This blog was featured on Practically Perfect PAs website on July 30th, 2014. http://www.practicallyperfectpa.com/2014/5-ways-turbo-charge-career-summer/07/30/
As I was reading Nicky Christmas’s timely and pertinent piece about mid-year reviews, it started me thinking about how you should be positioning yourself for the rest of the year. There is a temptation to think that the summer is waste of career-time and that should save our action lists for January. But, by following these tips, you could turbo-charge your career whilst your colleagues are topping up their tans.
1. Learn more about your company’s goals
You probably (hopefully) know what your boss does but how much do you know about what your company does? This is a hard thing to follow in a larger firm. Take some time this summer to understand the mission and goals of your company. You will find this information on your website so you don’t have to leave your lounger. Get to grips with how your team contributes to your company’s business objectives. Knowing how your job fits into the big picture will give you accomplishment, direction — and will help you understand your job’s impact.
2. Read a business book
The best business books are not boring and offer huge inspiration. Take a (paperback) business book with you and dedicate 30 minutes to it every day. I’d suggest after breakfast rather than after lunch ………. Try “Strong Woman” by Karren Brady or Alan Sugar’s autobiography.
3. Try to get a bit fitter (or not too unfit)
You’re not expected to be a saint on holiday but it’s also the perfect time to get outside and get moving. Swim a few lengths in the pool or give your legs a workout by walking on the beach. A healthy body makes a healthy mind so try not to come back to the office feeling like you’ve really over-done it. Instead, aim for a relaxed and healthly glow.
4. Plan your climb to the next rung on your ladder
What does career success look like to you? Next summer, how will you measure whether you’ve had a good year or not? Identify the person that has the job you would like in your firm. Which skills and experience do they have that you don’t? Are they fluent in a second language or can they read balance sheets? Understand your gaps and be ready to take action to fill them.
5. Get ready to stretch
When we leave for vacation, we are so exhausted we can’t stand to think about work. But over a few days, or a week, our attitude changes. As you feel your energy levels returning to normal, start to think about ways in which you could go above and beyond the call of duty in your current role. Be honest with yourself and ask if you have become lazy or complacent. Are there projects outside your defined role you could help with? Be proactive; ask to join. Come up with your own ideas, and work with your manager to implement them. This won’t go unnoticed.