Even when you work year-round, summer is often a slowdown period as companies wrap up their fiscal year and employees take vacation days. Fortunately, summer can be the perfect time to evaluate your career goals and devote more energy to resolutions that have slipped out of focus. Instead of winding down, consider these easy ways to make summer or any slow season more productive.
Find a Passion Project
Forget about binge-watching TV shows all summer, and start a fun hobby that helps you relieve stress and learn new skills. If you've always wanted to try photography, gardening or coding, get some guidebooks on how to get started or join a group with other hobbyists. Websites such as Meetup are ideal for finding locals with similar interests. As an added benefit, getting to know new people in casual settings helps you grow your network and advance your long-term career goals.
Publish Your Writing
Use your newfound free time to write a blog or pitch stories to magazines. Social media is increasingly becoming a passive recruitment source, and building an archive of authoritative content can keep opportunities coming your way. Whether you're knowledgeable about a hobby or professional topic, use your wealth of experience to inform others, promote your skills and further your career goals all at the same time.
Reach Out to Bloggers and Journalists
Connect with people who already have a sizeable following to grow your audience. Use LinkedIn or Twitter to contact reputable professionals who write topics in your area of expertise, and offer to be a source in an article. You can build rapport by frequently commenting on articles or getting involved in thoughtful discussions. Think beyond your personal career goals, and recommend other professionals as sources when you can't contribute yourself. Simply being helpful and making introductions is often a great way to forge connections with people in diverse industries.
Seize Public Speaking Opportunities
The more you create content and offer results-oriented advice to others, the more you gain a reputation as a thought leader. Look for opportunities to speak publicly in formal and informal capacities. For example, offer to lead a presentation at work, volunteer at a community workshop or request a spot on a business conference panel.
Enroll in a Course
Lifelong learning prepares you for disruption in your industry, so use downtime for personal development. Take an online course, or visit a local community college to learn new skills or keep up with changing practices and technologies in your current field. Being proactive about education makes you a more competitive job seeker, especially if you anticipate a change of career goals, company downsizing or a possible promotion.
Get More Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle contributes to stress, low energy and poor health. Adding daily exercise to your routine can make you feel more well-rested while improving your mental concentration and emotional wellness. If you live close to your job, consider walking to work a few days a week and asking co-workers to join you. Take advantage of the long, sunny days, and join a casual sports team or fitness group to meet people who enjoy being active.
Career goals don't have to wane in the summer. Pursue enriching experiences that boost your satisfaction and personal development to reap lasting benefits in your professional life.
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