Where I’m from in the USA, we don’t really celebrate Pancake Day, so I’ve been interested to learn about what it’s all about. It’s also called Shrove Tuesday and it’s the last day before Lent, when lots of people give something up until Easter. Like, maybe rich foods such as eggs, milk and flour that go into a pancake. So Pancake Day was traditionally a chance to use up all that stuff before Lent and throw it all together into something delicious before giving up the vice for more than an month.
But what does this have to do with your career planning?
First of all, what career-related vices might you want to give up? Maybe you’ve been procrastinating on applying for internships or writing your CV. Maybe you have a bad habit of using the word “like”. Or maybe you have just been putting off any thoughts of career planning at all. Obviously, these are things you should probably change for good, not just until the 5th of April (this year). The good news is that if you start now, after those 40 days you’ll be well on your way to forming permanent good habits.
What’s your recipe?
So, onto the pancakes: What staples do you have lying around in your metaphorical “cupboards”? What ingredients do you have that you can combine to make something impressive? Maybe you are a good communicator who likes solving problems. Maybe you love synthesising different sources of information. Whatever the case, these are the components of your unique “recipe” – your CV.
Sweet or savoury?
On Pancake Day, I’ve discovered that there are tons of potential toppings and fillings (unlike the staid American butter and maple syrup). And here’s our last analogy: While the pancake itself can be somewhat plain, it can be combined with limitless goodies to create something amazing and one-of-a-kind. Think of this as your university experience. When employers look at your CV, your degree is your pancake. Everyone applying for the job has one, possibly even exactly the same degree as you. But what else do you have to offer on top? President of a club or society? Study abroad experience? Part-time work? Combine your toppings however you like them.
Serving your pancakes
Don’t forget, presentation is key! Make sure your CV is well-formatted and that you give examples of your achievements. And if someone asks you for your recipe, make sure you can clearly describe the process – what were the key experiences that made you who you are today?