Jackson native Clay McAndrews is a Central Michigan University alumnus, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design. In his current position at Consumers Energy, he is responsible for designing communications collateral including, but not limited to: billboards, employee newsletters and social media graphics. Honored by Jackson Magazine with the 2015 30 and Under Award, he is actively involved in Jackson Young Professionals, Jackson Community Foundation and Jackson Symphony Orchestra. Click to read his feature in Jackson Magazine.

Whether you’re looking to maximize your time in your current role or in-between jobs, here are five tips to jumpstart your career in 2016:

Tip #1: Get involved in your community

Find a nonprofit organization to donate your time and talents. Getting involved in your community will grow your network and potentially lead to future jobs and internships through word-of-mouth.

Add these experiences onto your resume, especially if you have limited job experience.

Tip #2: Form lifelong friendships

Have people whom you can go to for advice. Seek out friendships with those with different skill sets so they can challenge you. As Jim Rohn famously said, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.

Tip #3: Take risks

No one got ahead in life without taking risks. Don’t be afraid to fail because you’ll only learn from the experience and get better.

Tip #4: Create a personal brand

The way you act in public and what you decide to post on social media is a direct reflection of your brand. Employers want to see you are involved in your community, staying up to date with recent trends and have good character.

Tip #5: Have fun

No one wants to follow a leader who is not fun. Having a light-hearted, approachable spirit will encourage others to want to collaborate with you.

Ready to energize your career? Visit