How to up-skill yourself these winter holidays

The holidays are coming up, which means you might have more time on your hands. While having all this free time is fun and it’s important to rest, it’s also a good idea to use some of this time to improve or learn a new skill. Here’s how.

Reflect on last semester

​It’s always good to reflect on the previous term or semester and your results, as this helps to set goals for the upcoming semester. You can do this by answering the following questions:

What did I do well in last semester?

What did I not do so well in last semester?

What skill can I improve on over the holidays to help me do better?

What will I do differently in the next semester?

This will allow you to assess areas where you can improve, and be more prepared to tackle the next semester.

Get a job

Working for money isn’t something you should focus on when looking to learn a new skill during the holidays. Work experience itself can be valuable, and will help improve your CV for future employment. Try looking for a job or an internship in your community or online. This doesn’t have to be in your field of study/career interest. A few examples could be a waitress at a restaurant in a mall, or a shop assistant.


The school holidays are a good time to give back. Find a cause you care about, and start thinking of ways to support that cause. This will allow you to expand your skill set and help boost your confidence levels. You can volunteer your time at a community-based project near your house or school.

Job shadowing

Holidays are a perfect time to shadow someone who’s currently working in your desired field. This will give you the exposure to see if it’s actually what you want to do- it’s also a great opportunity to ask questions and gain experience.

Online course

Online courses are convenient and bring education to the comfort of your own home. Most provide a certificate of completion, which is a bonus for your CV. You can visit sites such as Udemy and Google Africa for a list of online courses.

Start a small business

Starting a business may be difficult at first, but it’s a fun and exciting way to create employment for yourself. It’ll also keep you busy during the holidays. Why not try to sell sweets, wash takkies, braid hair or open a car wash in your community? Think of what you’re good at and use that to make money during the holidays.

Don’t let the winter holidays go to waste. While it’s important to get some rest, there are many things to do that’ll keep you busy. The activities that I’ve mentioned above will help you upskill yourself, and prepare you for the work environment in the future. Have fun!

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).