This summer is looking to be quite different to what we’re used to. Some lockdown restrictions are beginning to be lifted as we head back towards a bit of normality but things aren’t, and likely won’t be, the same as they were before.
Nonetheless there’s ways you can be using the summer to improve your skillset.
Part time jobs are usually a particularly good way to start getting introduced into the world of work and developing your soft skills for your eventual career. From the 15th June, England began the reopening of non-essential shops which could potentially open the opportunity to find this kind of work if you’re comfortable and feel safe in doing so. This could be working at a local shop or cafe, although remember some particular industries are unlikely to be hiring at the moment but essential shops such as supermarket are still looking for help so ask around your local area for these kind of opportunities.
In a situation where we’re all in this together, you should be using the time in a way that means you didn’t just sit in doing nothing for other people during the pandemic. Companies will be asking what you did during 2020 to help out the people around you, so have a look in your local community. See how you can help out people more vulnerable than yourself.
This doesn’t have to be strangers either. Make sure you’re keeping in touch with your family and friends. Give your elderly relatives a call to make sure they’re ok and have everything they need. A little kindness will go a long way right now and improve your skillset without you even realising it. Your communication, initiative and empathy will all show you have a better attitude to work and life, making you appeal to employers and potential universities, even more when it comes time to start writing applications and covering letters.
With so many businesses responding to the pandemic by moving their services online. Now is the perfect time to see how you can improve your skills without even leaving your home. Have a look at any low cost or free online courses you can do right now to improve your Maths and English, maybe even broaden your horizons and learn a new language! Future Learn and the national careers service website are good places to start for these kind of courses so take a look if anything you're interested in is offering this.
It doesn’t have to just be school related though. With the additional free time perhaps try a hobby that you’ve been interested in for a while but never gotten around to trying.
Maybe you’ve watched a lot of the Great British Bake off and fancy your chances in the tent, maybe you’ve always fancied yourself a bit of a painter, get involved in an online painting class. Have a look what is being offered at the moment, the skills you pick up from doing any of your hobbies is something that you can use to highlight how well-rounded you are. It only means looking on Youtube or Facebook but there's a lot of things being offered right now.
The more you can offer an employer or university, the higher the chance they’re going to consider you a useful asset to their institution. Remember you have to prove why they should accept you, so you may as well use this time to give them as many reasons to say yes as you can.
Take a look at our video from actress, comedian and Push presenter Lorna discussing how to develop your soft skills
If you want more advice and tips on living in the Covid age have a look at our daily minute motivations here that are uploaded to our Instagram account and subscribe to our youtube channel advice videos, and our monthly newsletter.
ARON TENNANT is the Talks and Editorial manager and designated GDPR Data Controller 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 a MA degree in Creative Play and Screenwriting from City, University of London and came runner up in Nickelodeon's international screenwriting competition in 2018 and his short film ''Donkey Tooth' was screened at the London Raindance Film Festival in 2018. He is IMDB credited and alongside Push he does screenplay work for independent production companies and is working on his own independent film and theatre projects and writes articles for JumpcutOnline.com
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