Not having a job is rubbish. We know that. Your parents are probably already on your backs about making the most of all that free time, and much as it pains us to admit it, they're right. You shouldn't be wasting your time. So, we got together and thought up five skills you could learn (for free!) while you're looking for a job:
2. A foreign language – We all know how much learning French sucked at school. And how those Thursday afternoons of double Spanish dragged. And why did we sing a song about having a hat with three corners in German? When has anyone ever found it useful to know how to say that in German? But what you didn’t realise at the time (or at least you didn’t believe your teacher when they told you) is that employers really like people who can speak more than one language, especially if they're running an international business. So, make the most of your free time and get learning. There are loads of free tools online that will help you - we like Livemocha, where there are basic lessons for free or you can pay a small amount to have sessions with native speakers.
3. Touch typing – I’d love to tell you that this article took me approximately 10 minutes to type out but that would be a total and utter lie. I’m not quite a two finger typist but I’m definitely no touch typist either. But is there a better skill than being able to touch type? Most jobs will require you to use a computer at some point or another, so wouldn’t it be great to walk into an interview and say ‘I can type at 176 words per minute’? Ok, maybe that’s not realistic, but you can probably manage better than the measly 22 words per minute one GoThinkBig member achieved when we tried out TypingWeb earlier.
4. First aid – Knowing the basics of first aid is not only useful in making yourself more employable, but it’s also helpful for general life. Unfortunately a lot of the courses for you to become a registered first aider can be quite expensive, but you can pick up the basics online pretty easily. The BBC, British Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance websites all have lots of great information on what to do when faced with various first aid issues. Being able to say you have an understanding of first aid can look good to employers and if you can afford to do a training course (prices vary greatly but St John’s Ambulance run some from £25) then that’s even better.
5. Software – A lot of companies have 30 day free trials of their software – even the big boys like Adobe. And 30 days is more than enough time to explore Photoshop or InDesign: then in your next interview you can impress potential employers with your skills. But if learning software isn't your thing, what you should do is get to know programmes that you’re likely to use a lot when you land your dream job. Do you know what all those buttons do on Excel? No, nor do we. But you could make it a new challenge to find out. Or maybe you could learn to make really great PowerPoint presentations that don’t look totally cheesy when things fly in. There’s some really great tips here, if you’re stuck.