Okay students, hopefully you’re finishing finals and celebrating the end of a fantastic semester. And hopefully, you learned, grew, and achieved in all the ways you wanted to that semester, as well as set you up to achieve even more in the coming months. January will bring a whole new year; it’s a fresh start to learn even more, grow even more, and accomplish even more.
Reading the blog is a great first step to doing that, but what are some of the other ways you can use the extra time of winter break to your advantage? There’s always the list of maker projects that you maybe didn’t get to over Thanksgiving break, but this year, our minds are focused on some more professional development activities. Many of the things we’re about to suggest are actually a great idea for not just students, but also for teachers and even parents! Whether or not your career goals are in manufacturing, engineering, science, or technology, the time is ripe for following your dreams and finding a job you love (see recent update by Governor Dave Heineman as an example.)
So, without further ado, here are a few ways you can take advantage of the season for more than just its holiday cheer. Squeeze in some of these during the Christmas cookies or snowy sledding days, and you’ll thank yourself later.
- Polish Your Resume: This is a valid tip for anyone, even if you have a job you like or won’t be applying for a job for another year or two. First of all, this takes time to do, and it’s best to have a solid window in which you can sit down at the computer and update– this time doesn’t always exist during the school year or workweek. Make sure that your volunteer work, career responsibilities, and personal information are all accurate. Make sure that the information you provide is marketable for your field. As we’ve talked about on the blog before, manufacturing positions require skilled laborers, and the industry is heading more in that direction every day! It’s helpful to have a great version of this on hand, and there are so many great resources for you to use online.
- Take a Tour: Obviously, many of these tours won’t be operating on Christmas Day, but find out if there’s a window in your break that coincides with a factory tour schedule (here’s a list of some of our favorites for example). Use your free days to see how things and products are made, meet the people who make them, and learn a little about the manufacturing industry in your area. Again, this is more difficult to do during limited time of the school year, but could help you discover a new passion or opportunity.
- Browse the Job Networks: Along with finding an internship, checking out specialized websites, and hitting up career fairs, one of the best things to take a few hours doing is look at job descriptions in the field you’re in. If you are actually applying for a job or internship, more power to you, but even if you aren’t? It’s good to have an idea of the requirements for positions you think you may one day be interested in, rather than applying for a job you thought you were qualified for only to find that you needed this class or this test to cinch it. Make a list now to prepare for a job application later, so that what you’re doing is tailored to an end goal of some sort. This can be specific, or it can be general, like teaching yourself coding skills or brushing up on a language.
Questions? Comments? Leave ‘em in the section below!