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New Year, new start. If you are one of those students who is guilty of procrastinating on career progress (and even if you’re not) January can be a great time to start forging ahead with all the energy that the New Year brings. And it is really important to remember that while the idea of career can feel huge and overwhelming, there are plenty of ways that we can break this down into short, manageable chunks that will allow us to feel that we are moving in the right direction. Consider whichever of the following may feel right for you:
- Update your CV. Are you making the most of everything you can offer? (and remember that most recruiters will only spend 5 seconds reading it). Does your CV look professional and presentable? Have you refreshed it to include any new skills developed last term? Have you had it reviewed by a Careers Consultant?
- Get started with LinkedIn. While this may feel like a platform for seasoned professionals, the smart kids are the ones who already have profiles created and are starting to make real life connections. Remember that LinkedIn can also be a great way to research interesting employers and the people working for them.
- Research the possibilities. It’s a big wide world out there, with new careers being created all the time. The career landscape is never static which is why it is important to keep on top of the options through active research. MySOAS offers excellent information on a range of industry areas to get your started.
- Attend events and start face-to-face networking. Getting talk-time with employers can be one of the best ways of finding out whether careers really feel exciting and intriguing to you. Visit some of the careers events put on at SOAS not only to hear about different employers and industries but to network with some of their key recruitment decision makers.
- Upskill, upskill, upskill. From a graduate recruitment perspective it really is about being able to evidence a range of skills and competencies. Don’t forget that we can develop skills in all kinds of ways – through our studies, roles in societies, internships and extra-curricular activities. Volunteering can be another great way of gaining skills – the careers service offers a volunteering drop-in service every Friday between 2-4pm.
Ticking off a number of these career resolutions will ensure that you are not only making the best start possible to the New Year, but that you create the momentum to help you continue through the forthcoming months.
Hannah is a Career Consultant