Christmas shopping, cookie baking and family events dominate the holiday season, but these prized weeks during December can also represent a break from the rigorous class, homework and work routine that college students must juggle each semester.
While students may feel tempted to stay glued to Netflix over Christmas break, they can make the most of this time by completing a simple activity each day to prepare them for the upcoming semester and their future careers.
On the first day of Christmas:
Set your short-term goals for the upcoming semester. Make sure they are SMART (specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related).
On the second day of Christmas:
Create or update your LinkedIn profile to establish your social media presence and connect with colleagues, friends and family to expand your network.
On the third day of Christmas:
Research professional business organizations on campus or in your community and commit to attending the next meeting or event in the new year.
On the fourth day of Christmas:
Subscribe to a professional print or online publication that will expose you to new trends and thought leaders in the industry.
On the fifth day of Christmas:
Explore summer internship opportunities to gain real world experience and better yet, apply early and contact the company’s HR rep to show your interest.
On the sixth day of Christmas:
Identify a mentor through your network of family and friends that can guide you through your post-college job search and beyond.
On the seventh day of Christmas:
Complete an online personality or skills test to help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses in your personal life and in the workplace.
On the eighth day of Christmas:
Commit to a professional development opportunity like the Dardis Academy training simulation to give you a competitive advantage in the job market.
On the ninth day of Christmas:
Give back to your community and volunteer at a non-profit that you can stay connected to beyond the holiday season.
On the tenth day of Christmas:
Update your resume to include all of your relevant job experience and have a trusted business professional provide feedback on the format and content.
On the eleventh day of Christmas:
Establish three to five long-term career goals that you can work toward over the next five to ten years and post them in a prominent location in your dorm room or apartment.
On the twelfth day of Christmas:
As your first lesson in work-life balance, sit back and relax with a hot cup of cocoa – you’ve earned it!
Photo credit: Jamie McCaffrey via Flickr