Sunny days on the lake, long hikes through Minnesota trails, spending time with friends on one of Minneapolis’ many beautiful patios, whatever your favorite summer activity may be, this time of year is when career goals often get pushed to the side. While it’s important to relax and recharge, there are some simple steps you can take to continue advancing your career this summer.
Learn a Skill
From professional development events (like Meetup) and free online trainings, to countless skill-building books and traditional mentoring, there are plenty of opportunities for you to refine or learn a new skill this summer. First decide what skill you’d like to learn, and then decide what type of learning platform makes the most sense based on your schedule and learning style. If you plan on spending every weekend at the lake, find a good book and start each morning with a little self development. If you’re looking to combine your social life with professional development, attend an event with a coworker or friend.
Take a Practice Run on Leadership
Other people’s vacation time is the perfect opportunity for you to volunteer to step in and take on leadership responsibilities. Instead of slowing down when your manager is away, offer to step in and take on some of their duties. This not only will demonstrate your leadership abilities, but will undeniably expand your knowledge of your industry and potential opportunities for the future.
Make it a Networking Thing
Without question, summer brings on more social events than any other time of year. Whether you’re at a wedding or meeting someone new at happy hour after work, make a point to learn more about the people around you to see how you can help each other accomplish your professional goals.
Build Your Brand
Did you know that 67 percent of hiring managers use job candidates’ online presences to determine whether or not they’re the right fit for the job (source)? Take time this summer to define your own personal brand – who you are, what you stand for, and your unique characteristics that make you stand out – and demonstrate that online. It can be as simple as creating or tweaking your LinkedIn profile. Or, you can create personal website to share your brand in an even more unique way.
Set the Stage
If you’ve been procrastinating on moving forward on a bigger goal like preparing for a long-anticipated job opening that will become available this fall, or pursuing an MBA, set tasks for yourself to accomplish throughout the summer so that you can be prepared to move forward with these goals!