Top Tips: Making the Most of Your Summer "Break"

Summer is here and you are just itching to start a job or get your hands dirty volunteering, right? If you just rolled your eyes or exclaimed, “No!” take a few minutes to take in these top tips for making the most of your summer “break.” While you may miss out on some rays by the pool or a few hours of The Jersey Shore staying focused on your professional career goals during the summer can lead to big payoffs by graduation.

1. Remain Active:
I’m not implying that you should use your summer break to work on that 6-pack you’ve always dreamed about! While physical fitness is important, I’m referring to the potential for resume building available to you during the summer months (think part-time jobs, internships, volunteer work). Part-time jobs are excellent for building transferrable skills that will follow you to any future job while internships allow you to gain experience and skills related to your field of interest. If you do not have either of those, avoid sitting out by the pool all day and instead participate in community service or volunteer projects. Employers look for students who have been involved and quality volunteer experience is never a negative.

2. Informational Interviewing: Conducting informational interviews is beneficial to any student from freshman to senior who is contemplating a career or major decision. Take time to meet with professionals in your career of interest and ask questions about their average day, the type of work they do, how much they travel, etc to get a better feel for the industry. This is helpful in assessing whether or not you would fit and be happy in that particular work environment. Interview people from several different professions to gain perspective on new options and compare multiple careers. Informational interviewing will help you in choosing a career path or confirming a previously made decision and also expands your professional network.

3. Re-evaluate Yourself:
Summer is the perfect time to do a little self-assessment and set or modify your career objectives. Think about your best skills and how they can be used in your desired career. Confirm your continuing interest and passion in your field of study and intended profession. Identify areas where improvement may be necessary to fulfill your goals and develop a plan of action. For help with all of these, visit an advisor or counselor at Career Development Services. We encourage walk-in visits where no appointment is necessary between noon and 4 and welcome appointments for anytime during the day.

So, let’s re-think the original question…you are just itching to start a job or get your hands dirty volunteering, right? Of course you are now that you know how important the summer break can be in your future career success! Every day presents an opportunity for you to hone and expand your qualifications and accomplish more goals in your quest to be a successful professional. Don’t let these opportunities pass by while you are focused on catching up on some zzzzzz’s.

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