Skill-cation – activities for the holidays to build your skills

You may think that you’ve explored everything there is to do at home during lockdown and even acquired some nifty skills along the way. However, we thought some of you may like a little inspiration for fresh challenges to keep you busy over summer and so we've pulled together a few ideas below. Not only are they fun to do, but they could help you develop skills and attributes which may be useful in a technical career. Read on and enjoy!

1. Practice looking on the bright side
 

Tricky situation? Ask yourself, what’s the bright side? As Beyoncé would say, when life gives you lemons make lemonade!

Activity: What have been the positive aspects of lockdown? Write them down or mabye even do a vlog. What have you learnt about yourself and the world? Strengthened a skill? Built a stronger relationship with a friend or family member? Maybe you’ve a better idea of what you'd like to do in the future?

Technicians are used to managing difficult situations – being able to remain positive to find a solution is key! There have been great examples of this recently – technicians from multiple industries have been adapting their skills to help the country respond to COVID-19; take Laura working with Robots to test NHS workers, or those mentioned on our Technicians to the Rescue blog!  

2. A problem is a chance for you to do your best
 

Beyoncé makes lemonade while Jay-Z has 99 problems, but we are sure knowing what skills to work on ain’t one (sorry that’s officially our worst tenuous link to popular culture ever!). Moving swiftly along, technicians are natural problem-solvers, using their skills and expertise to find solutions and make things happen! See Becky’s story for instance.

Activity: You don’t have to be in the workplace or at school to develop your problem-solving skills. How about writing down a list of things that bother you day-to-day and coming up with how you would fix it in an ideal world? You don't have to come up with the solution, but it will help you practice some 'out-of-the-box' thinking. There are plenty of games and puzzles IRL or online that help to develop these skills - everything from chess to noughts and crosses. There are also lots of free places to learn to code which is a great skill to work on in of itself, but also is all about problem-solving;  evaluating a goal and achieving it, overcoming problems creatively and learning along the way!

3. It’s not what you say, but how you say it! 
 

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish climate activist. Marcus Rashford is a professional footballer who plays for Manchester United. What do they have in common? They have both used their communication skills to drive change and make the world a better place. 

Activity: Take a look at their speeches, what are the techniques they use to get their points across? Rhetorical questions? Examples? Clear explanations? Are their speeches effective, and if so why? Maybe there's something that impacts your local community that you feel passionate about that you could contact your council or local MP to discuss. You could incorporate techniques which Greta or Marcus or other great communicators who inspire you also use. 

Technicians need to be communicate well to explain things to those they are helping as well as other members of their team. Take a look at how Alex, IT infrastructure technician incorporates communication into his role 

There are lots of different types of projects and activities for you to try on the SkillsBuilder platform to help develop the skills and attributes to be a great technician. Give them a go and let us know how you get on by tagging us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or with the hashtag #techniciansmakeithappen

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