What should I be doing over the summer?

If you are worried that your career planning will lose momentum over the summer, take five minutes to read the latest blog from our Employability Adviser, Jo Cooksley.  Jo will put your mind at ease with some great advice and some quick, practical activities that will help keep things going at a pace that works for you.

When I see students in one-to-one careers meetings I am often asked ‘what should I be doing over the summer’. My answer? ‘What do you want to do?’

It can be easy to forget that your time is your own, you have had busy challenging years and sometimes we can lose track of what we want to do as we are so busy thinking about what we should be doing.

“As a careers adviser (and a human!) I am a great advocate of the importance of aligning your interests, passions and career aspirations. The more aligned they are the happier you will be.”

When was the last time you really thought about what you want to do after Uni? It can be easy to be swept along with recruitment timelines (more on that later) particularly when studying a subject such as Law which has such a clear recruitment trajectory. This can be very reassuring, until perhaps your timeline and the recruiters timelines start to diverge, maybe you haven’t got the vac scheme you thought you would, or the Training Contract offer. This can be immensely unsettling.

So…why not take some time to really examine what your options are and what interests you. The next question I am usually asked when I say this is ‘but how do I do that’? It is too easy at this point to just grind to a halt, it’s such a vast thing to think about. My suggestion is you do something, almost anything, just keep taking the next step. Below are some suggestions and resources to help you take the next step.

So where to start?

Timetable in some careers time, maybe a Wednesday afternoon? Couple of hours on a Saturday morning? Doing some planning/researching is better than none and will help you to feel more in control.

The Careers Service has lots of resources to help you. Take a look at its ‘Exploring Career Options’ resources.

Maybe you could take a look at the Sector Guides that are available, which provide a summary of key information and starting points to help you explore a range of careers including Advertising, Publishing, policy, TV and Media and MANY more.

Start to engage with others working in areas you think might interest you.

Set up/improve your LinkedIn profile or sign up for the University Bristol Connects Service.

But I need to earn some money this summer…

You are also likely to need to work over the summer to earn some money, don’t underestimate how positively employers will view the less obviously relevant, paid work you undertake. If you need some help articulating the skills you develop in this work for future employers, why not book a careers appointment?

“So, in response to ‘what should I do this summer’… have a break, earn some money and take some time to think about what you’d really like to do.”


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