This summer we all have a little more time to fill.
Covid-19 has meant that a lot of the usual events we enjoy doing aren't able to go ahead. Mass gathering? Not happening I'm afraid.
So you've got a whole lot of time that's opened up. So how are you going to fill it?
Here at Push we want to help you make sure the decisions you're making are the right ones for you. So with that free time why don't you do just that? Spend your time in front of your computer productively. One skill that is brilliant for you to begin learning how to build now (and will definitely come in handy for you in later life) is to start learning how to build your social capital.
So what is social capital? Well it's one slice of your employability. One piece of your 'rounded person' pizza (Round...like a pizza...get it?).
Social capital is the 'who you know'. Something that, while we sometimes wish wasn't as important, unfortunately is. Damn you nepotism.
Though it isn't all doom and gloom. Spend the summer having a think about what careers and industries you are interested in. It might be something creative, a company in your area, something your relatives do. Now is time to build your social capital.
It's easy to do with the beauty of the internet. Find a company that you're interested in working at and bang their name into google. The majority of official websites for companies will have a contact page in which you'll find their phone number and (hopefully) an email to contact them. Reach out to them with any questions you might have about the company itself, how people got there jobs there and possibly any apprenticeship programmes they may run and when you can apply for these. This is an extremely easy way to get your name out there. If you contact a company and later apply for a job there, there's a good chance they'll remember your name and you've already got one step ahead of your competition in the application process.
If you aren't looking to go into work straight away you can definitely build your social capital and research prospective courses and universities. Go onto any university page and find their staff member pages. You'll be able to find their contact details. It's as easy as that. Shoot them an email across and more than likely they'll be happy to get back to you.
Another way to start building your social capital is through websites and apps. Arguably the best professional networking site is LinkedIn. Here you're able to search for people by their name and company, find out their career path and see how they got to where they are. It allows you to connect with these people to see their updates and for them to see yours too. Recruiters also use it to scout new employees for companies, so if you haven't already, get looking to make a profile once you've started getting some work experience. If it doesn't help you out straight away, in a few years time, it most certainly will.
If you're in year 12 a new app called Zero Gravity is looking to link you up with a mentor to improve your social network and help you with your application to university. You can sign up for a free mentor here and get help with personal statements, applications and interviews, all while networking with someone who is already at university. Seems pretty cool eh? Check them out.
Still need help? Have a look at our student zone here or have a look at our Youtube video from our lead presenter Moj about how to sell yourself to employers and university once you've started to build those relationships.
ARON TENNANT is the Talks and Editorial manager for Push. He is originally from South Yorkshire and has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Sheffield. He also has an MA in Creative Play and Screenwriting from City, University of London and came runner up in Nickelodeon's international screenwriting competition in 2018. Alongside Push he does screenplay work for independent production companies and is working on his own independent film projects
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