Tag Archives: career planning

Career Counseling in the BizCom Classroom

By Janet Mizrahi

I recently read an article about how all faculty, independent of discipline, are being encouraged to integrate career counseling into their curricula. It reminded me about the importance of helping our business communication students connect the dots between their educations and their futures. This is especially important now because students increasingly evaluate the choice of earning a college degree as value proposition that measures the cost compared to the long-term worth of that investment.

As bizcom instructors we may not be able to include career assessment and occupation selection into our curriculum; however, we are in the unique position to include many facets of career guidance that link students’ education to their careers by integrating the strategies below into our teaching practice.

First and foremost is consistently connecting course content and real-life work. Of course, we teach work-related written and oral communication, using case studies and examples from textbooks and perhaps, personal experience. Many of us also teach professionalism across the board—workplace etiquette, meeting behavior, and teamwork. All of this helps cement skills and behaviors that add value to students’ educations and careers as employees and merits conscious repetition throughout the semester.

We should also maintain a regular dialogue about work experiences. While not all students work, many do, and all members of the class benefit from hearing how the learning in the classroom plays out in the workplace. By using class discussions or small group sessions with guided questions that probe students’ work experiences, we can further bring home course learning objectives in a meaningful way.

This leads to the next point: talking about careers often. Doing so demystifies the process and helps students segue from academia to the workforce. In today’s climate, students are especially anxious to learn how the pandemic has affected the world of work, specifically what kinds of work they will be able to find and which industries are hot (and which are not). This situation makes discussions about the opportunities for employment in local industries especially pertinent.

Obviously, bizcom teachers design course activities around the job search as a matter of course. But we must rethink how we do that. The pandemic has changed the face of work, from where employees do their jobs to the creation or demise of entire industries. To nudge our students forward, why not require them to apply for an actual internship or job they find online (they need not send it in, but they should have the experience of responding to an actual job spec) and prepare them with a series of assignments on résumé writing and interviewing skills?

Finally, we can drive home the importance of productive behavior that may start in our classroom but that crosses over to the workplace.

Bizcom instructors hold a unique position to guide students toward rewarding careers. It bears reminding that while no student is forced to visit the career center, all must attend class—where we can be preparing them for their future careers.











Career Planning—The Key to Success

While it may be tempting to allow your career unfold without direction—accepting any job you’re offered or moving from position to position without an end goal guiding your decisions—such a haphazard approach often leads to job dissatisfaction. Instead, experts advise choosing a career path that points toward a specific outcome with defined steps along the way.

This is because end goals help you make choices that will lead to a career you enjoy rather than to a job that offers little reward beyond a paycheck. For example, say that you accept a job in a real estate office because a relative helped you land the position. The problem is you have no interest in real estate. In fact, the idea of showing properties and dealing with the mountains of paperwork to close a deal gives you anxiety. After some time in the position, you decide to look for more satisfying work. But where to turn? Now your only experience is in an industry you dislike.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Planning for a rewarding career—the kind that will bring you pleasure instead of dread and use skills you possess or attain—leads to greater professional rewards and enjoyment.

To start planning for a gratifying career, ask yourself these questions.

Is my current job in a field I want to be in for a long time? For those who already have a job, think about where it could lead. If you like what you envision, great. Examine the opportunities at that organization or the field at large and set your ultimate goal. However, if you don’t enjoy your present job, it’s time to think about where you really want to spend your working life.

In which industry do I want work long term? To help define the field you think will lead to a satisfying career, begin by listing the activities and arenas that excite you. Ask yourself how your skills and talents might fit into that world. However, be savvy. Examine the job landscape in that field and be realistic about barriers to entry.

What steps do I need to take to enter the field? Define the elements you need to enter a particular industry or field. If your research leads you to believe that area offers a viable opportunity, decide what you must do to prepare. Do you need a résumé that demonstrates your readiness? Do you need more education or training? Whatever it is, get moving!

Most people work about 100,000 hours or more before they retire. That’s too much time to spend floundering. Now is the time to take control and enjoy the ride toward a gratifying career.


  1. Why should you take advantage of your campus career center before you graduate?
  2. What steps can you take now to determine if an interest could become a profession?
  3. If you must take a job that doesn’t bring you gratification, how could you simultaneously work toward getting into a field that would better suit you?