Whether it’s playing hockey, blogging about games, volunteering at a local animal shelter or even designing your own app, extracurricular activities are fun and make an awesome change to your school work.
But did you know they can also help your career? Extracurricular activities help you develop loads of important transferable skills, meaning you’ll have the edge when it comes to applying for jobs, apprenticeships and universities.
Here we’ll take a look at 7 awesome extracurricular activities and how they can give your career a boost.
1. Make a podcast
There’s some fantastic podcasts out there, covering feminism, celebrities, sport, true crime stories and everything in between. Why not start your own, on the topic you love most? All it requires is a microphone, a phone, and a bright idea.
If you’re interested in a career in media or publishing, it’s a great way to gain technical skills and set yourself apart when applying for jobs and university courses. And even if you have your heart set on another career path, launching your own podcast will help you develop top-notch communication skills.
2. Become a mentor
Many schools have ‘peer mentoring programmes’ that allow you to help out younger students. Mentoring means giving advice and listening to any problems they might have. You’ll improve your interpersonal skills – which employers love. And if your school doesn’t already have a scheme, why not start one? This will show employers and universities that you have an entrepreneurial mindset.
3. Get political
What do you really care about? Maybe it’s free education or help for people with mental health problems. Joining a political society or campaigning group allows you to really get behind the causes you believe in.
Getting involved will teach you how to negotiate and help you develop leadership skills. It is also very useful experience if you want to pursue a career in the public sector, politics or campaigning. Learn more about how politics can help your career.
4. Join a running club
Or football, swimming, hockey – whatever sport you love! Arranging matches and training sessions will help you to increase your teamwork abilities and organisational skills. Playing a sport also shows motivation and self-discipline.
These abilities are particularly helpful if you’d like to apply for an apprenticeship – you don’t often need any qualifications, but you will have to show that you’re a hard-working and reliable team player. You’ll also be able to impress employers and admissions officers if you’ve been in the club for a long time – they like to see long-term dedication.
5. Start a vlog
Launching and maintaining a great vlog takes commitment and dedication – and hey, you might even become a YouTube star along the way! Choose a topic you’re really passionate about. Or if you’re applying to uni, it could be related to the course you’re studying.
6. Volunteer your time
Volunteering not only gives you that warm fuzzy feeling – it also does wonders for your career. Plus there are volunteering opportunities in pretty much anything you can think of, from animal shelters to environmental groups. Google what you’re interested in and see what options are out there.
You’ll develop your problem-solving skills and show employers that you’re a caring, well-rounded applicant. Check out our special guide to finding volunteering opportunities that help your career.
7. Build an app
Whether it’s a game or a clever tool that solves an everyday problem, building your own app is a great way to show employers creativity, lateral thinking and dedication – as well as IT skills, of course.
These key skills will serve you well for any career, but are especially useful in demonstrating your commitment to a career in graphic design, digital media and IT. Learn more about why you should learn to code.
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