Summer is here and the weather isn’t the only thing heating up. The summer months bring a lot of opportunity for job seekers and professionals alike. Casual Fridays have now expanded from Monday through Thursday, and there’s an abundance of social media posts displaying those gorgeous beach vacations with mojitos in hand.
The hotter weather also brings a sudden feeling of exhaustion for many professionals. The kids are out of school, and now you have extra time to focus on yourself and your needs. If you’re in a slump about your career or current work situation, the “summertime blues” may have already kicked in.
Contrary to popular belief, summer is the perfect time to increase your social connectivity and put yourself out there for new career opportunities, or to seek a promotion from within your company. Here are some ideal ways you can boost your summer mood and put the sizzle back in your career.
1. Refine Your Personal Brand
Now is a great time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect some of the big accomplishments and results you’ve achieved since that last performance review six months ago. Consistently updating both your resume and LinkedIn profile will keep your own career progress current. Reflect on your end-of-the-year performance review and take note of those exciting things you have done in the past six months to help overhaul your personal brand.
Consider the positive elements you’ve brought into your workplace and overall career. Think about the new projects you’ve been called upon to lead, processes you’ve improved, costs you’ve decreased, and ways in which you’ve championed change at your company.
It’s also a great time to update your LinkedIn profile, which is your digital footprint. Viewable by more than 600+ million users (in comparison to your resume which is only seen by a hand-select number of people), LinkedIn gives you the power to broaden your professional network. Add flair to your LinkedIn profile with a fresh, new professional headshot.
During the summer months, dedicate time to connecting with new professionals, join new groups, and start engaging more on the LinkedIn platform. Make sure the dates in your LinkedIn profile match up to the dates in your resume. When it comes to your professional experience section in your LinkedIn profile, do not put financial figures as that information could be construed as confidential and proprietary to the organization. Less is more when it comes to putting details in your experience section. Instead, focus your energy on optimizing your LinkedIn headline and summary.
2. Attend Summer Lunch Meetings and Business Events
Summer is the time to be extra social and practice those networking skills. Take up the opportunity for a fun happy hour with business professionals or a professional development “lunch and learn.” Make time in your calendar to catch up with old colleagues, work friends, networking contacts, and prospective new business contacts. Keep it casual, and don’t forget to follow-up after that fun lunch or happy hour. The important takeaway is to connect with others on LinkedIn and outside of it. Devote the time to building real-life connections with these individuals. Remember, the larger your network, the more opportunities you have to put those contacts into your corner.
3. Get Involved in Your Local Community
Summer provides a terrific opportunity to boost and re-charge your internal energy by getting involved in your local community. There are lots of weekend events as well as after-work volunteer events hosted by local organizations. Remember that community involvement is a great resume booster and something to share about on LinkedIn. Consider doing a Sunday morning beach cleanup, feeding the homeless at a local shelter, or helping to organize a local clothing drive. You just never know if your next networking contact will be at one of those local community events. Get energized and get involved.
4. Think About the Next Six Months and Make a Plan
Remember, the year is halfway over and it’s time to not only reflect on the first six months, but look to the second six months and make that plan. Is there a certification or new digital skill you want to obtain? Do you have a professional development conference on your radar? What about focusing on undertaking a new opportunity at work? Or, making more time for self-care and weekly visits to the gym?
Summer is an excellent time to self-reflect and make a list of goals you plan to achieve for the second half of the year. Remember, the early bird gets the worm, so take inventory and turn up the heat on those career goals.