Although we all like to think of summer as a time to unwind and free our minds from school, writing papers, and taking exams, in the adult world summertime doesn’t mean taking a break from work. The further we get into our studies, the closer we are to graduation, which also means the closer we are to starting our future careers. Sure, summer can be a time of relaxation, freedom, and fun; but, summer can also get boring if there’s nothing to do. Whether you plan on spending your time at home, at the beach, or working a summer job, there’s no time like the summer to start career planning for next year!
I know I sound funny when I say that summer is a great time to start career planning, but it is a perfect time. No distractions, no priorities, just you and your laptop being able to research possible career opportunities. For some students, this period is when internships are taking place. However, even if you’re involved in a summer internship, you can still start planning for your future, especially if you don’t necessarily think the field you’re currently in suits you! There are several ways to start career planning during the summertime that you can do right from your personal computer. These include:
- Working on creating your professional documents: Professional documents include things like resumes, cover letters, and reference materials. The goal is to make sure these are created, updated, and ready to go for the fall semester or even beforehand.
- Fine-tuning online portfolios, websites, and social media accounts: Expanding your LinkedIn profile and cleaning up your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages are crucial when career planning. Summer is about rejuvenation, so go ahead and take this time to clean up yourself a little bit!
- It’s never too late to volunteer and give back to others: If you don’t have any volunteer experience on your resume, now is the time to start. Summer is the perfect time to volunteer – whether it be as a lifeguard, summer camp mentor, tutor, or at the local homeless center, now is the time to get involved. Volunteer work stands out on resumes more than anything else because it shows how willing you are to donate your time and energy to others because you want to.
- Simply use the Internet to your advantage! Googling is the best pastime anyways, right? Feel free to Google different careers and look further into career specialties. Interested in medicine? Look further into what type of medicine: orthopedic, surgical, pediatric. Interested in criminal justice or fashion? Look further into prosecution, politics, fashion merchandising, or fashion design. There’s always the next step, don’t be afraid to take it!
You may not know what you go into or you may know completely. Regardless, there’s always room to explore more options. More so, the best idea when career planning is to be ahead of the game. That way, when you do find a field that interests you or seems to be calling your name, you’re ready to go! Summer is here and it’s time to relax, breathe, and have some fun. But, summer is here, and that also means to take some time to be professional, too!
Georgina, aka Gina, is currently a junior at IU, majoring in family studies and sociology. Raised in Phoenix, AZ and South Bend, IN, she couldn’t be happier to be at IUB! Her passions include dance, working out, cooking, and spending time with friends, bf, family, and her cats Shadow and Mocha She plans to become a Marriage & Family therapist while working with issues like racism and inequality. Fun fact: she can’t start her day without a nice cup of coffee…or three, but who’s counting?