Many of us are getting ready for the holiday and a nice winter break. The holidays are a great time to catch up with friends and family (as well as catch up on sleep!). But after the first few days of relaxation and overeating, you might find yourself a bit bored and looking for something to do. Instead of sitting around and letting the weeks go by, here are some tips to make your winter break more productive:
1. Touch base with the “influencers” in your life. Are there colleagues who have gone out of their way to show you the ropes? Instructors or classmates who are always there to lend advice? Take time this winter to connect with a written note or via social media. You never know when these contacts might come in handy. Make sure to keep the relationship reciprocal. Pass on information that you think they might find useful and keep the dialogue open. Many wonderful opportunities come from personal and professional contacts and networking.
2. Refresh your resume. If you’ve completed a Professional Development or Career course; make sure to include that information and skill set on your resume. If you’ve volunteered or attended any webinars or training sessions, include those as well.
3. Apply for scholarships. Explore possible scholarship offerings using search engines such as CheggVisit your school’s website to explore any other scholarship or grant listings posted there that you may qualify for.3.
4. Fine-tune your spring semester schedule. You may have already enrolled in your courses for the spring semester, but now is a great time to make sure that the schedule you selected works best for you and your work/life commitments. Visit Rate My Professors to get a feel for the professors on your schedule. You may have the option of selecting a professor that appears to fit your learning style.
5. Volunteer. While the need for volunteers is year round; the holidays often offer a break in our busy day-to-day schedules and actually free up time to help organizations in need.
6. Learn a new skill. There are plenty of opportunities for skill building. Consider taking one of our four-week, instructor-led online courses on a topic of interest. Or seek out and attend workshops in your area.
7. Explore and join professional organizations. Explore different professional organizations in your field of interest. Making these connections might give you inside access to job openings, networking events, articles of interest to those in your industry, etc.
8. Read a book for pleasure. Visit your local bookstore or library and browse. Pick whatever peaks your interest, take it home and curl up in a comfortable spot and get lost in the story.
9. Find a short-term internship or ask to shadow a professional in the field you are interested in. Shadowing will allow you to discover what a typical day in that field entails, what’s required of employees, and what skills or knowledge you need to gain to improve your chances of becoming successful in this field. This will also give you invaluable experience and yet another item to add to your resume!
10. Now is a good time to do some organizing in preparation for the New Year. Take some time and organize your school work. Clean out emails from your account and organize notes so that you are better prepared for the work still to come.