Mar 09

Turn Spring Break Into Your Lucky Break

Spring Break is next week, and while many undergrads will be traveling to faraway lands of sunshine and sand, the graduate students who are taking or teaching classes will enjoy having additional time to focus on other initiatives. In fact, next week can be one of the most productive job search opportunities, even if it’s structurally no different from any other week this semester. At this midpoint between January and May, take advantage of the chance to energize your job search by stepping away from your normal routines. We recommend a combination of the following in order to become #IrishReady.

  • Informational Interviews. Set them up now for next week. Reconnect with old colleagues, or meet with someone new to learn about their current career. While you should “always be networking (ABN)” every day anyway, use Spring Break to be inspired by these conversations. Can you set a goal to have two cups of coffee next week, one with someone new and one with someone from your past or present?
  • Spring clean your social media. If you are currently or soon to be on the job market, use Spring Break to review your social media profiles. Clean up any outdated information and remove anything that would convey an unprofessional or unfavorable image of yourself. Employers will check these platforms to learn about their interview candidates, do you really want those old party pictures from college influencing your current aspirations? Finally, if you haven’t already done so, start developing your LinkedIn profile. It’s the best overall platform for cultivating an online reputation as a professional and scholar.
  • Conduct career research. Use sites like VersatilePhD and the many others linked on our list of online Career Resources. Online research can be done at your convenience, and Spring Break offers additional time and convenience. Learn about the skills and backgrounds sought by employers in different sectors, gain insights into recommended ways to promote those skills on application documents, and discover growth industries that you can target for efficiency and success.
  • Ramp up your writing. While it is likely too late to register for next week’s Dissertation Boot Camp, Spring Break does offer the chance to renew your focus on finishing that chapter or turning last semester’s conference paper into a published article. Make it your goal to submit something by next Friday.
  • Attend local events. Staying in South Bend over Spring Break? Get out into the community and make connections that could help with #1 above. One such event is a lunch with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, hosted by the South Bend Young Professionals Network. YPN is the premier young professionals group in the region, providing professional development and networking opportunities for 21-39 year olds. If the busy schedule of the semester usually prevents you from getting involved, take advantage of break and check it out. Early bird registration discount ends March 11th.

Whether Spring Break is a chance for you to put your classes aside or simply a week like any other, these five activities can help you be #IrishReady in your job search. What are other ways you plan to turn Spring Break into your lucky break?