How to Spend Your Summer

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Finals are over! For those of you that are graduating, congratulations! You made it!

pexels-photo-65977For those of you that aren’t and are facing a four-month summer, here are some tips to make it through in a productive way.

  1. Find an internship. The benefit of having such a long summer is that you have room for a significant work experience – if you use the entire four months, it could even count for a co-op. A lot of already-established internships last for only one or two months, so you can split your summer between work experience and relaxation.
  2. Set up an independent project. If you can’t find an internship, try to come up with your own project! Hone in on an area that you want to further study and contact people that might serve as valuable sources of knowledge. If you’re staying around campus, Snell would be a great place to work as most of the student population will not be around.
  3. Research. Keep an eye out for research opportunities with past professors, PhD candidates, and department heads. Some research projects experience a lull over the summer if most of the work relies on students, but others thrive since research can be the main focus with classes temporarily on hold.
  4. See the world! If you have always longed to travel, now is your time. The academic year can be hectic and there is not much time to go abroad during the scheduled breaks, so the summer is a perfect time to travel to the other side of the world where it would take a week just to get over jetlag. Do some research, talk to friends about the best places to go, and make sure you have the finances available to travel.
  5. Go on a dialogue. Along the same lines of seeing the world, a dialogue would be a great opportunity to travel while doing concrete work and earning course credit at the same time. Take a look at Northeastern’s dialogue website at http://www.northeastern.edu/geo/dialogue/. All of the applications for this summer are closed, but look around for ones you might want to pursue in the summers ahead.
  6. Relax. The school semester is a stressful time so take advantage of the sun and lack of constant pressure to breathe for a moment. Go home, see family, and make memories. Refresh yourself and renew your scholarly spirit for the upcoming academic year.

 

 

Spring Cleaning for Your Social Media

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This post was authored by Ria Kalinowski

Spring is finally here! Flowers are blooming, students are graduating, and it’s time to dust off your social media accounts. Presenting your best self while job searching is extremely important. You need to make sure your social media presence is helping you do that. Here are some tips for cleaning up and improving your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles.Ria 1

LinkedIn

  • Update your photo! Make sure your picture is recent and professional.
  • Boost your Search Engine Optimization! Add industry specific keywords to your headline and summary. Adding relevant words increases the chance that your profile comes up when employers and recruiters search for potential employees.
  • Grow your network by joining groups! You can learn about what people in your industry are talking about and contribute to the discussion. You can also send direct messages to people who are members of the groups you are a part of.

Twitter

  • Improve your bio by including hashtags and keywords. You only have 160 characters!ria 2
  • Pin a tweet! You can select one of your tweets to stay at the top of your twitter updates. Choose a professional tweet that relates to your industry.
  • Update your list of people and companies to follow. Use your target list of companies and this article to focus the content you see on your twitter timeline.

Facebook

  • Weed through and delete or untag yourself from any unprofessional photos. You don’t want to lose a job opportunity because of inappropriate pictures on your profile!
  • Clean out your contacts: remove any friends that you are no longer in contact with or assign them to groups such as Acquaintances to limit their access to your profile.
  • Take control of your privacy! Go to your Privacy Settings and limit the sections of your profile that are public. In the Timeline & Tagging Settings you can also limit who can post to your timeline and be able to review any posts before they appear on your timeline!ria 3

The Path to Professional Fulfillment – Using Your VIPS

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Do you want to find a job that you will love?  If so, the key to is first discovering where your Values, Interests, Personality and Skills (VIPS) intersect. The self-awareness you will gain from getting to know these areas will help you make decisions that will lead you towards your career goals. Each decision you make may change the course of your professional path.  The key is to have confidence that each decision is the right one for you in that moment of your life.  The more awareness you have of your VIPS, the stronger your sense of self will be, which will guide your decision making toward professional fulfillment.computer-472016_1920

So how can you learn more about your own VIPS?   One way is to truly pay attention to how you feel with each decision you make, each opportunity you experience.  Is the feeling “right’?  If not, can you identify the reason why it is not? There are many opportunities to make different kinds of decisions.  With each decision you can learn a bit about yourself and to understand that the choices you make are deliberate and worthwhile. Each decision brings you to the next immediate step which will present opportunities you may not have considered.

Another way is through assessments. Yes, there are assessments you can take through the Career Development office that will help you develop a stronger understanding of these four areas of yourself and provide you with a much greater awareness of the following key areas necessary for professional fulfillment.  The four areas to consider are:

  1. Your values and how they were shaped.
  2. Incorporating your interests into a future career.
  3. The type of environment that would be a good fit for your personality.
  4. The skills you will want to use in your future job (not what you are good at, but what tasks you would want to perform).

In a sense, taking one or more assessment is a bit like taking a shortcut to self-discovery.

The people I meet now who love their jobs have found professional fulfillment.  They are energized by their work.  Someone said to me once that to truly understand if you love your job is to ask yourself, what parts of my job would I do for free and for which parts do I need to get paid.  Some of these people had a plan that they followed because perhaps they had started out with a bit more self-awareness.  But others have learned to recognize when their Values, Interests, Personality or Skills were not a match for that particular place or role and made a change.

My advice?  Try something, and reflect.  Ask yourself… does this fit in with my values?  Does this interest and energize me? Am I enjoying this?

Then, when the answers to these questions become “no”…

Make a decision, make a change.  This is scary, it’s effort, and it’s a possible risk.  Again, think about where the risk can take you and how much better your life will be.  Also ask yourself what the risk will be if you choose what might be the easier path and accept your circumstances.

If you repeat these steps with every new experience you will eventually know intellectually and intuitively what feels right and that is where you will grow and flourish.  The self-awareness you will gain by taking one or more assessments will help determine if the path you are on is the right one for you.  If not, your assessment results will serve as your virtual compass that will guide you.  This is how you will develop your VIPS.  If each decision you make is truly the right one in that moment, it will be just one step in a series that will ultimately lead you to your goal –professional fulfillment.  Right now you may not know what that will look like.  And that’s OK.

*Contact the Career Development office to learn more about the different self-assessments we offer.