When the summer holidays roll around there is a very real temptation to slip into relaxation mode, put your feet up and switch off from the world. This is particularly true for those who have just left school or graduated from college or university.
While a break and some time to recharge the batteries might not sound like a bad thing there is a very real risk that one week will turn into two, and before you know it the whole summer has passed by and your offspring is no further forward in planning their career or finding that much needed job.
With a little bit of planning and some subtle support from those close to them, the summer holidays can be a great time to help your son/daughter develop habits that will allow them to thrive.
In this article we look at some of the habits you should encourage to keep your son/daughter motivated and focused throughout the holidays.
Good habits to set out
1. Create a routine – a long lie every now and again is a nice treat, but you don’t want to encourage sleeping in until lunchtime every day. One way to avoid this is to set out a clear routine, so Monday to Friday everyone needs to be up and dressed and ready for the day by 9am. This avoids wasted days and prepares your son/daughter when they start work and have to follow a routine for their working hours.
The same is true of bed time. A good night’s sleep is important to aid memory, concentration, alertness and decision making. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that teenagers get nine hours of sleep a night. So as with the mornings try and develop good sleeping patterns and avoid too many late nights or TV and mobile phone use just before bed.
2. Discuss goals for the future - getting your offspring to focus on a longer term vision will help keep them motivated over the summer. Have an open discussion with them about what they would like to achieve and talk through ways in which they can reach their goals.
For goals to be effective they need to be realistic while still being challenging. Help your son/daughter take their overall goal and break it into short term goals that are achievable over shorter time periods. This could be anything from learning a new skill to support their objective, creating their first CV or finding a voluntary job that gives them some relevant experience.
3. Develop a job search plan – If your son/daughter has reached the stage of looking for a job, be it part time or a graduate position get them to create a job search plan and carry out tasks to help them achieve it each day. This could be tasks such as creating their CV, applying for a number of jobs each day, or if they’re not completely sure on the type of career they’d like simply looking to find out what’s out there and what could be a good fit for them.
4. Practice interview and assessment centre skills – even if your son/daughter has interviewed for job roles before with the market getting more competitive there are generally more hurdles to jump to get a job. Giving your offspring the opportunity to practice these skills will help make them more confident on the day of the interview as they will be prepared for the process ahead. This practice can be in many forms from practicing mock interview questions at home to attending a practice assessment centre.
5. Take some time to relax – while all of the above is important it’s also important to take some time to relax. Your son/daughter will have worked hard over the year and will no doubt be feeling some pressure when it comes to determining what’s next. Taking some time to refresh and relax is definitely deserved. This may be their last opportunity to make plans without putting in a holiday request first, so let them join the family holiday or hang out with friends so that as well as planning their future they also take some time to make memories
By using some of the above tips you can help support your son/daughter through what can be a challenging part of their life as they transition into starting their career. Making the most of the summer holidays whilst adopting some positive habits is a great way to ensure they are focused and prepared for their future.