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8 Things Interns Can Do Now to Jumpstart the New Year
December 20, 2016
office of Congressman Blake Farenthold

What you can do right now to Jumpstart your career in the New Year

2016 has been a doozy for many of us. Luckily, 2017 is just around the corner. And what better way to start the year off right than with (not resolutions), but high aspirations and a solid plan. Here’s 8 ideas you can do now to jumpstart the new year, so you can get hired faster, stay organized and actually have a life.

Bring it on, 2017!

Learn something new

Nothing beats a college education, but there are some skills needed for jobs you may not learn in school. Learn the basics of InDesign, take a photography class or learn the basics of coding at sites such as Lynda.com.

These extra skills can be a big plus at job hunting time and give you an edge.

Get ahead of the curve when it comes to applying for spring internships.

List the things you want to let go of, and things you want to bring into your life

Even young people accumulate baggage—physical and mental. Wipe the slate clean in 2017 and begin brand new!

Remember that new notebook you started in 6th grade? It was a world of possibilities. What are your new goals and aspirations? Maybe you’d like to ring in a new internship this year or a learn a new skill. Perhaps you want to let go of that unwanted job that’s paying you nothing, that $20 your buddy never returned or that friend who’s constantly negative.


Your generation cares. We see it when you support socially responsible businesses that give back. How about dedicating your time even once a month to a local organization that makes you feel good? Volunteering will also get you out of your comfort zone and develop your leadership skills. Plus it’s a great resume booster! Check out sites such as volunteermatch.org and createthegood.org to find a volunteer opportunity near you.

Start saving money

Whether you want to open a savings account or get a literal piggy bank, be strict about setting aside a certain amount of money every month – even if it’s as little as $20. This will teach you money management skills, consistency and build an emergency stash when you need it down the road. You know you will. 

Go somewhere you’ve never been

“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

If you’re ready to expand your mind, meet new people and have once-in-a-lifetime experience, plan a trip. Many people tell themselves they don’t have enough money. But there are plenty of options for people on a budget. Programs such as Workaway give you complimentary room and board (and sometimes food), when you trade for work. This really will get you all over the world.

Another option is traveling to places where you know someone to stay with or couch surfing. Intern hint: traveling will give you an edge in the workplace because you have acquired new skills and perhaps a new language. It also shows that you’re open-minded, worldly, and not afraid to take risks.

Get your ducks in a row

With a rotating schedule of internships, jobs, school and a social life, it’s easy to forget things. Make life easier on yourself by purchasing a beautiful planner or using an online planner such as: My Study Life or Passion Planner. [It’s OK to splurge here, as it’s going to be with you for the year]. Get one that speaks to you and one that you actually want to bring around with you throughout the day.

Jumpstart the new year by getting your ducks in a row. When it comes to the home, purging unwanted items and cleaning out your closet not only gives you a clearer space, but more sanity. Pick up: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Trust us, it works.

Give your resume and LinkedIn profile a makeover

Sometimes we neglect to update our stale profiles, or perhaps we’ve gotten some sound advice on how to achieve the perfect resume or profile since we last updated ours. Give yours a makeover:

  • update career information and skills
  • ask for testimonials
  • post an article (or many more)
  • create a slide share about your last internship
  • Join groups with like-minded people.

Check out our career-changing guides here:

How to Write a Killer LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Hired

How to Build a Personal Brand

Finding an Inspiring Mentor

Anatomy of a Killer Cover Letter

Join a networking group

It’s true. The more people you connect with in your industry, the more likely you’ll get hired. People prefer a familiar face to a complete stranger. Many CEOs have outside interests and join groups like these in order to help interns like you! Start now by joining various networking groups or clubs in your field. For example:

The Society of Professional Journalists (DC region)

Washington Network Group

DC Tech Meetup

Networking After Work Washington DC

Success In The City.org

Introduce yourself to new people, make friends and business connections too. It’s up to you to follow up with a few people with whom you felt a connection.

Joining a professional group will also be a great line item on your resume, and you’ll most likely gain some valuable contacts.

2017 – a whole new year. What would you like to achieve this coming year?