Summer is the perfect time for R and R, but it’s also the perfect time for reflection. Unless it is their busy season, most businesses slow down during the summer months, giving you time to take stock and reflect on your career and potential next steps.
Here are some tips that will set you on your way:
Make a list of every success you have had since the beginning of the year and pat yourself on the back. Hang the list near your desk so you can review it everyday and start your day on a positive note. When you are having a challenging day, you can look at the list and know that you can handle any problem.
Update your resume now. Updating your resume every 6 months to a year is much easier than trying to recall your responsibilities and achievements over the past 5 years. It can also help highlight areas that may need further development. Plan ahead and be prepared for that dream job opportunity.
Network, network, network! Meet with colleagues both inside and outside of your organization and cultivate your relationships. People have a bit more time in the summer and are willing to go to lunch especially if there is a chance they can spend some time outside! Developing a strong network is the key to career advancement.
Clean up your office. It will help you be more productive when work gets busy and it also reflects a well-organized employee.
Brush up on your etiquette. Most people attend more parties and events during the warmer months. Work on mastering introductions, interesting small talk and excellent table manners. Strong etiquette skills are a critical component of professional presence.
Evaluate your clothing and hairstyle. Does your appearance send the message you intend? Do you appear current, pulled together and polished, or do you look a bit dated and disheveled?
Review your LinkedIn profile. Make sure it is 100 percent complete. Include a professional headshot. Add recommendations and new connections. Add personality to your story so it is engaging and doesn’t read like a resume.
Google yourself every few weeks to see what content shows up. Clean up any content that is unflattering.
Taking time to reflect is a gift only you can give to yourself. You may be surprised at how much you have accomplished, how well you have managed your image and how close you are to achieving your goals. Conversely, if you haven’t made the progress you intended or managed your image as well as you should, it is never too late. Take stock and make it happen!