It’s again that time of the year when students are cramming for the final exams of the term, the first flowers are starting to bloom and everyone’s digging out summer clothes from their wardrobes. May, at the latest, brings with it spring and thoughts turn almost compulsively from studying towards summer and summer jobs. Summer will be here surprisingly quickly, and many start their summer jobs already in May. The atmosphere in late spring is often a little tense but, above all, full of expectation.

A summer job is an excellent opportunity to develop your own skills and competence as a future expert. It’s good to take a moment think about the related thoughts and expectations in advance. A summer job is also an opportunity for employers to meet students and offer an opportunity to get to know the industry, its professionals and working environments.

TEK conducts an annual student survey that maps out what kinds of issues are important for students in questions related to studying and summer jobs. The survey from 2017 shows that 83% of students of technology had a summer job. Students succeeded primarily in finding summer jobs from their own field as only 12% worked in jobs that were not related to the field of their studies.

In all, 37% of the respondents found it easy to find a summer job. However, finding a summer job is not always a piece of cake and it takes patience. As a result, a third of students of technology experienced that it was difficult or extremely difficult to find a summer job.

What to expect from a summer job?

Summer jobs have many benefits but students experienced that there are few noticeably beneficial factors above others. The most important reasons for working were financial factors, developing own competence and advancing career goals. A large share of students have had their expectations met when it comes to summer jobs, as more than 80% feel that working in the summer was an advantage for reaching their career goals. The results clearly indicate that summer jobs are experienced to be very significant and most should be made of them.

It’s good to think of your own expectations before starting a summer job. Set yourself objectives for your summer job in order to get as good an experience as possible. Also remember that all work is meaningful and important. Teekkarin Työkirja recommends an open and positive attitude as the best tool of a summer employee. If you have not yet scored a summer job, keep your eyes open and look around for last-minute summer job opportunities. Also remember that you can always develop your own skills and competence also outside of summer jobs!

All work is beneficial

A summer job is an important experience for a student, and it often comes with many expectations. Although students hope for summer jobs corresponding to the field of their studies, you should keep in mind that all work is significant. Some of the students are lucky and score a job in their own field but unfortunately, there aren’t enough jobs for everyone. It’s good to understand that the modern world values different kinds of work experience, and that this kind of experience and understanding of different jobs is a great strength.

Payday, experience and learning new things

Työkirja conducted a quick poll for students at the end of April. We charted their expectations related to summer jobs. The poll gave similar results as the student survey. The respondents await payday the most, which is completely understandable, as it’s important to receive compensation for your work. However, salary is more than just compensation for your work. With it, students can pay their rent and, in the best case scenario, a holiday abroad or the expenses related to hobbies.

The second most-awaited thing was accumulating work experience. Work experience is an essential part of your competence, and students feel that gaining it is very valuable. Learning new things, challenges and responsibility were also expectations related to summer jobs.

Students hope that summer jobs offer a good amount of challenges and experiences of being responsible, but also finding new working life contacts is important. In your summer job, keep in mind that it’s an excellent opportunity for networking in working life.

Text: Eetu Viitasalo
Image: GettyImages

Four friends start a journey to find The Wizard of Oz. Each of them seeks something personally important. The Scarecrow hopes to get a brain. The Tinman desires a heart for his metal chest. The Lion is in desperate need of courage. Dorothy’s dream is simple: she wants to return to her home in Kansas.

Tornado took Dorothy and her dog Toto and dropped them all the way to Oz. The dynamic duo meets the Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion. They get to know each other, they walk together along the Yellow Brick Road and look for important answers. The great insight of the journey is that the answers do not come from the Wizard: the answers are within the ourselves.

Brain, heart and courage are useful at work, not only when taking adventures

During studies, knowledge and skills are accumulated in the brain. Working brings a valuable practical experience of your own field. The brain is filled with useful material.

By listening to your heart, you can find what is important to you: values, people, and activities. With the help of your heart you will find your own direction.

Courage is something between fear and cowardice. Courage must be adjusted according to the situation. Sometimes less is enough, sometimes more courage is needed. Without courage it is hard to experience new things and situations. Learning happens outside your comfort zone.

Teekkarin työkirja encourages you to use your brains, heart and courage when you are looking for a job in 2018. We wish you the best of luck!

Text: Sari Taukojärvi
Image: GettyImages

Third-level education allows you to learn and practice skills that are needed to tackle the constantly changing demands of modern working life. What kind of skills are required from future professionals? What kind of skills can you learn through your studies to help you succeed in working life?

