So, all of your friends seem to be enjoying their summer vacation and you are still wondering why you didn’t get a summer internship. Well, I have a few words of motivation for you: you still have something valuable to offer the world. Don’t let someone else’s decision to hire you impact the way that you feel about yourself. You have a beautiful gift that would solve someone’s problems and now you have the opportunity to hone your skills and pick up new learning opportunities that you can add to your success kit. I want to reassure you that not getting an internship is not the end of world. It’s just the beginning of a world where you are learning how to bounce back and create golden opportunities from perceived obstacles.
Need help trying to find out what you should do? Here are ten things you can do to propel yourself to success.
- Update your resume.
Your big opportunity can knock on your door tomorrow: would you be ready for it? Make sure you update your resume with any awards, leadership activities, relevant coursework, skills, service, and educational accomplishments that would make you the perfect candidate for the job you seek. Download your free copy of the Ultimate Resume Cheatsheet to get you started.
- Create and update your LinkedIn profile.
If you are not on LinkedIn, you are missing out on an incredible opportunity to brand yourself to potential employers. There is a job that is looking for you but they have no idea that you exist yet! Make sure that your LinkedIn profile includes a professional photo, a compelling headline, an intriguing summary, and experience that convey the value you add to a potential profile. Be active, share conversation worthy updates, and write articles that show your passion for your industry. Download your free copy of the Ultimate LinkedIn Cheatsheet to get you started.
- Take classes.
Get ahead of the game. Use this time to take classes that you need in order to graduate. After my freshman year of college, I had a summer internship but still invested in online classes in order to reduce the number of classes that I would have to take during the school year. I enrolled in a community college at a cheaper rate. I had time to take 10 weeks off during the winter of my senior year in order to take advantage of a profitable internship and gain valuable work experience. Create space in your life for amazing opportunities.
- Review scholarship opportunities.
What scholarships will you be eligible for during the school year? What do you need to do in order to qualify? Start crafting resumes, asking for letters of recommendation, and creating your profile so that you can apply for all the scholarships that meet your eligibility. College is expensive, but it can be a great investment in yourself and your future if you use the opportunities you have at your disposal. Here is a FREE copy of the Ultimate Scholarship Success Kit.
Don’t have work experience in your field of interest? The best way to gain valuable skills that you can highlight on your resume is by volunteering. This is also a good way to build relationships with people who can serve as recommenders for scholarship opportunities. Develop your resume by volunteering at an organization that you are passionate about. When I was in high school, I volunteered at the Chicago Public Library, Vital Bridges food pantry, police station, Red Cross, Rush hospital, and other locations that gave me the opportunity to serve and gain valuable skills. I accumulated over 500 service hours that put me in a position to obtain scholarships and acquire internships in college.
- Travel the world.
Understanding different cultures and learning how to interact with people from all over the world will serve you well in your future. You will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Traveling also gives you the chance to learn a new language. And being able to converse with individuals all over the world will allow you to add value in different areas of your life.
- Create a blog.
Enhance your digital footprint. Share advice with others who are probably going through what you are going through. This also allows you to enhance your professional identity and allows you to use your words to position yourself as a committed and dedicated future leader in your area of interest.
- Develop your public speaking skills.
Invest in yourself. Join a Toastmasters club. It’s less than $50 for six months and you gain valuable skills that will increase your chances of selling your value in the marketplace.
- Sell your services online.
What skills do you currently have? How can you help others? Are you good at editing, writing, or graphic design? There are online websites that will allow you to sell your services. Check out Fiverr and other sites for freelancers. Use these opportunities to obtain testimonials and build your portfolio of clients.
10. Start Networking.
Never underestimate the power of valuable relationships. Who is in your social circle? Join professional organizations, attend networking events in your area, and find ways to connect with people online. Network with people who are doing what you want to do. This is the fastest way to get you where you want to go.
Don’t ever let the word “no” stop your flow. Just because you didn’t get the internship, doesn’t mean your summer break has to be wasted. Use your obstacles as an opportunity to position yourself for future success. After all, those who make the most of life are the ones who were able to create endless opportunities no matter what cards they were dealt.
And knowing how to make the most of any situation is the best type of experiential learning that you will receive!
What are you going to do to make the most of your summer break and the upcoming year? Share your comments below. Download your FREE copy of the Ultimate Scholarship Success Kit to prepare you for an incredible year ahead!