You know summer has arrived when all you want to do is take off those shoes and switch them out for a pair of flip flops or sandals. This is also a great time to take advantage of the lazy hazy crazy days of summer and bulk up on some new ideas that you can incorporate in your business or career. Although business goes on as usual during these next few months, the slower pace can provide you with ample time to try something new.
Here are some ideas for you to make this summer productive and rewarding:
1. I have found that this is a great time to connect with those people you have always wanted to meet. Since relationship building is the cornerstone to a healthy business and career, this time of year is as good a time as any to extend yourself and grow your professional network. So reach out to thought leaders in your industry, leaders in your company, potential, past, and current clients, and colleagues both inside and outside your company and grow and solidify your universe of contacts.
2. Are there skills you want to master or courses you want to take that will help propel you forward toward your professional goals? Check out your local schools, libraries, and professional organizations for courses and lectures that might interest you.
3. Want to explore career options outside your current area? As I wrote in the first paragraph, this is a great time of year to make connections with people outside your current industry and learn more about other industries and professions. See how your skill set fits into jobs you might never have considered before.
4. Write an article, give a talk, start a blog - all of these are great ways to demonstrate your area of expertise and spread your personal brand.
5. Now might be a good time to update your resume or bio – it’s always wise to have updated materials ready should the need arise.
6. Spend some time being introspective. Use those walks on the beach or on a mountain path to take stock of where you are professionally and personally. Figure out what is working for you, what is making you happy, and what you can/want to give up. And then make your plan and execute on it.
7. Summer is also a wonderful time to read some of those great books out there and pick up some new tools to help you with your business, your career, and your life (not to mention great summer beach reads). I was away on vacation this past week and I had a chance to actually read some of those books that have piled up on my nightstand and Kindle. Here is my list (some old, some new) of what can make the summer (or winter for those of you who are reading this from somewhere down under) more interesting and productive:
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (An oldie but still a goodie)
“Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor – The New Way to Fast Track Your Career” by Sylvia Ann Hewlett
“The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey
“Start With Why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action” by Simon Sinek
“Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman
If you’re looking for something interesting and absorbing and if you haven’t read “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls then by all means get started – it’s fast, well written and unbelievable but true. Another great read is “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown – you don’t have to be a fan of boating to enjoy it.
Do you have a favorite book? Whether it’s for work or play, please share your books with us. Do you have any other ways that you use this time productively? Let us know.
So enjoy the season, whatever season you are in, and use this time to grow, learn, and expand.
Want to work on your career this summer? Whether it’s strengthening your personal or leadership brand, improving your interviewing skills or interested in starting a job search, let’s talk.