Ideas to help fill the long summer ahead…
As summer approaches, many plans have been ruined by Covid-19 and you may be looking ahead and wondering what you can do over the coming months. I’ve been having similar thoughts and decided to share with you what I’m hoping to do once exams are over.
One of the main things that I want to look at is my applications and work experience. I’m entering 3rd year next which will be full, I’m sure, of applying for graduate jobs so I want to spend some time thinking about what I want to do after Uni and why employers should want to hire me.
As well as looking at different career paths I could take and tidying up my CV, I’m going to look at some common interview and application questions to jot down some ideas of key things I’d want to put in answers to them. Now, whilst it’s not a good idea to go into an interview with rote answers to the most common questions, having an idea of what you want a company to know about you will really help when trying to formulate answers. As an example, I recently had to answer the question “what makes you stand out” and I had no idea. Luckily it was in a written application so I had time to go away and really think about what I think makes me unique.
If you have some time and want to be more prepared the next time you need to apply for something, think about who you are and what you want out of life. Try to write down what you think makes you stand out, what you think your strengths and weaknesses are and what examples you can think of to show you possess certain skills. But more than that, think about what motivates you in life and what causes you care about. Find your why – Why do you do what you do? Why do care about x, y and z? Why do you get up in the morning? It can get deep very quickly but I’m sure you’ll come out of the experience knowing more about yourself and more prepared to answer some of those tricky interview questions. You might even come away with a clearer idea of what you want to do in the future!
Linked to the above activity, I also want to develop some skills that will likely be useful in my career. I’m going to start by working on my Scout leadership training modules and look into some courses on other useful topics like money management and cultural intelligence. Just taking the time to develop yourself will not only improve your skills but also show employers that you’re willing to learn. And it doesn’t just have to be employability or industry skills that you develop. If you want to learn more about a craft you’re into or your favourite TV series, this could be just as useful. The subjects might not be as “serious” but you’re still learning and you’ll probably develop other skills you’re not even aware of.
On a completely separate note, I also want to get round to doing all those little jobs that fall by the way side like tidying my room, cleaning my car and admin-y stuff. It’s nothing to write home about but I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something and be in a better place to start again next year.
Whatever you decide to do this summer, have some goals in mind. This will help you actually get round to doing what you want to do, rather than just having a vague idea but keep putting it off. And remember to include plans to do some things just for fun like reading exercising! However, if you don’t do everything you wanted to do, don’t worry about that either. Take some time to relax and enjoy not having to do anything – believe me, the feeling won’t last very long when Uni starts up again!