Tips & Resources
Career planning can be pretty tough, especially when you are in college and there are so many exciting options to explore. In general, you should take hints from your courses, and pursue a career direction that reflects those subjects you enjoy.
One interesting option is to try to match your career goals to your personality. Many
people and companies use the Meyers-Briggs psychological assessment to identify an
individual's personality type based on his/her preferences. This well known assessment
has been around for many years and has established credibility. We use an abbreviated
version of this assessment in my Principles of Management class.
I have discovered a career-planning book that provides you with the tools to figure out your Meyers-Briggs personality type, and an analysis of career options that suit each personality type. I have personally used this book and found it very helpful in my career. You may want to check it out!
- Tieger, Paul D., Do what you are: discover the perfect career for you through the secrets of personality type, 3rd ed., Little-Brown, 2001.
At Stanford University, there is a popular course about using design principles in order to "design" your life. The professors that teach this class have written a book which is available to the rest of us (who aren't at Stanford)! I read it and I also highly recommend it if you are stuck in deciding your major or career direction:
- Burnett, William & Evans, David, Designing your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived Joyful Life, Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
Professional Associations are clubs that are organized around a functional area or a field of interest. Generally they are national associations that sponsor local "chapters" around the country. The local chapters hold periodic meetings and special events, and often allow student members to join (with reduced membership dues). For instance, a professional association might hold a monthly dinner meeting in a local hotel which offers members a chance to network with other professionals in that functional area, followed by a lecture on a current topic of professional interest.
Why join a professional association? The main reason people join is to network. These meetings allow you to meet people in similar positions in other companies, and to learn about their jobs and those companies, and sometimes to learn about hot job opportunities. Some professionals find that having a network of friends and acquaintances in other companies who can offer advice is useful when they are facing a tough challenge on the job. Many senior level managers attend these events in hopes of finding new recruits. The professional association meetings also allow you to practice your business etiquette so that you are well-prepared for your trip on the fast track!
Another reason to join a professional association is that the lectures and other training opportunities offer you the chance to stay on top of cutting-edge topics in your field. While your textbook was probably written a few years ago, the people who are speaking at professional meetings are often working in leading-edge companies who are paving the way in terms of new ideas and approaches. Consequently, attending these meetings will give you an advantage over your classmates in terms of your job-related knowledge.
Membership in a professional association is also a resume-builder. Employers are often
impressed when candidates take this extra step to stay on top of developments in their
field. And if you regularly attend the monthly meetings, you will find that you have
many interesting stories to tell and professional topics to discuss at that awkward
Here are some professional associations that I am familiar with. If you are interested in other functional areas, check with a professor that teaches that function, or try a search on the Internet. All of these external links open in a new window.
- American Management Association
- Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Marketing Association
- American Marketing Association
- American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS)
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
The De Anza Library has an excellent web site which provides registered students access to a variety of resources online, including research databases which contain newspaper and business magazine articles. I urge you to make use of these valuable assets while you are a student. These databases will allow you to do research from any location. The passwords for these databases change regularly to protect licensing arrangements with the providers. You may obtain the passwords by requesting them from a Librarian at the Library.
Any registered student may go to the Library West Computer Lab in the Learning Center West building to use a computer with connectivity to the Internet. The Advanced Technology Center is reserved for students in specific courses that have a lab component. Check your course syllabus to see if your course has access to the ATC.
This is the presentation used in Introduction to Business classes to explain the transfer and degree options available to students. Benefits of the different options are explained. (PDF document).