Getting the Most out of Careers Expos
Guest reporter Kate has some tips on surviving the chaos and information overload of your average careers expo.
Walking into a huge room full of stalls all about your future may seem like a daunting thing, and it is. A Careers Expo is a great source of valuable information for you and your career plans, but you need to know how to find it and how to make the most of your day.
If you know what you want to do in the future, that's great. The best thing about a Careers Expo, though, is that it will open your eyes to things you may not have thought of. Whether it's a different career, ways to get to the career you know you want, or some other things that interest you along the way, the stalls you find at a Careers Expo are always diverse, with no stone left unturned in regards to your future.
But how do you make the most of so much information? Here's some tips!
1. Think Of the Questions You Want to Ask
It's great to have an idea of what sort of information you're looking for at the Expo. Whether you're interested in learning more about tertiary study, career pathways or you're just after some general information, it's a good idea to think of a couple of questions you can ask.
The people at careers expos are there to help you and answer your questions. Make sure you take advantage of that!
2. Give Yourself Plenty of Time
A careers expo is a big place, with a lot of things to see. It's worth getting a map a day or two before you go, because you can mark what you want to see and then you'll know how to get there quickly. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get around to everything, and leave extra time just in so you can spend time at stalls you didn't plan on going to, or catch a seminar or presentation, or maybe just so that you can find some extra free stuff to beat your friends (see point 4, below).
3. Be Open-Minded
If you find yourself at a stall that doesn't seem quite right for you, you should still find out what they have to say. If you've never considered that particular option before, now is your time to find out more about it!
It's always good to know what other options you have if something doesn't work out. Finding out as much as you can about what you're interested, as well as things you didn't know you were interested in, can only be a good thing.
4. It's Not All About the Free Stuff
If your friends are like mine and decide to have a competition to see who can get the most free things from the stalls, feel free to join in. Remember, though, that you're also looking for worthwhile things as well - like information!
But do keep your eyes peeled - at careers expos you'll always find some cool little things to make your day a little bit better.
5. Do Some Follow-Up Research
So you've gone to the Expo, you've picked up some free stuff and some really useful information - great. What's next? Now the onus is on you to do a bit of extra reading on what really interested you.
Careers Expos often take place right before university open days, so if you liked what you heard from a particular university or TAFE, you can take the next step and go to their open day (check out our Open Days page for info about when they're on - ed). You can also check out websites, email people any questions you didn't get to ask, and keep your eyes peeled for more information. You can never know too much!
A day out at a Careers Expo won't be boring, and you're sure to get something out of it. It's a great source of information, and the perfect opportunity for you to be able to find out more about what you want to do.
If your school is going along to one, you should definitely put your hand up to go along, but even if not, the bigger expos are open on weekends to the general public. If you go with a friend, make sure you listen in to what they're interested in - you might find out about an entirely new career path!
You won't regret setting foot into a Careers Expo, and you'll be likely to leave with lots of valuable information (and some freebies, of course!).
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