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Time Thieves: Taking Back the Time For Your Future

Time Thieves: Taking Back the Time For Your Future

We are aware that many students are pressed for time, yet here we are in Careers and Zone telling you to do more, more, more during your time here at WGU. The pressure to just get through all of that reading and handing in assignments on time is more than enough for some, so why on earth do we pop up in your lecture times, on social media and send you emails telling you to engage with employers, try volunteering or suggest you book an appointment to brush up on your interview technique? Isn’t it all just a bit over the top?

Well, we think not, you see because from years of experience of working with students we see the difference it can make when students adopt a little and often approach to their careers research from early on during their time here. We see those marginal gains when small changes, rather than massive changes, can make a significant difference. There are ‘time thieves’ out there just waiting to suck away that spare time before graduation – TV, chatting with friends, social media, family, traffic - but we can take that time back in small bites and still make a lot of difference to our future careers.

We’ve put together our 10 top tips for finding the extra time you need to improve your future prospects:

1. Give the ad breaks a miss

We all watch our favourite programmes, and yet the ad breaks as the one time that we’re not usually glued to the screen. Many sports enthusiasts advocate a quick burst of press ups or planks during this time to keep fit, but what about keeping your future career fit and using this short burst of time to do a 3 minute piece of careers research? A good place to start can often be our websites section.

2. Social Media ban

Hands up, I’m a high user on social media. It’s great in many ways, but it is probably one of the worst offenders for stealing your time. How about giving it a miss completely for the day and using the time you would have spent on it to be more careers proactive?

3. Waiting in the queue for that latte...

So you really couldn’t give up your tea or coffee (we don’t like to either), but think of the precious time you spend in the queue chatting to your course colleagues; instead get your mobile phone out and read our guide to CVs and applications

4. Or give up just one coffee break

Whilst we want you to enjoy your latte from Fellows or Chapters on campus, could you miss just one coffee break this week and commit to making a quick phone call to an employer instead, perhaps to arrange or conduct an information interview? Unsure what that is? See our Questions for Networking guide.

5. Stuck in the queue at the supermarket?

Get that phone in your hand again and check out the job profiles or careers information on or or

6. Making a cup of tea in the kitchen

In the time that it takes that kettle to boil, you could have sent an email to enquire about the possibility of work experience or volunteering.

7. Lunch breaks between lectures

It’s nice to sit around campus, especially in the summer months, but in that time you could call or pop into Careers on 01978 293240 to make a one-to-one appointment, whether that’s to speak with a Careers Adviser, the Zone Entrepreneur Manager or Work Experience Officers. Or you could even squeeze in a guidance appointment in that time.

8. Stuck in traffic

So you can’t access your phone whilst driving (at least we hope you aren’t!), but what about thinking through your elevator pitch?  It’s a quick way of describing who you are, what you’ve got to offer and what you’re looking for. You never know when the opportunity to use this might happen and you don’t want to be lost for words.

9. Outside the school playground

Those students who are also parents should be ready to greet the little ones with a smile, but if you’re a little bit early on the yard (or waiting to collect them from sports clubs) why not use your phone to browse our graduate careers websites page?

10. Pull forward all of your assignment deadlines

Move your assignment hand-in dates a couple of days ahead in your diary. If you have a deadline, you’re going to hit it no matter what because you’re a determined student, capable of getting it done, and with eyes on that glittering degree certificate. That way you could still get assignments in but still give yourself some additional time to devote to careers research and action.

About the author

Andrea Hilditch

Andrea Hilditch

Andrea has worked for WGU Careers & Zone for 10 years as Careers Adviser and Careers Information Officer.  Her passion is supporting students to find positive ways of looking at what they have to offer and helping them with their gradual progression into graduate employment.

Find more information about Careers and Zone at