How to upgrade your staycation?
With the summer holidays around the corner, we usually start preparing our vacation abroad. But again, Covid-19 challenges us to think out of the box and to be creative! A ‘staycation’ is the perfect solution to forget about your cancelled trips. Even before the Covid-19 period, staycations gained popularity. People like to spend quality time at home and are curious to discover glamping, camper trips and national treasures.
The recipe is simple: the relaxing feeling of vacation without the worries on missing your flight, losing your luggage or finding out that your accommodations aren’t in line with the Airbnb description. And at the same time, you support local economy! Sounds like the best of both worlds, right? Therefore, we strongly recommend taking this holiday on budget, exploring all the great attractions happening in your own backyard and discovering nature!
Start preparing your next move
While taking some well-deserved rest, you might start thinking about your next (career) step. Holidays might be the best time to question the status quo: does your job give you loads of energy? Are you mostly happy at work? Great! Then your next move can be the start of a new hobby: learning new things, meeting new people and stepping into a new world. If your current job doesn’t feel like the ideal one anymore, it might be time to start discovering what you really want. This also counts if you just graduated: the summer holidays are the perfect season to find out what gives you energy, without the stress for papers or exams.
Self-knowledge is the basis for a career that gives satisfaction. How well do you know yourself? What sparks your interest? Which working environments do you identify with? It doesn’t hurt to think carefully about this. On www.myshortlist.be you’ll get to know your strengths, interests and job preferences – these will be valuable selling points for potential employers.
Focus on upgrading your skill set; learning new skills is one of the best ways to become more successful in your career. Whether you’re a last year student or a twentysomething aiming for a promotion, upgrading your skills will improve your chances of reaching your career goals. It’s easier than ever to learn and enhance your professional skills with so many courses at your fingertips: LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, VDAB,... You can also watch a webinar or earn a new certificate. If you’re not sure which skills to focus on, read job descriptions of the positions that interest you. A great place to start is with the skills you’re lacking. Use the free time during your summer holidays to enlarge your skill set.
Once you know which skills you’d like to focus on in a next step, it’s time to spread the word. Therefore, the creation of a strong personal brand is important as well. Start by practicing your own elevator pitch, which will answer the typical “so tell me about yourself” question. It’s a short and authentic summary of yourself that explains your strengths, passions and experiences. You will increase your credibility and improve your chances of success by being authentic and staying close to yourself. Then, prepare your CV and motivational letter. These should truly represent who you are. This is also a good moment to review your social media profiles and check your privacy setting, as potential employers may look at these pages.
Did you know that 70% of all vacancies are filled through networking? Networking is by far the best way to land a new job. By creating and maintaining professional relations both online and offline, you can boost your career, as well as your personal life. Take your time to analyze your network, detect valuable connections and ask for their advice or help for your search for a job.
Searching for a job may seem daunting, especially in the current circumstances. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! If you’re genuinely interested in a company, we strongly advise you to visit and follow their social media pages to learn more about their day-to-day activities. If their corporate culture and way of working seems a match with your professional attitude, you might consider a spontaneous application. There’s no need to wait until a position becomes available at your dream company to submit your CV; most recruiters are happy to accept spontaneous applications from qualified candidates at any time! And even if there is currently no opportunity, you’ll end up in their talent pool and might be contacted later.
If you decide to apply for jobs during the summer, keep in mind application procedures might take longer. Also, due to Covid-19, more job interviews take place online – and at Crossbridge, we firmly believe this trend will continue in the future. How do you break the ice during an online interview? And how do you make a good first impression on a screen? You can find tips for your digital job interview in this digital masterclass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Vm4gGoKUw&t=9s