Q: I’m 23, and I currently work at a community college as a student liaison where I help incoming students acclimate to college life. My dream job is to work specifically with first generation Hispanic students in the same sort of capacity, but instead of advising them as students, I would like to focus on life skills and steering them toward college and other post-high school educational outlets. Do you have any advice to help make this dream a reality?
A: I really admire what you’re doing, and how you’d like to apply your talents and skills to help a largely underserved sector of the community. For starters, let’s think in more specific terms. How exactly would you help these young Hispanic people? Do you want to function as a life coach, or do you see yourself more in a pre-college advisor role? These are both incredible things to offer young people, but I think you’ll need to focus on one specific area to be the best you can be. You’ll also need to come up with a plan to market and monetize yourself if you plan on making a career out of this.
Right now, you’re in your sweet spot. You’re communicating, connecting, listening, and problem solving. You’re using your talents and training to reach kids, and help them formulate plans for the future. I don’t think your current role will be the end of your story, but I would advise sticking with your job at the community college a while longer. Learn all you can in that environment, because I believe it will enable you to better serve those kids you want to help.
Remember, there’s nothing to keep you from planning and mapping out a path for your dream while you work at the college. The additional experience you get and encounters you’ll have will serve you not only in your dream job, but it will open your mind to ideas, needs, and strategies that will help make it a marketable reality!
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