6 Ways to Maximize Your Career Development During Semester Break

Do you have winter break plans? It would be ideal to find time in your schedule to strategically think about your career plans. Here are six ideas to maximize your time and prepare for your future.

1. Shadow

Job shadowing is an excellent way to learn more about a position, company, and/or industry. It allows job seekers to observe an employee during their typical routine to understand the job duties for the position.

2. Research Careers

Are you still unsure about your career path? The Center for Career Development offers an assessment tool to help you explore occupations. Visit Focus 2 to begin your personalized career plan. If you are a graduate student consider using ImaginePhD and MyIDP to explore career fields.

3. Prepare your Documents

Update your application documents such as your résumé or CV. Have you developed a LinkedIn profile? It should be updated regularly to include projects, blogs, new jobs, additional skills, etc. If you plan to pursue further education, you can work on your personal statements for graduate school, medical school, or law school.

4. Network & Make Connections

Reach out to UConn alumni on the Husky Mentor Network for an informational interview. Find alumni who completed the same major or link up with someone in a field that you want to explore. Write to them and set a time to speak about the position they are in and the path they took to get where they are. In addition to the Husky Mentor Network, you can also connect with alumni on LinkedIn in a similar manner.

5. Review Job Postings

Visit Handshake, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other job boards to read current jobs postings. Review the qualifications section to gain a sense of what employers are looking for in terms of skills, knowledge, and experiences. Then you can determine, in the time remaining to graduation, if you need to develop additional skills and experience to qualify for a position.

6. Becoming Career Ready

Do you feel that you have gained the skills to be ready to work in a professional environment?  Employers identify eight competencies that are essential to be career-ready. These include critical thinking/problem solving, teamwork/collaboration, professionalism/work ethic, oral/written, communications, career management, global/intercultural fluency, leadership, and digital technology. The break is a great time to identify the skills you have, learn how to articulate your transferable skills, and consider how and where to build skills that you lack. Consider taking the Am I Career Ready? assessment to learn more about your strengths.

Set up a Career Coaching Appointment with the Center of Career Development to discuss any of the above options.

By Desiree Martino
Desiree Martino Career Coach