Careers Advice Blog

How to have a great summer while furthering your career

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Everyone is always subtly jealous of “that guy” who comes back to university in September, showing off about all the work experience he’s done, along with travelling around Europe and squeezing in a few festivals at the same time. He’s organised, productive, and has had a great summer too. It’s possible – believe it or not, that there are a few ways to have an amazing summer but actually help to further your career at the same time.

Getting organised

Starting with the basics – what do you want to do for a career? Once you’ve decided on this, you can try and map out the steps to get there. For example, you want to be a journalist? The first step is work experience. For anyone and everyone. Decide what sort of career you’re after and then plot the steps to getting there.

On the web opportunities

A really easy way to further your career over summer without doing much is to network with professionals. A great way to do this is Twitter, and it works especially well if you’re looking for a job in the media. See if you can strike up a conversation with some industry specialists and you may be find yourself with an insight that no amount of work experience could have given you.

Close to home opportunities

Logically, if it’s what you want to do for the rest of your life, working towards it should be relatively fun anyway. If you want to work as a vet, see if you can spend a week or two helping out in a local animal centre or rescue home. Spending a week petting cats and dogs sounds like a good way to work towards your future to me, and it’ll look great on your CV. Also check out local events – a lot of them are sponsored by big local or national companies, so if there’s one in the sector you wish to go into then do your research and go along; it’ll be a fun day out and could get you noticed by employers if you get to chat.

National opportunities

Speak to friends and family about opportunities local to them – if you’ve got family at the other end of the country and there’s a great work experience opportunity there, go and take an extended visit there and work at the same time. You may even earn some money whilst you’re at it.

International opportunities

You could also try and branch out internationally. If you’re looking to go to a festival abroad, see if there are any work experience opportunities local to where you’re heading. Not only will it look amazing to future employers, but it’ll mean you essentially get a slightly longer holiday – and it’s also more likely you’ll be offered work there, rather than somewhere around uni where everyone else applies. This also works if you’ve got family or close friends who live abroad.

It’s easy to use summer to your advantage to further your career. Whether you do it by volunteering, doing a work placement, or traveling further afield for experience, you’re sure to have a great summer and put yourself ahead of your coursemates.

Any tips on furthering your career over summer? Tell us below.

Photo: NeilsPhotography / Flickr

Georgie DarlingHow to have a great summer while furthering your career

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