College breaks are here! Like every other year, you brace yourself to fall happily into a state of holiday limbo, where you beach-bum it out in your backyard and catch up on all the episodes of Game of Thrones. And we get it – vacations do that to you. But, for students who are on the brink of bidding adios to college life and start the gruelling job-hunt, you should probably take this time to work and build on yourself, so that on the morning after graduation, you’re ready to take on the world!
So get off that sofa and switch off Netflix. Wake up with a sense of purpose and try and make your day productive, so that by the time you’re tucking yourself in, you feel good about yourself.
Get yourself into some work
It could be an internship, it could be a freelance gig or it could even be a social project your friend brainstormed on that train ride home. But whatever it is, do it. Discover where your real interests lie and maximise on them. This will save you from tons of confusion and bad decisions later. Sweat it out for a month and work those weekends, and by the time you’re done, you’ll know exactly where you want to be in a year’s time. And once you know, get in there and own it!
Test different waters
Work in two completely different fields, try and inter-connect them and make it a story worth telling. Learn both trades and see which one you’d pick if you had a gun to your head. Take something home from both, and maybe use them for a third field. Explore the contours of your imagination and your skills, and you’ll find yourself narrowing down on exactly what you really want to do.
Build your network
The first thing you’re taught in a new job is the importance of building your own network. It takes weeks, even months, to find just two really trustworthy individuals who can help you out in the long run. So, start early. Get on LinkedIn and get in touch with your idols, speak to people in the companies you want to work at, plan out those lunches and coffees and make them remember you. Some might be busy, and some won’t even respond to you. But keep at it because you have nothing to lose, and only much to gain. So track them down and ask whatever is on your mind. When the time comes for the hundred interviews to begin, you’ll know whom to call.
Research like nobody’s business
We’re talking about noting down even what Ambani’s favourite time of the day is. Don’t leave a single stone unturned. Make a list of the all the companies you want to apply at, check out their returns and reach, their revenue structures and their 5-year plans. Compare, make a pros and cons list and find common links to them. Track down people from these companies, use social media to reach out to them and have your notes ready. These will be your ammunition for when you’re out of college.
Keep recreating yourself
Start a blog, pen down your thoughts and ask people to give you feedback. Learn a few software, take some online classes, follow the market, pick up the guitar – just keep recreating and rediscovering yourself. Don’t stop at anything, don’t hold back for anyone.
It is time to get off that bean bag, drop the X-box joystick and open up the blinders, just so that the sun is not too harsh when you are forced to stand out in the open.
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