Things tend to move a bit slower in the summer. Whether you’re a student on summer break, or you’re working a bit less hours in the warm weather, summer is a great opportunity to take advantage of the extra hours.
Here are just a few ways to get ahead this summer:
1. Stay Informed
When you have some time off it’s important to keep informed and up to date on industry news. Especially if you’re fresh out of college, you need to get in the habit of holding yourself accountable for furthering your education and learning outside of the classroom. The summer is a great time to read books related to your career, or that are about careers you think you may be interested in.
2. Write Online
Over your summer break you can express yourself! Start writing regularly, and perhaps consider starting a blog. The summer is of course a time to have fun, but make sure you keep your online presence professional. If you do start a blog, or have one already, make sure it’s polished and represents your positive attributes. If you don’t want to manage a separate site for writing, you can post your career-related thoughts and posts on LinkedIn. Writing online is a great way to demonstrate your thoughtfulness, personality, and knowledge. Plus writing is an important skill to any profession, and you should hone it with practice.
3. Keep a Journal
Writing doesn’t have to be public. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your work online, then feel free to keep a journal. Self-reflection is important to your growth, and writing in a journal can help you make sense of your thoughts. Try keeping a gratitude journal and reflect on the things you’re grateful for every day. Take time to appreciate all of the positive aspects of your life.
4. Make a Personal Website
Having a personal website is a great way to showcase your personality and projects you can be proud of. You don’t have to be an artist or a writer to showcase your skills. Having an impressive web presence is important in your job search and having a curated, online portfolio makes it easy for prospective employers to look at your accomplishments.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community. There are numerous organizations and activities that need volunteer help, so find a cause that you care about and sign up. Of course, volunteering is an amazing way to help a good cause, but it also can help illuminate what is most important to you. You may find a great passion through volunteer work. You’ll also meet new people and learn new skills through your work.
Of course, you can always get a summer job. There are many seasonal positions that you can work during the summer. If you like being in the outdoors, try looking at the local pool or park. Making extra cash while you have a summer break is a great way to prepare for the cooler months when you’ll be focusing more on school, and possibly a new job if you’re fresh out of college. This is also a great time to consider freelancing or starting a side business. If there’s an idea you wanted to try in school and didn’t have time, you can try it out in the summer.
The weather is nice, you have more freedom, so there aren’t any excuses as to why you can’t exercise in the summer. Find an activity that you love and get active! It doesn’t have to be running or hitting the gym. Although some people love that, it isn’t for everyone. Try hiking or swimming, join a yoga or dance class. Whatever you like, find something that fits and go for it. Making your health a priority is an important part of becoming an adult.
Take time to appreciate nature and travel if you have the means. Your education doesn’t just happen in a classroom or by reading. You need to have educational experiences as well. Kinesthetic learning is important to your growth, and making important and lasting memories can impact your thinking more than studying.
9. Learn a New Skill
Pick a few skills you would like to improve or learn, and start studying! Check out your local library or set up shop in a local café. Carve out a space in your home where you can focus. Explore sites like UDemy, SkillShare, and even YouTube for tutorials on different skills like languages, cooking, coding, art, and more. Find something that you’re interested in and if you don’t master it, then at least make good progress!
Don’t fall out of the habit of meeting with people, especially mentors. Keep in touch with your current network and work on expanding it. Attend networking events in your area and reach out to people you respect. Check out MeetUp or your local Chamber of Commerce for networking events.
11. Challenge Yourself
Is there something that’s been holding you back? With all of the self-reflection you’ve been doing, you should try to pinpoint what challenges you, and confront it. If you have a fear of public speaking, try taking an improv class or recording videos of yourself speaking so you can improve. The summer is a great time to work on self-improvement, and although you may be afraid, it’s brave to work on yourself and always get better everyday.
12. Plan for the Future
The summer is a great time to plan for your future. Do you need to update your resume? What are the next steps you need to take in your education or your career? Do the research and set concrete goals for you to complete in the next few months, or even years.
Don’t let your extra hours go to waste. Get ahead and take advantage of your summer vacation with these tips.
What’s your summer routine? Have you used summers to advance in your career? Share your story on UltiCareer to help students and others searching for a career get motivated and learn about what your type of job is really like.
on UltiCareer to help others on their job search, get to know what your type of job is really like.