“Ahh….the summer break: a few months with no deadlines or stressful sleepovers at the library – time to relax”…..or that’s how I used to think about the summer break. However after being able to gain experience in a field I thought I wanted to go into (which wasn’t quite what I expected) I now view the summer as a great time to boost my career.
Some starting points if you’re thinking about using your summer to boost your experince:
Paid work: Useful vacancy sites for summer work include Indeed.co.uk,
Placements/ Internships: Great for trying out areas of work which interest you. Going on placement was the best thing I did, it has made me realise what area I want to gain more experience in.
A good site which has a lot to say about finding a placement if you’re unsure of where to start:
Voluntary work: I actually just used yell.com to get ideas about local organisations I could volunteer for. Another good place to start is http://www.volunteering.org.uk/.
Work Shadowing: Careers and Employability at the University provide a lot of opportunities to work shadow – again an amazing way to network and helps you to form ideas about future career roles. The Work Shadowing scheme runs during the academic year, so you could always use the summer to register with the service and look at the previous year’s opportunities and get some ideas of what might interest you.
Other ways to boost your career over summer:
- Two sites that helped me explore possible career options and also highlight what I am good at are https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk and http://www.prospects.ac.uk/
- Networking: LinkedIn is a brilliant site for this as you can use it to build a professional profile and communicate with people who have similar professional interests.
- Twitter is also useful for following people in career areas which interest you and asking questions to people who work in various career areas.
- Get creative; this could be anything from starting a hobby to writing a blog. I write a blog and it is something I am passionate about and offers me a lot to talk about in an interview.
- Be spontaneous, even something like travelling is worthy on a CV
- Use the time to plan for the next academic year. See what skills you need to build upon to make yourself more employable, ask yourself what you could be doing to make yourself the ideal employee for the sectors you’re interested in.
Finally, a good website to consider is Go Think Big, it hosts lot of placement opportunities and may help you feel inspired https://gothinkbig.co.uk/opportunities