So sure, yesterday was all about gorging your skin off with delicious, gooey treats – but now we’re on Lent duty. We know exactly what habits any opportunity seeker should give up this fun-free season, and we’ve handily laid them out for you to gaze upon as you lie in a post-pancake stupor.
5. Waking up, you know, whenever.
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT – we hear you cry, BASICALLY THE ONLY BENEFIT of not having a 9-5 is that you can live a crazy 11:30-whenever the HELL WE WANT. But the thing is, not having a structure to your day is pretty unhelpful in terms of your state of mind, especially if you’re trying to be creative. Though we’re not saying you have to get in a good five mile run before 7am hits, it’s useful to set yourself some daily posts to live by – set an alarm, have a proper breakfast, then plan out your goals for the day. Not only will you be more productive, you’ll feel far less lethargic, more in control and heck, just think about breakfast.
4. Having stuff ‘in the background’
That’s the other thing about your home being your place of productivity – there are familiar temptations lurking around every corner. SURE, you can do this job application whilst watching The Big Bang Theory, right? Wrong. Not only will it take you far longer to complete, the resulting piece of work will be nowhere near as good as if you’d just sat down in a darkened room with a bit of Enya and damn well got the thing written. Enya doesn’t count as a distraction. Only as a muse.
3. Merging work and breaks
Leading on from the previous point, it’s also very important that your entire day doesn’t become a sludge of half-watching, half-reading, half-eating and half-browsing. Partially because that’s not how halves work, but mostly because it’s the fastest route to an intellectual stupor. It’s been proven time and again that proper, real breaks are vital to good productivity – do a couple of hours of solid, no-nonsense work, and then LEAVE THE ROOM. Go for a walk, go for a joust, go for a game of scrabble with the old Admiral next door – just don’t let yourself drift through a day of sort-of doing everything at the same time. You’ll end up actually DOING very little.
2. Cutting and pasting your cover letter
I talk to a lot of companies that use the Enternships service. When I do, what comes out time and time again is how impressed they are when candidates really tailor their application to the company in question. Trying to vaguely fudge a cover letter is like sticking a moustache on a horse and calling him father – the illusion is fairly thin, and it’s disrespectful to all involved. Your CV can can stay fairly similar for most positions – as it’s a history of you. Your cover letter is indicative of your future, and as such needs to be pointed in the direction of the company you want to build this future with.
1, Making ‘Applying For Stuff’ the thing you do now
As frustrating, time-consuming and occasionally soul-flattening as it is, you absolutely musn’t allow yourself to believe that finding a job can be your job. Firstly, that’s our job. But secondly, and more importantly, no matter how good ‘applied for 3 jobs today’ sounds to your mum, it won’t wash well with companies you’re trying to impress. Just because you don’t have full-time employment doesn’t mean you can’t be stacking up your CV with good stuff – volunteer for something, start a music night with your mate Phil, teach yourself the basics of CSS – the internet is falling over itself to give you skills. all you need to do is take its sticky hand.
Happy Pancake Day to all – and to all, a splendid pancake. Or six.
Enternships Community Manager