Hello Summer

Six ways to move forward with your career thinking this summer

Hello summer vacation! You may have some work experience or part-time work lined up over the summer, or perhaps you’re just looking forward to having a well-deserved break? To make the most of your free time and move forward with your career thinking, Nicola Meikle, Careers Information Adviser, outlines six activities to get you started:

Summer is a great time to catch up with friends and family, have barbecues, relax on the beach (that is if the Scottish weather permits!) and visit new places of interest. It’s also an ideal time to be career curious…

“When you approach your life and career with curiosity, you tend to frame things differently, too. Suddenly, the world is full of opportunities and possibilities.”

(Amy Blaschka, Forbes)

Think about a person you know that has an interesting job. It could be someone in your extended family, friends or parents’ friends – be curious and engage in a conversation about their work. You can ask what they enjoy most about their role, what a typical day is like and what other roles are carried out in their workplace. Being open to finding out more can help rule things in – and out – and help you make decisions in the future.

Understand yourself. Career planning is about choosing your next step, not your entire career. Discover what you want from your next step through our range of self-awareness assessments (University of Edinburgh login required).

Liam 2020 graduate, MSc Film Studies, echoes this:

[The self-awareness assessments are] a great tool for really getting to know yourself. It helps you get to grips with exactly how you function; be that in preparation for a job hunt or just looking for some introspection about where your strengths and areas for improvement lie. They are so useful for igniting thoughts about where your career goals might take you.”

Many events are still taking place over the summer, online and in-person. These include:

  • Employer events, which are a great way to gain an insight into specific roles and organisations.
  • Careers Service sessions which cover a variety of topics including making effective applications, building experience and how to prepare for interviews.

For more information and how to book a place, check out the events section of MyCareerHub.

Make notes by reflecting on your accomplishments over the last semester. We often find that students are surprised by how much they have developed when they stop to think about it.

Ask yourself:

  • What have you enjoyed?
  • What do you feel more confident in?
  • What has surprised you the most?
  • What have you found challenging?

When it comes to crafting your CV or cover letter, your notes will be a handy reminder of the skills you have developed.

Explore free programmes to further your development, at a pace which suits you. For instance, students can access The Forage platform, which hosts over 100 virtual work experience programmes. Programmes typically take between 6-8 hours to complete. These aren’t paid, but will give you experience of typical tasks you’d be likely to experience while working in a specific company/sector. By doing these sorts of activities, you are demonstrating your interest in a particular type of work, and increasing your understanding of what it involves.

Through LinkedIn Learning, students also have access to an extensive library of high-quality video courses in business, creative and technical skills.

Remember, the Careers Service is open throughout the summer and is here for you – on campus and online.

Are you away from Edinburgh? Not a problem:

Whatever you choose to do, we hope you have an enjoyable and rewarding summer.

(Image credit: Stefan Schweihofer on Pixabay)


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