Ah, summer. Time of schoolchildren let loose on the streets, melting ice creams in stuffy offices, and inboxes filled with ‘out of office’ auto replies.
Even if you’re not going anywhere this year, it can be hard to even think about work when the weather is warm and your colleagues are sunning themselves on faraway beaches.
Yet if you’re not entirely happy with how your career is going, or if you’ve been thinking about changing it completely, then summer – just like that ‘dead’ week in between Christmas and New Year – can be the perfect time to take stock of how you earn your living.
Put daydreaming to good use
I’m not advocating daydreaming at work (perish the thought!) – but let’s face it, most of us do. As the summer workload eases off, you might find you have a bit more time to think about what would make your job better, or even about an entirely different career.
Instead of consigning these thoughts to the back of your mind, why not try following them and see where they lead? If you’ve been thinking about working from home on the odd occasion, or perhaps working fewer hours, could you start composing a flexible work request to actually make it happen? How about planning your request for that salary increase you never get round to mentioning?
If you want to change career completely, why not start doing some initial research? (Fact: my own magnificent career change began with a summertime Google search for “career change advice” when I was stuck in a job I didn’t want to do any more, and with no idea what I wanted to do next).
If you work for yourself, then as your clients start to drift away on holiday you could spend some valuable time thinking about what you want to achieve next. A speaking engagement perhaps, or maybe hosting a webinar? How about planning an e-book to boost sales?
Build your confidence with self-improvement
Confidence comes from competence, and summer is a great time to think about what you’re good at, what you could do with improving on, and what skills you might need to reach the next level of your career.
Make a list, and then schedule in some learning or practising time – even if it’s just spending an hour every Sunday morning reading a book about something you’ve always wanted to do.
How about setting yourself a summer task; maybe something that’s slightly out of your comfort zone, such as learning a new language, or starting a new company blog?
It’s good to talk!
Contrary to popular belief, summer is a great time to hunt for a new job. For starters, there will generally be fewer applications for advertised jobs (meaning less competition). You could also write a tailored letter to that company you’ve always wanted to work for…and get in front of them before they start thinking about composing a recruitment ad in September!
If you’re researching a career change, summer can be a great time to arrange a coffee (or ice cream) meeting with people who can help you along the way.
Whatever you decide to work on this summer – even if it’s just your tan! – I hope it goes well. There will be no blog post next week, as I’m celebrating a big birthday… so have a great week and see you on the other side.
I'm a friendly and professional writer, reviewer and editor who works with warmth, humour and flexibility.
How to become every freelancer's favourite client!Read more
Learn how to live happily ever after through the power of storytellingRead more
There's a lot of vague career advice out there, so if you're looking for insight that goes beyond "be yourself and follow your passion" you may have to leap before you look!Read more
Standing up and presenting to a group of people is something that strikes fear into the hearts of even the most confident people - so if you're an introvert like me, it can really be the stuff of nightmares! Here's how I tackle my nerves head-on, with some careful preparation and relatable content.Read more
You don't have to be a professional writer to discover a unique writing voice that speaks to its readers. Finding your own voice is often easier than you might think, and it all starts when you write from the heart.Read more
I'm a 'Success Story'! My career change journey was featured on Careershifters' website this week, and I'm incredibly proud of it. But I wouldn't want anybody to think changing my career has been easy. And so this is a reflection of sorts, on where I was when I began, and how I've ended up where I am now.Read more
Are you reading this over coffee, or maybe as you wait for a late train? Blogging for business is a handy way to keep in regular contact with your followers and show them the human side of your company, but it can be difficult to keep it going once you've started. It's worth it, though - so here are a few tips to keep your blog posts consistent and entertaining.Read more
There's a new trend sweeping Silicon Valley - giving honest and direct feedback to your colleagues. Before you go rushing in, focus your message by writing it down first...your colleagues and your career will thank you for it!Read more
All those celebrated business gurus had to start somewhere...and the most successful ones know how to tell their stories in a relatable way that inspires others to act on their dreams and ideas. By writing a business book, you can do just that yourself!Read more
Writing a recruitment ad is often a rushed activity, with the words used ones you've read many times before ("dynamic" anyone?) Here's how the Banks children managed to recruit their ideal candidate - Mary Poppins! - by using clear and creative words that stood out.Read more
'Greatest Hits' countdowns are rife at this time of year - so now, here's one featuring the best CV advice. This list will give you the ultimate steer if you're looking to get your CV on track for the new year job hunt. Wishing you a very happy 2017!Read more
If you're stuck in a job you don't particularly like, mindlessly searching job boards for something else, it can be hard to dredge up any enthusiasm to make a change. But that little bit of rest time between Christmas and a brand new year beginning is perfect for considering exactly what you want, and how to take the very first step towards making 2017 your happy work year!Read more
Is time getting the better of you? With a growing business, several passion projects on the go, books to read and friends I'd quite like to see, I was starting to feel overwhelmed...until I decided to take a closer look at planning my time more effectively. Here's how you can do the same.Read more
Looking for ways to sound consistent and authentic in your written communications? Here are a few tried, tested and original ways to do just that.Read more
Going it alone, releasing yourself from the shackles of a traditional nine-to-five, is exhilarating. It's also incredibly scary! To celebrate my first quarter-year in business, here are some of the most important lessons I've learned from the front line.Read more