4 Smart Ways to Advance Your Career This Summer
Already starting to fill up your summer calendar? Be sure to tap into some of our best practices and your summer can be full of career opportunities, too.
After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the brighter days of spring can be a time of renewal. Perhaps we feel like we’re in a better flow at work now or perhaps we feel even more inclined to declutter and “spring clean” after all of the festivities. Spring can also be a good time to revisit those goals we laid out to tackle for our new year.
But never fear when the end of spring nears! As we begin prepping our patios and grills for the warmer days and longer nights, remember that the more casual social offerings of summertime can open up more opportunities to NETWORK. Here we identify tips and practices you can easily incorporate into your daily or weekly routine and still bask in hosting that weekend bar-b-que.
If you haven’t already, check out Meetup.com. Their claim to networking happiness is that you can join a local group to meet people, try something new, or do more of what you love. Simply select your geographical area and choose from a range of categories of groups or any interest you may have – from professional networking to training for a marathon. Can you feel the inspiration? You can even create your own group!
Now, this may sound cliché to some but everything we do can be a form of selling ourselves. We’re not talking about creating a whole persona in an effort to meet more people or impress the higher-ups but if your find yourself wanting more from your career, it’s a good time to sit down and consider how you can freshen up your approach. First and foremost, identify your strengths. Are you particularly good at starting conversations throughout the office or at social gatherings? Why? How do you harness this super ability? Not only can identifying your strengths be a good confidence builder but being cognizant of more ways to show your appeal definitely works to your advantage.
Sometimes, it’s the little things all added up that make a difference with the right people. For example, think of your next phone call from a coworker as an opportunity to shine. How you answer the phone and how you close the conversation with someone can send the message that not only are you pleasant to work with but also very knowledgeable and professional. Sold! And you really were just being yourself with maybe a little extra zing because you took some time to refocus on your strengths.
Be more involved
When was the last time you volunteered to help set up or spread the word about a company event? Take advantage of the more laid back summertime when picnics, bar-b-ques and after work get-togethers come about more frequently. Gatherings like these are a great opportunity to create a stronger, more extensive network.
Whether you’re throwing a networking party or volunteering in a workplace community effort, getting more involved in company events allows you to mix in and meet people you may not have worked with before. Volunteering your time (can be more enjoyable than you think) can also give you access to more people of influence and open the doors to you using more than just your technical skills. Next time, take a second look at that sign-up sheet that’s being e-mailed around your office!
Set up Google Alerts
Work smarter, not harder and stay up-to-date in subjects of interest by setting up Google Alerts. Enter key words and/or topics of interest in Google Alerts, and you’ll receive an e-mail when new results for these topics show up in Google Search.
Use this efficient tool to monitor employers of interest or receive current news on a particular industry in which you’d like to become more familiar. If you’re considering moving to a new city, get a better grasp on their job market by setting up alerts for local news stories and specific companies’ job openings. Staying on top of the latest goings on in a particular industry or your target company and their competitors can set you up for success when you’re out there networking or interviewing with prospective employers.
Here’s how to set up your alerts:
Go to the Google Alerts Page
In the box at the top, enter a topic you want to follow
You can change your settings (i.e., how often you receive notifications, what accounts get the alert) by clicking “Show Options”
Click “Create Alert”
At this point, you may have some brilliant ideas on how you can apply some of these practices. Remember: balance is key. It’s okay to steadily do your research through Google Alerts, peruse some networking groups at Meetup.com from time-to-time and maybe when grabbing some lunch or sipping your coffee, think about what makes you so good at what you do. Let your strides in advancing your career happen organically. Before you know it, these resources can all come together and you may just find you have built quite the impressive guest list for your own summer networking party!