Those of you who are current students will, quite rightly, be focused on completing remaining coursework, preparing for and completing exams. Once these milestones are out of the way, we will inevitably find ourselves with more time at home which, in many cases means having more free time.
Most of you won’t remember a 1970s show called ‘Why don’t you just switch off your TV and go and do something less boring instead’. Always shown at the start of the long summer holidays, it was filled with interesting ideas for things to do. OK so this was in the days before smart phones, computer games, binge watching and box sets (who doesn’t love a Netflix drama) but the idea still holds true. What else can we be doing to make the most of our time, while staying safe?
There are so many ways you can develop and expand your skill set, reflect on what you are looking for in your career, build your online profile, practice your interview skills and build new connections with alumni, all from your armchair.
Ahead of our sessions over the summer which will help you do all of the above, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Online career exploration tools / thinking about what’s important to you
Before deciding which career is right for you, you need to figure out what’s important to you, your strengths, and the skills you most enjoy using. Doing this means taking the time to reflect. There are a range of online tools to help you explore what roles and sectors might suit you. Have a look at the career planning pages of our website where you’ll find some useful links to various tools.
Build your online alumni network
Researching career paths on LinkedIn and connecting with alumni from your academic department and LSE more generally can be a useful way of building up knowledge about sectors and possible career paths. As we continue to build connections through online networking, why not reach out to alumni doing work you’re interested in and see if you can set up a virtual coffee chat? See if they would be happy to speak to you for 20 minutes via Skype or Zoom about the work they do. If you’re not familiar with the alumni search facility on LinkedIn, here’s a recent LSE Careers talk on using LinkedIn which includes a step-by-step guide to how to connect with alumni using the platform.
Enhance your skill set through online learning
Online courses are a great way of learning new skills and taking existing ones to a higher level. There are so many sources of online learning including LinkedIn Learning, online coding courses and MOOCs. A couple to mention here to get you started include OpenLearn with the Open University and Google Digital Garage which includes courses in data, digital marketing and tech. These are online, free and available on demand so are a great way of trying something new with no risks attached. Languages and coding also lend themselves to online platforms. There are multiple language apps like Duolingo you can try out. Free online coding courses include codeacademy and Coursera.
Get your LinkedIn profile up-to-date
I’m sure most of you are familiar with LinkedIn and already have an online profile. But is LinkedIn working for you as well as it could? There’s lots of useful information on LinkedIn for students on creating effective summaries and headlines. Would now be a good time to revisit and maybe update yours? You can book a Skype appointment on CareerHub to discuss your LinkedIn profile with a Careers Consultant.
Try out virtual volunteering
No, I didn’t really know such a thing existed until recently. Do check out this great post by Dave from our Volunteer Centre about ways you can support others during this difficult time. In addition to ways you can help ‘on the ground’ there’s lots of ideas about online volunteering and plenty of useful links. You can read Dave’s post here.
Be an online influencer
Of course there’s a myriad of ways that you can share content online and be an ‘influencer’ – from Instagram to YouTube! More broadly though, why not take some steps to share articles and hot topics you are reading about with others who are interested in similar areas. LinkedIn is a great platform to do this. It’s also useful to join Groups and to be active by commenting on and sharing posts. Not only will you be engaging in meaningful professional conversations and keeping up to date, you’ll also be activating your LinkedIn algorithms and appearing more prominently in search results. Just make sure your profile is updated first.
Keep up-to-date on social media
There’s a lot of uncertainty at the minute and it’s hard to predict what might happen over the summer. One of the ways you can help manage this uncertainty is to make effective use of social media platforms such as Twitter. Follow employers and organisations that you’re interested in for up-to-date information about recruitment, schemes and deadlines to ensure that you’re ready to act when the time comes.
Practice using online career tools
Whether you want to improve your psychometric testing ability, experience a video interview or practice a case interview there’s an online tool to help!
More employers than ever are using video interviewing platforms. Our Interview Stream subscription enables you to set up a virtual interview, record yourself and then review. Watching yourself back can be helpful and point out things you might not be aware of. CaseCoach has short videos and practice cases. Even something as simple as recording answers to questions on your phone and playing them back can really help improve your technique. Keen to practice psychometric tests? Then Graduates First has plenty of different tests you can take. Explore all the online career tools we have available to LSE students here.
Keep connected with LSE Careers
- The LSE Careers website has plenty of resources to help you think about your next steps including specialist sector resources, application advice, video interviews and gamification.
- All career discussions are bookable 7 days in advance via CareerHub and take place via Skype. You can also send your career questions to the team using the online question facility on CareerHub.
- Finally, don’t forget, you can keep up to date with our latest news and resources by following us on social media, you can find us @lsecareers on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.