Kick Start Your Career In Your Holidays
Get a head-start on your career with some well-directed thinking and actions in the holidays.
Did you sleep in this morning? It’s so inviting to think of all of those weeks stretching ahead before you start studying again, and all the things you are NOT going to do. But how about thinking just the opposite? This is one of the longest breaks you are ever going to have. If you are going on to TAFE or Uni, you will get long holidays, but some of them are likely to be taken up with study, Summer School and temporary work.
So the next few weeks is a great opportunity to use your free time wisely, and kick-start your career by doing some of the following things.
1. Do some career research and thinking
There are likely to be a variety of employment options open to you after completing your vocational course or degree. So why not start thinking about the options now, so that you can start applying your future learning to jobs that you think you might be interested in?
Colleges and Unis often have careers pages with videos or stories of former students, outlining the types of jobs that have moved into after completing their studies. You can use these to explore the sorts of roles that might be available across different industries.
If you want to think a bit more deeply about your career options, you can use a tool like the CareerHQ Compass to match your interests and strengths to job options.
2. Experience different work environments
Another way of doing research is to talk to other people about their jobs. What is involved day-to-day in the work they do? What are the best and the worst bits of their jobs? It is worthwhile asking adults if you could spend a few days or a couple of weeks at their office, shadowing them or a colleague who works in the field you think you would like to work in, and experiencing a full-time work environment.
3. Start getting paid work experience to add to your CV
Many students who have engaged in some form of work experience or similar find it easier to find employment upon completion of their studies.
Holiday or part-time work may not necessarily be in the sort of areas you will look for after finishing your studies, but all work experience is useful for including on your CV or resume. It show you can be proactive, that you are willing to work – and what’s more, you’ll be earning money you can use to do some fun things as well!
Volunteering is an easy way of exploring your interests, meeting new people and enhancing your CV while doing something fantastic for your community. There are a broad range of options and places where you can volunteer including schools, animal shelters, retirement homes, museums, and more.
GO Volunteer, an initiative of Volunteering Australia, has a great website with a range of national volunteer opportunities.
You’ll come away from your volunteering knowing that you’ve helped others, and with some further experience you can also include on your CV.
5. Go to Uni open days or information sessions
Many educational institutions like students to arrive prepared and ready to benefit most from their new studies. Look at the websites of the Unis you are interested in attending, and see what might be available for incoming students.
They might hold information sessions or open days, where you can explore campus life, and find out how it is going to be different from high school. Or they may include videos where current students talk about campus life and study.
6. Do some courses
Once you start your studies again, you will invariably need money! The holidays are a good time to get some qualifications that will help you get part-time work while you are studying,
The most obvious ones are courses like Barista or Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) qualifications, which will allow you to find flexible, part-time work in a broad range of cafes, restaurants and licensed venues.
The other reason for doing some courses in the holidays is to check the level of skills you will need for further study. Unlike high school, when you go on to TAFE or Uni you will be responsible for deciding the best way to balance your time and complete your assignments. This is an exciting prospect, but can also require some additional skills, like learning time management, and how to better prioritise tasks. It can be worthwhile seeking out some online courses in these areas – there are free as well as paid ones – to see how your current skills match up with what might be required, and if you can do some brushing up.
So while you deserve to relax and rest these holidays, you can also get a head-start on your career with some well-directed thinking and actions.
If you make some time for beneficial work and personally rewarding experiences alongside the fun times, you will have succeeded in doing some useful preparation for tomorrow while enjoying today.