2018: Starting the Year Off Right for Your Career

For me personally, the holiday season is primarily a time to be surrounded by family, to celebrate Christmas with the people you love, and take the time to recover and relax from the bustle of the past year. For this reason, I tend not to think too much about looking for career-related opportunities during late December. However, as everyone knows, New Year’s is a time to begin new goals and make new resolutions (that can be kept!). It is also perfect occasion to start fresh and get back into looking at volunteering, extra-curricular, and job-related activities that will be sure to boost your CV and enhance the skills that will make you an adept professional in the working world.

CAPS Workshops

What better place to get you started than at CAPS itself? Workshops are plentiful and are targeted towards all students, including undergraduates, graduates, medical school applicants, grad school applicants, international students, etc. They cover everything from job searching to writing cover letters to finding summer internships. These workshops are so beneficial and definitely should be taken advantage of! CAPS workshops can be found here.

Working on Things You Need to Improve

Throughout the academic year, there are many opportunities to enhance the skills that are vital to success in your professional career. Public speaking, maintaining positive relationships, managing the work-life balance, and effective written and oral communication are just a few that you can work on as you progress through your classes and conferences. 

Weekly Volunteering

Schedules and time can be very tight after the initial first few weeks of the new semester, so it’s a challenge to manage both your studies and part-time work along with other responsibilities. Finding small things you can do to help, such as volunteering during the weekends, can have both a positive impact on the community but also be a way for you to build your CV when there just isn’t the time for jobs and internships.

Preparing Your Summer

Long summers mean that part-time jobs on campus, internships, volunteering abroad are all options and can be done for weeks and months at a time without the added stress of studying and preparing for exams. Because there are so many things to consider when choosing how you’ll make the most out of your summer (what you want to do; where you want to do it; how long you want to do it for; and the various application processes including sending CVs, skype call interviews, and organizing travel papers if traveling abroad is something you want to do), it’s important to prepare in advance. Begin searching online and talking to people early, so you can find what will be the best fit for you this summer in the smoothest way possible.

Try Something – even if it’s not directly related to what you want to do later

When you’re set on what you’d like to do in the future, it can feel like a letdown and step backwards to do something that appears unrelated to the field you’re interested in. This is part of the process – trust it. You will get something out of all you do for your future career, even if it may not seem like it at first. It may take time to land that first job you felt passionate about or that internship that you thought was well-suited to your abilities, but you will get there.

There are certain things you can do and actions to take, so that even when things feel a bit slow at the start of the year and when everyone becomes busy in March, you can continue to work on improving your skills and building a career path. It can be challenging, but whatever it is that you aim to accomplish in this new year, you can do! Happy New Year to all!

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