A career afternoon

Clear your desk, clear your head. Photo: moriza @Flickr

Yesterday, I had a ‘career afternoon’.

What’s that? I hear you ask just before you like the exit button on your browser.

I took the afternoon off from transcribing Bruce Forsyth (it’s for a project – honestly) and spent the afternoon doing productive career based activities. I applied for my first graduate scheme, acted as a case study for a guest lecture at UCLan and wrote and promoted a blog.

Each of these is a form of career development in its own way. The former is clearly the more obvious – it’s a well-trodden route of finding graduate employment – but the other two have their benefits too.

Helping out people on Twitter is a favourite pastime of mine. It means you make connections, get your name out there and can get a good night sleep for feeling as though you’ve done a little bit of ‘good’. I always keep an eye on my feed to check for retweets and requests from people in need of help. Be that in the form of needing students for a research group, or wanting a quick chat with someone about getting internships alongside a degree.

Finally, my blog is my baby. Sometimes I’m an awful parent who leaves it alone for far too long but when I put in the effort I always see little bits of progress that remind me why I love it. Yesterday’s post was written after thinking ‘What sort of content do people actually want to read?’ I altered the permalink to try and maximise search engine traffic and I targeted people on Twitter who I thought the content would be relevant to. One of those was @guardiancareers and after they retweeted me I saw a huge leap in blog traffic. Whilst this might not seem like career-building, it gets my blog read and I am a big believer in spreading the word about my blog in the hope that one day it will really help someone/an amazing opportunity will come of it.

So yes, I may have gotten zero university work done when I came home from my morning lecture, but I think everyone needs a career afternoon every so often.

Do you ever take time off from everything else to devote to building your career? Have any great opportunities come from doing so? Let me know in the comments…