Heading home for the holidays? Are you dreading that moment on Christmas Day when the turkey’s been demolished, crackers lie strewn under the table, Granny’s snored her way through the Queen’s Speech and the tipsy conversation inevitably turns to the future – more specifically, YOUR future?!
If you’re feeling nervous about being quizzed over your career plans during the festive season, why not get ahead by following our Careers Guide to the 12 Days of Christmas…
1. Relax and Reflect
You’ve been working hard. Take some time out to chill and get over the stress of your exams. Reflect on your life and what’s important to you. Listen to some TED talks for inspiration…
- Steve Jobs – Stanford Commencement Speech
- Adam Leipzig – How to Know your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes
- Scott Dinsmore – How to Find Work You Love
Think of the Partridge in the Pear Tree– where does your career sit in your tree of life?
If you are not sure, check out prospects planner a free quiz that can help you match your skills to job profiles, it’s might not tell you exactly what you should be doing with your life but could give you some ideas to think about.
2. Get Work Experience
Holidays are a good time to boost your CV so see if you can get some extra work over the festive period. Retail, hospitality, call-centres and mail services are just some areas that take on extra staff over this busy time.
3. Research Employers
Researching takes time but can pay massive dividends. Don’t think about tackling a job application or making a speculative approach without first investigating any potential employer thoroughly.
Remember to check out their social media presence for interesting facts too.
4. Perfect the STAR approach for Competency- Based Applications
Spend time getting used to following the Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR) technique for answering competency-based questions on application forms.
5. Prepare your Elevator Pitch
It takes about 20 seconds to go up 10 floors in a lift.
Can you deliver a compelling internship or job pitch by the time the doors open?
If you’re on the job-hunt or looking for work experience, check out this advice for persuading the likes of Lord Sugar why you should get the job!
6. Create the Perfect CV
Your CV or resume is your personal marketing tool which develops as you develop.
In that sense, it’s never finished, but why not use the New Year to design your January 2019 version?
Stand out from the crowd by following our tips to create a knock-out CV!
The festive season can offer multiple opportunities to hone your networking skills. Who knows who you might meet at the neighbours’ New Year Hootenanny?
The Chief Exec of that NGO you’d love to grab an internship with? or the Speech Therapist from round the corner who could offer work-shadowing experience to see if it’s really the career for you?
You can even login to our Careers Alumni Network and connect with one of our alumni, they are waiting to give our grads advice!
8. Develop your Commercial Awareness
Don’t miss the yearly reviews published around now to give you a special insight into your job sector.
As well as enhancing your commercial awareness, you might find some valuable information to use in future applications and interviews.
9. Sort out your LinkedIn Profile
If you’ve not got a LinkedIn Profile yet, take this opportunity to get established and join a new global network.
You never know where LinkedIn might lead you in 2019!
10. Buy an Item for Your Interview Wardrobe
Hit the sales and spend those Christmas gift vouchers on a cool addition to your interview wardrobe.
‘Tis the Season of Giving so why not give something back and enhance your employability at the same time.
Whether it’s doing a few shifts at a Night Shelter or collecting donations at your local Foodbank, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved over the holidays. Contact your local volunteer centre for ideas.
12. Get Global
As the world fast becomes a smaller place, employers increasingly place a high value on global understanding.
Investigate opportunities to enhance your global skills in the New Year by learning a new language, getting involved with asylum seekers and refugees or, if you’ve room at your table this Christmas/New Year, why not invite a fellow student from another country to swap Yuletide food and traditions and develop global skills in the process?