How to Optimize Your Career This Winter Break

There’s no better way to end the worst week of the year, finals week, than with a long break filled with no schoolwork. Unless your school offers a winter session and you’re taking courses, winter break is like no other. The combination of Christmas cookies, chilly winter days spent under the covers and a lack of homework provides the ultimate time to rejuvenate before busting your behind during spring semester. So yes, take advantage of being able to lay around and watch Netflix inconsequentially. However, these few weeks of nothingness can be your secret to success if you use them right. With the extra free time, work on things that you normally wouldn’t have time to during the semester. Here’s a few suggestions of what you could work on over break:

Learn New Programs

winter break - learn programs

It’s officially the age of technology. With that comes an array of programs and applications that allow us to leverage our creative and intellectual ideas to new levels. Unfortunately, you can’t learn most of these programs overnight but winter break provides the free time to do so. Also, having a well working knowledge of certain programs can boost your resume. Learning programs like Photoshop and InDesign, for example, would be very helpful if you want to pursue a career in publishing or design. Moreso, the ability to maneuver these programs gives you more latitude to pursue more things in life. Luckily, since the programs are often pricey, most programs offer trial periods on their sites. 

Work on Your Resume

winter break - resume

Resumes are one of those things that always have room for improvement. In school, it’s easy to neglect your resume given how busy we always are. Winter break provides the necessary time sit down and cut and paste away at one of the most important tools for developing your career. Feeling lost? Email your adviser or, if your school provides one, a career counselor for any advice or tips. It’s their job to help students with these sorts of problems.

Find an Internship

winter break - find internships

It’s rather hard to create a resume if you don’t have much to put on it. Internships are a good place to start. Use winter break as a time to sort through internships that might suit you. Regardless of your career interest, there is likely an internship that would show you the ropes. An internship is not only a resume booster, but a tool that allows you to explore an option before diving right in. Some popular internship finding sites include Indeed, LinkedIn, and Internships.com. Additionally, some schools offer help with finding and landing an internship. Just email your adviser.

Start a Blog

winter break - start blog

Blogs are underestimated. If used properly, a blog can provide the foreground for self expression. Regardless of your passions or interests, blogging allows you to display your skills on an accessible platform. It can also give companies and employers an idea of who you are well before any interviews. Additionally, starting a personal blog is also a fun and informal way to boost your creative abilities. Whether you’re into plant biology, space exploration poetry, or contemporary art- your blog is waiting to be created and many would love to read it.

I hope these ideas to get ahead in your future career over winter break help you out! What internships are you interested in? What kind of blog would you love to start? Leave us a comment below!

Julia Aldrich

About Julia Aldrich

Hi, I'm Julia Aldrich and I'm a student at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in psychology and creative writing. I enjoy travelling, sleeping, going to festivals, and of course writing- but I'm rather impartial to poetry. I'm also a veg so I'm obligated to let you know.

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