Updated: May 10, 2021
Winter break is right around the corner! It’s the perfect time to catch up on sleep, pick up a hobby or curl up inside to escape the colder weather.
It’s also an excellent time to make progress on your professional and career development. Remember: it’s never too late to get started. Here are some actionable steps you can take this winter break!
Start with a little self-reflection: Taking time to reflect on your interests, skills and values is vital in order to find an internship, job or career that is a good fit for you. The following questions can help:
Personal interests: What do you enjoy doing? What are you passionate about?
Academic interests: What do you desire to learn or experience?
Career or grad school goals: Do you see yourself entering the workforce, or continuing your education?
Work values: What is important to you? What rewards do you seek?
Skills: What skills and previous experience do you have to offer? What skills do you want to develop or enhance?
Learn how to articulate your personal story: Knowing how to introduce yourself in a succinct and meaningful way (beyond your major!) is vital in order to capture an employer's attention. Start by answering these three prompts in 30-60 seconds to describe yourself right now:
What are you doing now?
What are you passionate about?
What would you like to do in the future?
Determine if your values align with organizations you’re interested in: Now that you know what your interests are and what you’re passionate about, it’s time to consider your work values. Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong values; rather, it is a process of identifying what matters most to you. Understanding your values will help you think about where and how you want to work. They can include:
Achievement/Advancement: With dedication and hard work, there is opportunity to “move up."
Balance: Personal and work life in proper perspective, with time for both.
Independence: The ability to determine the nature of my work without significant direction from others; being empowered and having the flexibility to make decisions.
For more values to consider, check out our article here.
Research organizations you’re interested in: Not only is it important to determine whether an organization aligns with your interests and work values, but it’s also important to DO YOUR RESEARCH! Know your audience! Researching potential employers is vital to an effective job search or interview. A few quick tips:
Tip #1: Look for companies that share your values
Tip #2: Learn about the company’s business operations
Tip #3: Research employee benefits the company provides
For more tips, check out our article here.
Wishing you a wonderful winter break! And remember: Career Services is here for you during every step of your professional and career development journey. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!
- The Job Lady at CSU