Chapter 1: Start Now
The best way to get a step closer to a career is to begin immediately. The easiest way to get started is to explore what you are good at and what you love to do. Part of having a successful plan for an early start to a career is a strategic plan to graduate. This chapter walks through how to set up, and stick with, a four or five-year graduation plan.
Chapter 2: Design, Build, and Protect Your Brand
Sometimes the hardest part of brand building is figuring out what your brand actually is. This chapter helps you create your brands, build it, and protect it as you go through college and into the professional world. On- and offline techniques are discussed, as well as often-overlooked behaviors that could mean the difference between a fabulous career and a mediocre one.
Chapter 3: Immerse Yourself – Inside and Outside the Classroom
In order to get into your field, you must fully immerse yourself into your subject matter. This chapter gives tips on how to do this in class and on your own time. When a student walks into an interview, he or she should have well-rounded experience and a body of diverse work. Students with experience limited to the classroom or university clubs are at a huge disadvantage. This chapter discusses ways to get you out of the “student realm” and to get the coveted internships and invaluable real-world experience.
Chapter 4: Employ the Magic of 75/25
We often act first and think later, causing a myriad of problems including “do-overs,” mistakes, and embarrassing situations. The magic of the 75/25 strategy (75% thinking, 25% doing) will enable you to do less work, make fewer mistakes, and accomplish goals faster and with more precision. In addition, you will be challenged to never underestimate the importance of setting up physical spaces and what this means for potential success.
Chapter 5: Master Every Conversation
The notion of knowing your audience is a staple in the public relations world, and this chapter discusses how it should be a staple in all conversations. You will learn how knowledge of an audience – whether that audience is a professor, a fellow student, or a prospective employer – can lead to getting what you want out of every conversation.
Chapter 6: Innovate to Stand Out
How do students make themselves stand out? A perfect way to show individual talent is to get innovative and to create a space to learn. For Tori, as a public relations student, it was to launch and operate her own public relations firm. The focus of this chapter, however, isn’t about starting a business. It is about how you can find a way to practice and perfect talents in a real-world, but reasonably controlled, environment. The point is for you to get creative and show the self-starting, innovative nature that employers crave from your generation.
Chapter 7: Allow for Wiggle Room and Celebration
In our hectic, over-scheduled existences, we have practically eliminated the idea of “wiggle room” – those spaces in between appointments and deadlines where the beauty of life usually happens. This chapter discusses the merits of a life interspersed with “wiggle room.” Because this strategy often leads to more success, this chapter also includes motivation for and methods to celebrate wins. Successes aren’t easy to come by, but ironically when we get them, we often just move onto the next thing without proper acknowledgement of their existence. Chapter content includes the value of celebrating ALL wins and how to do so in a manner that creates even more of them.
Chapter 8: Network, Network, Network.
Most have probably heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This chapter dares you to take that phrase one step further: “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” Part of the goal while traveling and getting involved outside of the classroom should be to get to know everyone possible. But it doesn’t end with shaking hands and trading business cards. This chapter will discuss how you can grow your networks by proving you are an invaluable asset.
Chapter 9: Use New Media Tools
The amazing thing about being a student in the 21st century is that knowledge is a Google/Yahoo/Bing search away. The Internet also makes networking with people around the world as easy as an instant message. You can network and learn using free tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or share your personality and knowledge through personal websites and blogs. This chapter discusses the importance, differences, and strengths of each online tool.
Chapter 10: Become an Expert
In every industry there are certain niches for professionals. While it is a great idea to try to be well-rounded, most employers want to hire someone who is really good at something specific. The best way to get hired is to become an expert in a certain aspect or niche of the student’s industry. Find an aspect of your industry that you are passionate about and become extremely involved in that area. The main focus of this chapter is a series of tips on how you can establish yourself as an expert – while still a student.
Chapter 11: Put it All Together
Now that you’ve learned the first 10 steps and are well on your way, it’s time to take everything you have learned and use it toward the job search. Each of the strategies are summarized in this chapter, but the focus is on getting a job and launching a career.