The global COVID-19 pandemic, sociopolitical climate, and accompanying distress — particularly for BIPOC communities that have been disproportionately impacted — have brought added challenges to an already stressful job-hunt process. For those graduating next spring, these challenges may feel particularly pressing.
The importance of self-care cannot be understated, especially during these times, and we encourage prioritizing it in your search and overall career management strategy. This may include monitoring your energy; setting mini-goals, and adjusting them as needed; as well as finding support and community within and outside of your personal, professional, and CSSW network, including one-on-one appointments with our office.
Students can receive additional support through our mentorship program, a new initiative started in the spring that facilitates connections to alumni for career insights and advice. BIPOC-identified students can also participate in our upcoming Communities of Color event, an annual program designed to connect and engage students and alumni of color in candid career conversations within a dedicated support space.
See below for more tips and resources on navigating the job search, as highlighted in last week’s webinar:
- Treat job searching as a process. Allow time to reflect on how you can contribute to an organization so that you can tailor your search for opportunities that speak to your strengths, interests, and values.
- Break down the process into smaller, achievable parts. These may include clarifying your goals and direction through a self-assessment, establishing your target list by conducting research on organizations that have missions that you care about, and learning more about career options and opportunities through informational interviews.
- Create a timeline and action plan using organizers to track your progress. This will allow you to recognize and celebrate mini-wins that you achieve along the way, which in turn can help you stay motivated and focused.
Remember, you’re not alone on this journey — there’s a community you can turn to for support. Take a moment to assess what networks and supports might be most helpful for you, not only for landing a meaningful role but also for maintaining your momentum and well-being for the long haul.
If you missed our webinar, you can find the presentation slides in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Workshops / Webinars / Presentations folder.
The Office of Alumni Relations and Office of Career Services and Leadership Management are pleased to offer a special opportunity to meet virtually with alumni for career mentoring!
Mentoring Program Overview
Through this program, students can request to connect with up to 2 alums per month for 1:1 conversations to:
- Gain insights and perspectives about a career path, field, organization, or industry;
- Get advice about career planning, searching and applying for jobs (including resume writing), networking, interviewing, or navigating life after CSSW; OR
- Seek support in general from someone who’s been in your shoes as a student
- Fill out this mentoring program interest form. On the form, you will find a link to a directory with a list of all available volunteer mentors. Select the one you’re interested in meeting. Note that you will have to complete this form for each request.
- After submitting the form, you will receive an email confirmation as well as an introductory email from Jennifer March from Alumni Relations connecting you to the alum of choice within 2 business days. If you don’t hear from Jennifer in that time frame, please email her at [email protected].
- Once you receive the email, it will be your responsibility to arrange a meeting directly with the alum using the contact information provided. While Zoom meetings are recommended, you can choose a platform that works best for both you and the alum.
Remember: This is NOT a forum to ask for a job or a recommendation for a job, but rather an opportunity to gather valuable information based on their knowledge and expertise.
After the initial meeting, it will be up to you and the alum to decide whether to stay in touch.
For more information, refer to our program overview.
From the Office of Faculty Diversity and Inclusion:
As part of the University’s continued commitment to nurturing a climate where current, new, and future faculty can thrive, Columbia has joined the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD).
The NCFDD is an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community of faculty, postdocs, and graduate students from over 450 colleges and universities. They provide a variety of virtual programs and resources including:
- Weekly Monday Motivator
- Monthly Core Curriculum Webinars
- Monthly Guest Expert Webinars
- Access to Multi-Week Courses
- Access to Dissertation Success Curriculum for graduate students
- Private Discussion Forum for peer-mentoring, problem-solving, & moderated writing challenges
- Monthly accountability buddy matches
- Access to 14-Day Writing Challenges
- Access to the Member Library that includes past webinar materials, referrals, and readings
The Institutional Membership includes access to NCFDD resources for ALL Columbia faculty, graduate students and postdocs.
- To claim your free membership, complete the following steps:
- Go to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity website (http://www.facultydiversity.org/).
- Select the “Become a Member” tab and choose “Claim Your Institutional Membership.”
- Within the list of universities, click on “Columbia University.”
- Complete the registration form by following all instructions. Be sure to provide your Columbia email address.
- Once you have submitted your registration information and NCFDD has approved your connection to Columbia, you should receive a welcome email.
If you have any questions about Columbia’s institutional membership, please contact Shana Lassiter (Assistant Provost for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion) at [email protected].
Additional information, including a calendar of upcoming NCFDD events, can also be found at https://provost.columbia.edu/content/national-center-faculty-development-and-diversity-ncfdd.
If you have any technical questions, please email NCFDD at [email protected].