As you enter another year in education you should take the time to think about how you can use the next year to work on your employability.
Whether you are thinking of going to university, starting an apprenticeship or going straight into the workplace, there are lots of ways you can build your CV alongside your studies.
Make your school breaks count
The great thing about school and college is that you have lots of time out away from the classroom throughout the year. If you plan well now, you can slot in some valuable work experience in half-terms and holidays without it interfering with revision and coursework. Start contacting local businesses now to arrange some work-shadowing in the October break, or even Christmas.
Try new things
You have plenty of time ahead of you to build your perfect career, so now is a great time to try lots of different jobs or industries to get a taste of each. Use your network of family and friends and see if any of their jobs sound appealing to you. If one sparks your interest ask if you can do some temporary work in the office with them to see how the business and industry works, or even just have a chat with them about the best and worst things about their jobs. They will be more honest with you than any job advert!
Utilise your evenings
Obviously, you will have lots of school and college work to fill some of your free time, but you should make the most of the fact that you have most of your evening free whilst you can. Find your passion and dedicate a portion of your time each week to working on it. If you love drama then volunteer at a local amateur dramatics club. If you have an interest in science or engineering start a project like renovating an old car or piece of machinery. It may seem like you are just wasting study time, but you’ll realise that when it comes to interviews, these points of interest are what employers want to hear about. If you can talk about something that you have dedicated your own time to that wasn’t compulsory, you will show time-management skills, drive and enthusiasm, which are all music to employers ears.
The most important thing is to ensure that you plan your time well. If you know you will have a lot of coursework in one particular month give your personal interests a rest, but if you know you have a few free days coming up in a month’s time, put a plan into action to make them count for more than a trip to the beach or a day binge-watching films on Netflix. It will be worth it!
For more careers advice along with hundreds of internships, school leaver schemes, and graduate schemes, visit Milkround.