Summer really is the best time of year. It’s time for extended vacations, ending work early on Fridays to escape to the beach, and weekend afternoons lounging in the sun. Between fun events and a generally slower work season, it’s nice to slow down from the general chaos of other months and resurface from the mounds of papers and assignments. Summer is also the perfect time to work on advancing your career for the better. Take advantage of the slower work season to gain a new skill or even branch outside of your professional circle.
1. Network and Attend Social Events
It seems a bit counterproductive to attend social events and parties, but these are the places that you will meet all sorts of professionals in your field–or potentially the field you want to get in! The first summer I was in Boston, I attended a fairly awkward mixer at a fancy bar, but ended up connecting with an editor of a local publication. While the social event itself was not the greatest, I was able to find more freelancing work and expand my network of people who needed more writers in their own circles. Meetup and Mediabistro tend to list these kinds of events for creatives, and even LinkedIn is worth looking at for a few summer socials.
2. Learn a New Skill or Program
You will not believe how many more fun projects you can take on and how much your job potential can increase simply by learning a new skill or program. Interested in magazine publication? Learn InDesign and Photoshop. Want to lean more towards finance and corporate work? An in-depth Excel tutorial is calling your name. There are many great websites that offer online courses and tutorials including Coursera and Lynda. These straightforward courses are extremely user-friendly and you can be equipped with a new skill come Fall!
3. Take a Vacation
Once again, this may seem a bit counterintuitive to trying to advance your career, but there have been studies that show your brain needs downtime in order to be more productive. Use a few vacation days (if you have them) or escape for a long weekend and unplug at least 90%, if not completely. If you simply cannot get away from the office or things that you need to do during the summer, try to get outside two or three times a day and leave your phone inside. You’ll be more rested, alert, and prepared for any challenges that work may throw at you.
How are you using summer to help your career? Please share your ideas!
Also by Karina: 5 Ideas to Stay Glamorous in Summer Heat
More career advice: 5 Non Stressful Ways to Measure Your Career Success
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