The end of school is almost here, rushing towards us faster than a freight train. And after a long year at school, the summer holidays are your well-earned break. I hereby give you permission to relax, recover and recharge, ready for next year. You should never feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to, but it’s quite a long break (especially when compared to the tiny 4 weeks a year you’ll get when you’re working full time), and there’s a chance here for you to use your time wisely.
Be smart and plan ahead
Although it probably feels like the last thing you want to think about right now, planning for the next school year (and beyond) is a seriously intelligent move. It can pay to have a look through the syllabus for the following year. You don’t have to start studying right now, but being familiar with what’s coming up next year will give you a bit of a head start when you go back to school. Another really simple step you can take is to start thinking about your resume.
Wondering what a resume is all about?
A resume or CV is basically a summary of your education, work experience and skills. Potential employers who’ve never met you will use it to decide whether to interview you when you’ve applied for a job.
So it’s got to be amazing, because let’s face it – there’s a lot of competition out there.
Unless you start a job with your family’s business straight out of school and work there your whole life, you’re going to need a resume.
Most likely you’ll need your resume many times throughout your working life, you’ll just need to update it each time you want to use it. Developing the ability to create a great resume now will stand you in good stead for your future.
Start with reading our blog about ‘How to build your resume’ at http://studyworkgrow.com.au/
Have some fun
Building that resume doesn’t have to be a chore, it could be fun too.
Think about your hobbies and interests and get creative with ways you can incorporate those into something constructive for your future.
Not as easy as it sounds? You might be overthinking, so here’s some ideas to inspire you.
Would you like to travel, learn more about the world you live in, experience different cultures and learn new languages?
Well as a student you probably can’t afford to just take yourself off on fancy holidays, but have you thought about being an exchange student?
You can pick and choose where you think you’d like to go and even how long you’d like to commit for. Check out these links for more information.
- Student Exchange Australia – New Zealand
- AFS Australia
- Youth for Understanding (YFU)
- Rotary Australia New Zealand Student Exchange
- Southern Cross Cultural Exchange
There is a cost involved, and if your parents aren’t able to help you out then you can plan on getting a part time job or holding fundraisers to get there – imagine how good that’s going to look to potential employers. You can apply for sponsorships for some of the programs too.
If you’re interested in learning more but can’t see yourself living overseas just now you could maybe convince your parents to become a host family for an exchange student coming to Australia. Help your parents prepare for your visitor and organise a memorable visit for all concerned – then include the experience on your resume and highlight your project planning, implementation and management skills.
Another option is to look into youth outdoor programs like Outward Bound. Your family could join you as well, making it great for your CV, for yourself and family bonds.
Upskilling is basically learning something new.
You’ve two ways of going about this – choose something you already enjoy and find a course, holiday program, or voluntary role that will help you expand your knowledge base.
Or, think of something that you’ve not tried before but you’re interested in having a go at (added bonus if it’s going to teach you a valuable life skill). This could include sewing, learning a language or just about anything else you can think of.
Get inspired and find out what’s on offer by looking at:
- TAFE – for short courses
- Local council libraries, museums, art galleries
- Drama Schools
- Sports Clubs
- Language schools
- Local volunteering organisations
- On-line home learning – FutureLearn, Open2Study, Craftsy
- Eventbrite has loads of options for you to explore too
Benefit yourself and others
Thought about volunteering?
Volunteering and giving back to your community is not only a great addition to your resume, it can benefit the people around you as well.
You could get heaps out of it as well, and learn new skills like first aid, management, training, and project co-ordination. Plus, you’ll meet new people and build your network.
Have a look around your local area and see what’s available; you’ll probably be amazed. There’ll be conservation, gardening, youth, old age, homeless and other worthy causes you can get involved with.
Helping out at events (a top way to get close to the action without paying for tickets), all kinds of construction programs, the options really are endless.
If you love animals see if you can help out at your local animal shelter, or check with local wildlife carers or even become a qualified carer yourself.
Here’s a few sites to get you started if your interest has been piqued:
- Volunteering Australia
- AFS Australia
- Go Volunteer
- Australian Aid
- Wildlife Warriors
- Australian Wildlife Conservancy
- Conservation Volunteers Australia
It doesn’t have to be official for your time to be well spent. Wondering what I mean? Well you can set yourself a goal to run 10K’s, beat all your PB’s in swimming, or make and sell your own artwork or crafts.
Create a project out of something you love.
Whether you’re a technical whizz, budding chef, or the next Jamie Durie in the making, now’s your chance to indulge your passion. By treating it as a project with some planning and minimal reporting (you could even blog your progress) you will create something fun to do over the holidays that can also look great on your resume. Here’s a few more ideas to spark your imagination:
- Build some furniture for your room / refurbish an old bike / build a computer
- Harness your inner entrepreneur and start a business – sell slime, make friendship bracelets, fix other people’s stuff, tutor other kids in your year if you’re doing great at school
- Start a blog, YouTube channel and write relevant articles, review toys / music / films / computer games, make home movies or animated stories
- Ask your parents if you can help them out and make a bit of extra money by managing more of the household responsibilities from gardening, car washing, cleaning and cooking meals to organising holidays and activities for all of you to enjoy
Don’t forget to put it all on your resume
Whatever you do, it counts towards your personal development and adds skills to your already existing set.
So, make sure you add it to your resume and give it that professional spin that will entice prospective employers to give you a fair go.
Still stuck for ideas?
Have a chat with your mates, teachers and parents to see what they are planning or what they used to get up to in the holidays.
Most importantly – have fun!