I can remember sipping the last drop of an energy drink while watching a long night transition to another day. It’s that time of the year again: Finals. I know the pressure you all feel as finals are underway. Luckily, winter break is right around the corner.
Winter break is a time when you can take a mental vacation from coursework and get some good “R&R”: rest and relaxation. Sorry to say, but career planning never takes a break. Getting rest and relaxation is absolutely necessary, but I want to propose an additional type of “R&R” that will help you take another step towards your career aspirations: reflect and reconnect.
- Social media and journals: take the time to look back at your past interactions. How have you grown? What have you learned? Identifying your strengths and experiences make you a more effective interviewer and improves your ability to make career decisions. In addition, employers are very likely to search your name on the internet, so take good care of your online presence. Search your name on Google to explore results and remove any off-putting results. If you do not have a social media presence, take the time to create a LinkedIn page.
- Master resume: create or update your master resume. A master resume is a placeholder for all of your experiences. When you get ready to submit a targeted resume, you can easily copy and paste experiences from your master resume. Also, this is a great way to maintain an up-to-date resume and to assess additional experiences you would like to pursue.
Reconnect with Family and Friends
- The Questions: Family and friends will want to know your major, your career aspirations, and every other detail that will take place for the next twenty years of your life. While these questions can be burdensome, welcome them. Your career is a serious matter and whether you are a freshman or senior, discussing your future can lead you to new ideas, create renewed excitement, and challenge you to do more research about your career aspirations. Also, discussing thoughts about your career can help you become more effective in articulating your interests and career aspirations which will be help with interviewing, career fairs, graduate personal statements, and other situations.
- Networking: Family and friends are a prime source for networking. Connect with family or friends who may be in a career field of interest. Be intentional and these conversations can lead to a variety of opportunities such as a mentor relationship, job shadowing, informational interviews, and future volunteer, internship, or job opportunities.
Make an appointment with a career counselor at Career and Leadership Development to get more tips on effective networking, identifying career interests and majors, and internship or job search strategies during winter break.
Don’t forget to curl up in your snuggie and enjoy your break!
Past entries about ways to utilize winter break:
Photo by Roger Price.