It’s the dog days of August…but the heat and summertime distractions don’t need to derail your career. While any time is a good time to take stock of whether or not you’re continuing to challenge yourself, August is perfect; usually a lot of people are out of the office on vacations. This means that, for some of you, the work pace will be slower – allowing you the opportunity to start new initiatives that will pay off down the road.
Here are five ideas you can implement to help yourself rise to the top of the corporate heap:
Do lunch. This is a great month to invite a co-worker, industry colleague or mentor to grab a bite to eat. Pick someone you’d like to get to know better, someone who has a job you might like to try in the future, or someone you can learn from. Better yet, pluck up the courage to invite someone who is higher up on the ladder (but not your boss). If you’re really ambitious, make this a weekly or bi-weekly habit to build and maintain quality relationships.
Go back to school. Online courses make it so much easier to fit continuing education into your schedule. Choose a class that stretches your boundaries or that enhances your current skillset. You can find online class options at most of our local universities, or you can try Arizona State University, nationally known for its innovative offerings. Check out our resource guide to technology educational options for a thorough list of options. And don’t forget to check to see if there are tuition rebates at your place of employment.
Make a list of your accomplishments. Many companies conduct job performance reviews in Q4. If a review is in your future, start to prepare for it now by making a list of projects successfully completed, examples of teamwork, any accolades you may have received from supervisors or customers and what you learned by participating in professional organizations. Take the time to identify your career goals so that you can communicate them effectively during the performance review.
Rewrite your Twitter bio and your LinkedIn summary. You need a short, pithy bio that’s 50 words or less for Twitter. Your LinkedIn summary is good to update at least every 6 months to keep it fresh. Strive for something unique to make you stand out from the crowd. This is a great exercise for refining your personal branding strategy…who are you? If you can’t answer the question, ask a coworker to describe you.
Show your face. This one is a “duh.” We’d love to see you at an upcoming New Tech Northwest event, where you can combine fun with networking and educational opportunities. The crowd is always different and eclectic, ranging from startup CEOs to new graduates beginning their job hunts. Networking is probably the most invaluable thing you can do to boost your career, so you might as well do it somewhere that’s lively and stimulating. Also learn about other great events we love and recommend here.