Sustainability Coordinator in partnership with Affordrable Colleges Online.
Build your resume
Building a resume is an important first step to getting the job of your dreams. The content you fill it with must not only be well worded, it must also look organized and professional, catching the eye of a potential employer. Check out this document from Career Services to get started:
Resume Writing [PDF]
After making a basic draft of your resume, students should set-up an appointment with Career Services to received feedback. Career Services can be reached directly at 593-2909.
Need help with your resume? Is there a job or graduate school interview in your future? Do you have specific career questions you need answered? Get in touch with the Career Network in Baker Center for free help on any of these areas and more!
Join a professional organization
Get ahead in your field of interest by joining a professional organization. There are many benefits in doing so, including:
- Direct access to current professionals in the field
- Resources and tools for you to learn more and stay up-to-date on topics of interest
- Smaller fees for student membership, which can sometimes continue after graduation
To find an organization, you can Google search "professional organization" along with the title of your field, or you can talk to a few of the faculty members and professors in your college. Are they members of any organizations? If not, which ones they would recommend?
I'm in college, now what?
If you're still undecided or unsure about your major, don't worry! It takes time to find out what you want to do in life. Take this career quiz to help you along in your journey to self-discovering. This specific website gives you a list of many different options to look into depending on your personality and interests.
Where can your major take you?
No matter what you major in, there are many different paths you can take and careers options you can pursue. If you find yourself unsure of what you can do with your degree, take a look at the document below for tips and advice. Then set up an appointment with your supervisor to further brainstorm the pros and cons of each and what careers best fit your skills and interests.
Where can your major take you? [PDF]
Dress up your email signature
A well-organized email signature is a wonderful way to make a great first impression. When inquiring about an available position within a company you'd like to work for or simply contacting one of your professors, it is important that they catch a glimpse of the type of person you are and what qualities you possess. Review this document for tips on how to make a professional email signature:
Email Signature Tips and Ideas [PDF]
Create a LinkedIn account
Want to get a foot in the door of success? LinkedIn is a fantastic website that allows you to create an online profile, which can be used to find jobs, connect with colleagues, and advertise your experience, education, and skills to the world. Review these documents created by LinkedIn itself to maximize the potential of your profile:
Networking on LinkedIn [PDF]
Building a Professional LinkedIn [PDF]
Create your own website
If you want to have a better Internet presence, this may be a good option for you. When you apply for a job, some employers may search your name online, and it is important to make sure they don't see anything you don't want them to see. With that said, creating your own website is a great way to show your professionalism and to give them a good resource to learn more about your assets and skills.
There are many different avenues for making your own website. SnapPages.com is one of the most user-friendly websites and has been used by many previous student employees in the office.
Writing a professional email
When contacting anyone via email, it is vital that you present yourself in a professional manner. People can learn a lot about a person based on the content and presentation of the written word - it is how they gauge what type of person you are and how you carry yourself in a professional setting. Here are some good tips for writing a professional email [PDF].
Cleaning up your Facebook image
When job searching, it is likely that potential employers will conduct an online search of your name. Facebook is commonly one of the earlier search results that will appear. Therefore, it is important for you to know how to maintain a professional presence on Facebook to anyone outside of your friends who many view your profile. The tips provided in this "Facebook Cleaning" [PDF] document have been compiled and prepared by a student employee in the Office of Sustainability. Choose which tips you feel are most applicable to your own desires and needs as they relate to the image you wish to present to potential employers.
Creating goals for yourself is one of the best ways to stay motivated and on top of your progress. What are some smaller, realistic goals you can set for yourself now to promote your larger goals later on in life? What is a goal you'd like to see yourself reach by the time you graduate or even by the time you retire? This activity will help you set those goals so you can better monitor your progress and remind yourself often of where you want to be in the future.
Develop a workshop
Conducting a workshop is a fantastic way to learn more about a skill or topic you are passionate about while simultaneously enhancing your presentation skills. Use this opportunity to research something you find interesting and want to know more about, teach others a skill you have that can benefit them in their own personal or professional lives, or find new ways to incorporate sustainability into your career. To create your own workshop, reach out to the Professional Development Coordinator for guidance on how to begin and to inform them of any costs you feel may be associated with it.
Don't have time to create your own? Go to an already existing workshop to learn about something someone else is passionate about. These opportunities will be posted on Yammer or sent in the weekly OoS email as they are scheduled, so be on the look out!
Join a student organization on campus
What's important to you? What are you passionate about? Find a topic of interest and join a group of students with the same interests while simultaneously bulking-up your resume. Student Engagement and Leadership manages a directory of student organizations on campus and you can find one that interests you.
As an employee of the Office of Sustainability, there are many group that focus on sustainability that may interest you. Immersing yourself in the green community will allow you to find your true passions in sustainability. Look into some of these groups and find one that suits your interests: Eco Reps, Sierra Student Coalition, OUCAN, Sustainable Ohio University Leaders, Save Our Seas, Sustainable Living Floor, and many more!
Learn a new skill: Excel and Publisher tricks
Many employers will want employees who have mastered standard office software such as Word, Publisher and Excel. Office of Sustainability occasionally offers training sessions to its students so as to improve their knowledge base. The Tri-County Adult Career Center in Nelsonville, Ohio is an exceptional resource for skill development. Their friendly staff prepared these "cheat sheets" on Publisher 2010 [PDF] and Excel 2010 [PDF].
OoS Staff: Once you have completed any of the available opportunities, please email your supervisor to notify the OoS of your work and to ask for further guidance if interested.