Summer holidays are about relaxing on the beach, making up on all the Netflix hours missed while studying for exams, and putting in quality time with friends, right?
This is true to an extent, relaxation is definitely important, but be wary of missing the chance to use at least some of this downtime actively. School and Uni are highly demanding: holidays are the only decent chunk of time you’ll have to really work on career goals and building your future. No matter how amazing your exam results are, you will need a range of skills and experience to talk about when you’re sitting at that interview table.
Here are our seven top tips on making the most of your holiday break:
- Get A Holiday Job – a retail or temping job will give you the transferable skills you’re going to need. You’ll deal with different types of colleagues, work with the public, solve problems, watch different management styles in action and learn how teams work. You’ll be gathering the convincing examples needed to answer the most common job interview questions with confidence. Reed is currently listing 35, 066 temporary jobs, so why not go for it?
- Volunteering – volunteering really impresses employers. It shows personality, determination and empathy. Choose a sector relevant to your career goals, and you’ll get some great skills you’ll be able to show off at interview, as well as a reference from an industry insider and some career mentoring. Mustering some like-minded friends together could make it even more fun. The NCVO can point you in the right direction.
- Do Some Life Planning – studying is pressured, and during your breaks, it’s important to get some perspective and see where you’re winning, where you’re losing and whether it’s all that you want anyway. Do a quick personal SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and you’ll get an idea of where you want to be focusing in 2017-18. Set goals for the year, and break this down into weekly and monthly tasks you’ll need to achieve them. Drop us an email if we can help with this – it’s what we do!
- Networking – confidence in networking is hard to come by. You should not, however, discount the strength of your existing personal networks, including your peer group. These people will really make a difference throughout your career. Catch up with friends you’ve not seen for a while, compare notes, share your thoughts, and you’ll find yourself inspired and full of ideas. Your parents’ friends may not seem immediately relevant, but most of them will love to share advice and opportunities too.
- Do A Social Media Makeover – take a step back from your online networks, and work out which ones you want to use strategically. You might want to keep Snapchat and WhatsApp for fun with friends but work on making your LinkedIn and Facebook professional and impressive. Consider how writing a blog could create a personal brand that can win for you at interviews – make a regular commitment, carve out your own niche, and you’ll build a really impressive presence and following.
- Build Your Skill Set – take this time to learn some core business skills you may not be getting at school, college or Uni. Flying Start XP has courses over summer to hone your interviewing skills so you can achieve your career goals, whether they include getting a place on a grad scheme, nailing an internship, or winning a competitive apprenticeship.
- Relax – you won’t manage all of the above! Set a few important goals you think will really make a difference to you next year, and then enjoy your time with friends and family.
Flying Start XP run workshops for 16-24 year-olds. Our students acquire the confidence needed to get the best jobs, and add value to their employers from day one. Follow us on LinkedIn to get all the latest news, updates and special offers.