Five ideas to get the most from your summer break

What have you got planned for the summer break?

Instead of binge-watching box sets you could fill your time broadening your skills, making new contacts and preparing for your career.

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Our five steps will show you how a productive break can also be fun:

1. Recharge your batteries

OK, it’s been a tough year, you’ve worked hard and now you deserve a break. It’s good to take some time out to rest and enjoy catching up with family and friends. It’s important not to burn out, so now’s your chance to take some time for yourself.

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2. Travel or volunteer abroad

A holiday could be considered part of step 1, but it can also be an opportunity to improve your CV. If your finances won’t allow a grand tour, you could consider working or volunteering abroad.

Summer and sports camps are a great option for budding teachers to get experience working with children (these happen both abroad and in the UK, if finances are really tight).

Volunteering can also be a great way to gain experience and boost your confidence, plus you’ll feel warm and fuzzy inside when you’ve given your time for a good cause! Essex Abroad can help you with ideas and logistics when looking to volunteer abroad.

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3. Fill gaps in your knowledge

So you’re studying communications with ambitions of  working in digital marketing, but you don’t have the coding skills you think would be handy because they’re taught on Computer Science degrees. Students often ask how they can supplement their core degree with a specialist skill. The answer is to take a short course, or teach yourself during the summer.

Societies are often good places to start to learn these skills cheaply (or for free), so make friends with fellow students with the skill you want before term ends and get learning! It’ll give you the edge when you apply for that dream role too.

4. Learn new skills and hobbies

Not sure what you want to do? Try looking at job roles that interest you and what skills are required. Alternatively, do something left-field – join a creative writing class to improve your English, take an art class and become more creative, join a boot camp and get fit, or start a club and learn to lead.

These activities look great on a skills-based CV and show you’re more than just your degree. You’ll likely make new friends and get more confident along the way too.

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5. Work

Part-time or full-time during the break; the advantages are numerous. Not only will you have extra cash in your pocket, you’ll be gaining important skills to make you more employable.

If you can find work experience in the sector you’re interested in working in, you’ve hit the jackpot – you’ll be making contacts and testing out your industry before you jump in. Of course, all jobs provide transferable skills, so don’t dismiss that job on the checkout – you’re probably perfecting your communication (and diplomacy) skills without realising it!

Need help finding work? Check CareerHub and our Information sheets for ideas.

Don’t forget, summer is festival season, and events on this scale often need people to help run the show – from ticket checking to running the bar, there’s plenty of roles to boost your experience. It won’t boost your bank balance however (it’s likely you’ll be paid with an entrance ticket), but it proves summer work doesn’t have to be dull.

 

Thanks to Dominic Claeys-Jackson, Editor of Prospects for inspiring and informing this post.

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