Summer can be a great time to do things you don’t normally get to do during the school year. We came up with some ideas of how you can use that extra time to expand your career development. While these activities might not directly impact what to major in or figuring out the job search…they may clear your mind out a bit so that new ideas for your career plan can come into focus. They’ll allow you to dive into a new topic, brush up skills you forgot you had, or just give you a whole new perspective on life.
Check out lynda.com. Lynda.com is a library of online training videos that provides access to more than 1700 courses for all skill levels in more than 140 specialties. Access to this online training is now available to U of M students, staff, and faculty and all that is needed is your internet log-in information. Go to lynda.umn.edu for our specific landing page. Some examples of topics include: 3D + Animation, Audio, Business, Design, Developer, Photography, Video, and web.
TED Talks. We love a good TED Talk in our office. From the TED website, “TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing people together from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become even broader.” TED Talks, at most, are 18 minutes in length. Could you get a compelling idea, an idea so awesome and motivating, in just 18 minutes? Here are a few Talks, just to get you started.
- Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
- Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
- Bono: The good news on poverty (Yes, there’s good news)
- Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread (it may be 10 years old, and it’s still relevant)
Read a book or two. Read about a topic you’re interested in. Fiction or nonfiction, it doesn’t really matter. Reading gives you the opportunity to explore a world you have to experience yourself. Do some research on books that are popular in your industry and read one of them. This could give you some conversation starters for networking events. We have a Books Worth Reading board on Pinterest that can give you some ideas about books with career-related topics.
Finally, we suggest visiting a National or State Park. Parks can be a great place to partake in different programming, disconnect from technology, spend time with family or friends, and just to reflect. You may come home simply refreshed, or you could end up with a whole new outlook on life. Lucky for us in Duluth, we have 2 national parks (Voyageurs & Isle Royale) and a National Lakeshore (Apostle Islands) within a few hours drive of us. We also have several state parks along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
These might be some slightly unconventional methods to work on your career development. However, we hope that you can use one or two of them to spark some career development before the Fall Semester kicks into gear in September.