The jobs and careers of the future are often depicted as fragmented and the labour market is expected to be divided into tasks that are performed either globally or locally. In the future, experts will be aided by automation, and they will carry out their tasks in the constantly changing and often uncertain world of project work. Members of multidisciplinary teams will combine their different competencies to solve various problems, and the development of working life and modern working environments also require new additions to the skillsets available in the workforce.

“When we are no longer able to solve the questions related to work while sitting alone by our desks, we will need collaboration, which requires communication,” states Tarja Valkonen, senior lecturer at the University of Jyväskylä.

The studies provide students with a foundation for developing their skills further, and Valkonen considers it particularly important that education offers a good basic understanding of the significance of communication competence and skills in working life. Valkonen regards communication skills as an essential part of professional competence.

Listen, and don’t be afraid of conflicts

Experts work in teams every day and problem-solving is an essential part of the job. To ensure that your expertise is more than just invisible capital, you need argumentation skills, i.e. the ability to express your thoughts in a clear and well-grounded manner. In addition, you need to be able to ask the other team members to state their views, even the most critical ones. When trying to discover the best possible solution by taking advantage of multidisciplinary knowledge, the ability to ask questions is essential – not to mention the ability to listen to the answers.

“Working life requires high-quality listening skills that enable you to listen intensively and attentively while keeping an open mind to what the others are saying. You can also ponder whether you could learn something from their way of understanding things.”

According to Valkonen, even challenging situationscan be faced with the right attitude.

“Conflicts are an essential part of all human interaction. We have to deal with small conflicts and problem-solving all the time. It’s just a matter of how we view them.”

“In working life, when something is wrong, you often hear people casually refer to communication like it’s some kind of mystical personal chemistry. But usually it’s about lacking some aspect of communication skills, and that’s definitely something you can improve. Education is one of the best tools for that.”

 

Text: Suvi Mononen
Picture: Getty Images

What do world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking and Pekka Hyysalo, former freestyle skier and founder of the FightBack brand, have in common? Both are excellent examples of what you can do with good self-management. Instead of focusing on what they cannot do, Stephen and Pekka have chosen to focus on what is possible.

HR professionals interviewed for the Diversity Barometer of the Finnish Institute for Occupational Health (2016) agreed that self-management is the one area in which young jobseekers need to improve the most. Self-management usually makes you think of self-discipline and meeting deadlines. Although it’s true that they are related to self-management, they are a result of good self-management rather than a part of its essence.

Self-management is essentially about identifying your own feelings, acknowledging your own competence and, above all, believing in your own skills. In other words, a master of self-management has a well-defined sense of who they are, what they can do and where they are going.

When your self-image is realistic, your goals are clear and you are confident in your skills, your self-management will become apparent in your actions, often as an ability to meet deadlines and schedule your activities appropriately.

How you use your time speaks of your values

In addition to your work and career, self-management has an impact on all aspects of life, such as leisure time and personal relationships. How you spend your time also says a lot about what you value in life. When was the last time you thought about whether your goals and activities match? Do you spend time every day to advance on the path to your goals?

If your values and goals aren’t clear, you may end up underachieving or exerting yourself. Sometimes it’s a good idea to stop and think about what you value the most in life, and how much time you actually spend on those things. When it comes to setting goals, you often think about accomplishments that are related to your career or studies. However, the goal to spend an entire day doing nothing without feeling guilty about it can be just as important.

Our culture of tight schedules and efficiency emphasises goals that are related to work and studies. As a result, goals related to leisure and wellbeing are often ignored. At worst, this may result in reduced innovativeness and motivation and then lead to exhaustion, which, in turn, affects the efficiency of your work.

Overtraining will keep athletes from achieving their best. The same applies in the working life – healthy and happy employees make the most efficient employees.

Improve your skills in self-management:

• Think about what it is that you most enjoy about your work or your studies. Which skills would you like to improve? What about your leisure activities?
• For a few days, make a list of everything you do during the days. Compare the items of the list to the results of the previous point. Do they match?
• Start your day by thinking about the most important goal of the day. What is the one thing you would like to accomplish? Remember to feel proud of yourself if you do reach your goal during the day!
• Write down a to-do list of all the unfinished tasks in your mind. In the morning, check the list to see which tasks you can finish today. Divide bigger tasks into smaller parts. This allows you to strike something out on the list every day, making you feel more in control of your life.
• Set a clear limit to when your working or study hours end and your leisure time begins. This will increase the efficiency of your work and make your free hours more enjoyable.

 

Text: Anni Laine
Picture: Getty Images