Strategic Ways For Students to Jump-start Their Career This Summer

Posted June 30, 2015 by
Create Your Future card with a beach background

Create Your Future card with a beach background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Summer is the time for students to relax and have fun. After all, a whole year of studying is not a joke. But if you want to secure a healthy career right after college, you have to spend your summer wisely before you lose the chance.

Planning for the future this early is great for your success. You’ll gain experience early and boost your confidence when you start a real job. Experience is the key in establishing a good foundation for your career. And the earlier you build it, the more competent you become, no matter what job or career path you take.

There are plenty of ways to establish your career. Here are some of the activities you can do this season:

Find a Part-time Job

A part-time job this summer can gain you plenty of work experience while also earning extra income. Most of these jobs are in service-oriented businesses, so if you are thinking of becoming a manager or business owner, this is a good stepping-stone. You can also look for online part time work like writing, virtual assistance and proofreading, which are perfect for students looking for a career in writing. Plenty of businesses are hiring during summer, so it is quite easy to land a job.

Join Volunteer Programs

Do you know that applicants who volunteer have a 27% chance of getting hired compared to people who do not? This finding is based on a 2002 and 2012 study by The Corporation for National and Community Service. The report, Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment, agrees and reiterates that applying skills in volunteer jobs, “demonstrate higher levels of capacity,” which makes them “more attractive to and productive for employers.”

Only few people last on volunteer programs because they work without getting paid. But this showcases their dedication and endurance. Volunteering is quite dreary but the skills and experience you can gain from it is beneficial to career growth.

Take a Summer Class

It may be the end of school, but it doesn’t mean you cannot enroll in classes that can launch your dream career. There are plenty of summer classes that can teach you a variety of skills and advance theories. Like if you want to become a designer, look for Illustrator and Photoshop classes. While, if you want to be part of the IT industry, coding and programming classes are right for you.

Aside from the traditional summer classes, you can also take online courses from sites like OpenLearn or Coursera. They offer courses that range from Engineering, Academic Writing, Marketing to many other subjects. These sites also provide hundreds of free courses, which you can take in the comfort of your home.

Alternatively, you can take summer camps like Science Camps of America, which lets you visit volcanoes and observatories in Hawaii. Or The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which provides science and robotics camp around the country.

Look for Internship Programs

A quick search online, and you’ll see a list of the best internship programs. Internships are career specific, so it is highly beneficial in landing a job.

There are paid and unpaid internship programs. Studies show that 60% of students taking paid internships get a 60% chance of turning that internship into a job offer. While, unpaid interns only have a 30% chance of getting hired. Don’t worry though because good programs, paid or not, can help you gain confidence to go toe to toe with experienced employees. The skills you gain from these programs make you a reliable new hire.

Meet New People

There is no better time to build your social circle than this summer when you have so much time to do plenty of activities and meet new people.

When building your professional network, think about the quantity and quality of the people in your circle. The idea is to build a diverse network from different industries, backgrounds, age groups, and skills to get better career opportunities. However, Jay Conrad Levinson, author of Guerrilla Networking reminds that “meeting people can do nothing for you if you yourself have nothing interesting to offer.” So connect with people of the same mindset, and both learn from each other.

Note that a good networking does not end in social media, neither at first interaction. Be consistent and maintain communication.

Read Books

If you hate spending summer outside the house, you can still prepare for your dream job by reading books. Get insights from career reinvention and success strategy books that talk about the latest trends and in demand skills. Reading also teaches you skills and knowledge that will prevent you from making career mistakes.

Summer is the best time to jump-start your career because of the extra time given to you. Students are not bound by classes, professors, and projects, so you have plenty of opportunities to improve your skills, gain experience and improve confidence. All of this can be achieved by doing the summer activities mentioned above.

How you act today can determine your success in the future, so spend your summer wisely and plan ahead.

About the author:

Ethan Harvell is a writer and a marketing associate for Bestessays, an editing service company that assists students and job hunters. He loves reading self-help and career books when he is not busy.

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