Crazy Career: How to Apply Your Humanities Degree

16 12 2014


You’ve heard it before, the dreaded question that everyone seems to ask after you explain what you decided to study. “So what do you want to do with that?” The question makes you squirm, but at some point you’ll need to address it, if only to figure out how to start repaying your student loans. The future can seem far away now, but when you have a solid plan, the rest will come easy.

We’ve put together a list of five ways to parlay your humanities degree into a real career that pays real money. Take a look and find a place where you might be able to belong.

Think Deeply

This part should be no problem for you. You’re good at thinking deeply, after all you did major in humanities. Step one is to consider what living well means for you. Try to identify your top three priorities. For example, you might crave getting married, or owning a home.  Others might prefer a life of adventure and travel. Humanities might be important to you now, but understand what you want from the future and what kind of job will keep you happy for the longest. Whatever it is, before you do anything else consider your priorities and what you want out of a career.

Establish Benchmarks

Once you understand what your most important goals are, develop a concrete vision of success. Maybe you want to get into a trial advocacy degree program before you’re 30, or be making enough to finance a home by your mid-forties. Write down a list of what quantified success looks like. Decide how much schooling you want done and by when. It’s important to create a timeline to know if you’re on track. Talk to a counselor at school if you can so they can help you make a manageable time table to follow, and you won’t be stretching yourself.

Map It Out

With definite goals in mind, start thinking about how to achieve them. This can seem like the most challenging part, but the key is to be creative. Identify transferable skills that will be valuable for a potential employer and explain them in your cover letter. A philosophy major might cite their ability for critical and analytical thought. Students of psychology could explain their natural understanding of others. If you’re having trouble identifying your skill set, ask professors, friends, and former supervisors to list your top five best traits. A trend will soon emerge that you can capitalize on in applications. Market yourself. Make it clear to an employer why they should hire you.

Open Possibilities

Guess what? You don’t have to do what everybody else is doing. Be creative and innovative in defining your own path to a rewarding career. Get your feet wet with internships or volunteer experiences in fields that seem interesting. Don’t be afraid to take a job for a year or two that you’re unsure about. Every experience will help you learn what you enjoy and don’t enjoy doing. Soon you’ll be putting your abstract knowledge to work in a concrete way.

Humanities are a great thing to study and can lead you to many different career paths. Make sure you have goals in mind and a schedule in which to complete them. When you have a good direction to go in, you’ll be less likely to be sidetracked and drawn away from a career path in humanities. Just make sure you know what to expect and how your degree can help you get where you want to go.

***For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Brooke Chaplan!!***

brooke chaplanAbout: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan


Ho-Ho-How to Set Yourself Apart This Holiday Season

9 12 2014

Psst!  Can I tell you a secret?


Employers don’t stop hiring during the winter holiday months.  Use this time to research companies and apply for their fantastic jobs!


Here are a few tips to help make your internship/full-time job search more successful over the holiday break:

Networking – Holiday parties are a great way to meet people and really connect on a personal level (focus more on personal conversation vs. your elevator pitch.)  Don’t “elf” it up: Click here to read a great article on holiday networking.

Get social – Take this time to update your social media profiles and ask your connections for references.  The more people you’re connected with, the more you’ll be able to get some great career advice and job search assistance.  Is your LinkedIn profile 100% complete??

Schedule it – Keep up with a full-time job search during this time of the year can be chaotic.  Set a specific time of day where you’ll work on your job search as well as set job search goals you want to achieve.  Every day has the SAME amount of seconds, minutes and hours – it’s what you do with them that COUNTS!

Be proactive. APPLY – As winter approaches, the opportunity to apply for internships is coming to an end.  The majority of companies recruit for Summer 2015 internships during Fall 2014.  Don’t wait too long to get your foot in the door!  If you’re looking for full-time employment, don’t wait until you’re a month away from graduation.  Research and apply.  Wouldn’t it be great to walk across the stage to get your diploma knowing that you have a great job waiting for you??

Above all, be sure to enjoy the holidays with friends and family.  They want to support you.  Stop looking at your smartphone and engage in real conversation.  You’ll be glad you did.

Happy holidays from Campus to Career!

First Time Interview: What Every College Grad Needs to Prepare

2 12 2014

First of all, let’s just say congratulations. You did it; you graduated school, whether with an MBA, an online program, or a bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts. That’s a massive achievement, requiring years of time, thousands of dollars, and more stress than you’ve ever felt before, so congratulations. Of course, now that it’s time to join the workforce, there are more hurdles to overcome, with the first job interview in particular. Let’s look at what you need to know your first time up at the plate.

photo-1416339134316-0e91dc9ded92 Presentation: Act Like You Already Belong
There is an old piece of advice about dressing for the position you want, not just the position you’re interviewing for. You should go further than that in your first interview. It isn’t just about the clothing. Confidence has been linked to success time and time again, so you should go to the interview with some degree of confidence. Relax, and remember your hard-won knowledge of the subjects you’ve studied. You’ve got the degree, so present yourself as someone who knows what they’re talking about. If you’re thrown a curve, acknowledge you might not understand that particular instance or question, and demonstrate how you’d go about finding the answer.

Research: Do the Diligence on the Company
You’re going to be working with these people, presumably for quite some time. Why would you not find out all you can? Look at what recent projects the company has been involved with. Dig into their background on any site you can find; LinkedIn profiles, Yelp, and Google reviews, Glassdoor and even the Better Business Bureau can be a great help. Find out notable things the company has been involved with, and be prepared to discuss them in the context of the interview. It is rare that an interviewer will be turned off by interest in the organization, so take the time to not only understand, but to show you understand.

Pre-Game: Get Some Rest Before You Go
The value of a good night’s sleep is sorely underestimated. Take the time to relax yourself before the interview. Interviewers can sense nervousness and exhaustion in their subjects, and they will not do you any favors. Once you have the prep done, get some sleep, then leave yourself a leisurely amount of time to prepare yourself before the interview. The slow approach will help you go in confident and assured, rather than fretful and harried.

In short, you should seek to arrange matters to put the interview on your terms. Knowing about the company, knowing about your subject, and knowing that you’ve had a good rest can put the matter firmly in your hands. Be confident, be aware, and above all present yourself as if you belong there.

Photo credit: Jeff Sheldon via

***For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Brooke Chaplan!!***

brooke chaplanAbout: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan