‘Opportunity is missed by most because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work’.

Read that again. It’s so true.

Your life is a series of decisions, a series of opportunities. Some big, some small. Recently, I’ve been reading Matt Haig’s ‘Midnight Library’ which talks all about the different lives we could lead depending on the opportunities we take. One of the opportunities I’ve taken in this recent lockdown is to read more*. I’ve really enjoyed learning new things, allowing my mind to imagine characters, and using the new knowledge at work and in social conversations.

What opportunities have you taken recently that you’ve enjoyed?

At University, it sometimes feels like an overwhelming number of opportunities; all the societies and clubs you could join, all the social events you could attend, and that’s before you even consider your studying; when the more you learn, the more you realise you don’t know, and there are endless opportunities for research and further engaging in your topic. So how do you know what opportunities to take, and which to leave? It’ll be entirely different for each person. Definitely have the end goal in mind though – is what your doing going to help along your journey towards your chosen career? Is it something you’re going to enjoy? Will it add something to your CV?

What opportunities have you taken or not taken that you’ve regretted?

Sometimes, we have to say no. We can’t do everything, and sometimes it doesn’t feel right to step into a given direction, or take on something extra. Sometimes we later wish we’d said yes…

Equally, sometimes we say yes before we think about the time and effort and commitment of saying yes. We forget that capacity matters too, and we later wish we’d said ‘not right now’…

Here are three quick opportunities which I’d thoroughly recommend you consider:

  1. Volunteering. This is so important to build your CV whilst you’re at Uni, and helps provide you with transferable skills which you can use as examples in interviews. It doesn’t have to take over your life – you could do 1 hour a week as a Telephone Befriender. That shows commitment, communication, time management… you could do ad-hoc volunteering, like providing feedback on a new website design for a charity. That shows ability to critique and attention to detail. You could help at a foodbank; teamwork, numeracy… need I go on? Also, make sure you log your volunteering hours on the above link to earn certificates!
  2. One-to-one Careers Advice Appointments. These are free and available to all current students, and for those up to 3 years post-graduation. There is no limit on how many you can have, and they are such a useful resource for you to get help with your future plan and direction, and just check in to see what you can be doing to help yourself with your next steps. They’re completely individual to you, they’re online, and I really recommend you take advantage of these. You can book using the above link, or click here to find out more about them.
  3. Find out what you don’t know! Did you know we have workshops? Did you know you can apply for bursary funding through the WEF? Do you know everything we offer? Watch this video, and check you’re not missing out on a single opportunity you don’t know about.

*if you also want to read more, I recommend Libby (free Library app). You can sign in with your CCCU library membership AND your local council membership, and enjoy a range of reading and audiobooks for FREE!

Getting further support from The Careers and Enterprise Team at CCCU

You can get ongoing careers support via the following ways: