Tom McAndrew is a Careers Consultant based on the Streatham Campus.
We’re often asked this around this time of year about how to best make the most of the Christmas period in terms of careers. You may find that we hesitate slightly.
It’s a tricky question and we don’t want to get the answer wrong; we’re thinking what’s best for you, the person standing in front of us. Talking to some students recently, I discovered that some have exams BEFORE Christmas and AFTER Christmas too. The ‘Yuletide Double Exam Whammy’, as it’s known. If this is you, concentrate on the exams but make sure you spend some quality time with family, friends and those you love. There will still be some internships available and graduate roles to apply to when you return. You can try and do too much.
If you’re lucky enough not to have exams or coursework to work on, then please send your lecturers a nice Christmas card. Also remember to not shout this out too loudly in front of those that do. If you have time then you could maybe look at some career applications, dust up the old CV and practice a few of those rusty interview techniques. Then again, you could just chill a bit, spend time with family and friends and those who love you and recharge your batteries. Sometimes not giving it 100% all the time can work out better than wearing yourself out.
If you have a paid job you do over Christmas, then you may not have time to sort out your career. Remember that the job will probably look pretty good on your CV so you’re doing great. Spend quality time with family etc. etc. etc.…
We also hesitate because some of our International Students don’t have the funds to return home, and for them Christmas can be quite a bit strange, a bit lonely far from home. A good time to make use of the Career Zone; get your CV or application checked, talk about your plans and see a friendly face.
Christmas is an odd time too. A time of high expectations and pressure to be happy. Which can make people miserable. Yes, It’s a Wonderful Life but not necessarily all the time (NB If the Capra film of that name is not one of you favourites like mine, remember this is not a sentimental film. It is actually quite dark. A man questioning the worth of his existence. Who finds redemption with the aid of an angel realising that he has made an enormous impact on family, friends and the people he loves).
So have as Merry Christmas as you can in the circumstances, taking into account that you might have exams, have to work, or be worn out from a stressful time or be a long way away from home.
I suppose I could shorten that a bit and get rid of the question mark:
Merry Christmas from the Career Zone!