5 career boosting things to do over the summer

July is here which means folks are taking PTO aka Paid-Time-Off. I'm still waiting for things to "slow down" but the summer lull does happen between July and August.


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Summer is in full swing and in all its glory - Canada Day has come and gone and so has the 4th of July. There's still so much you can do for your career to help you move to where you would like to be.


1. Training

Given that things slow down generally in the summer, this is a great time to finish up any mandatory training courses and also pick up on any courses that would help you in your next level in your career. Examples of training that you can do:

  • Language training

  • Excel training

  • Certifications e.g. Project Management

If you work for the Federal Government, there are several courses that you can take through the Canada School of Public Service so check out the catalogue. You may also be able to Audit classes at the University or College as an alumnus so there may be some flexibility in this way. Use that summer lull to get your learning on!


2. Conferences

These are a great way to network with folks in your field. There may be a few conferences running in July/August and there may be a few in the early fall. This would be a great time to be off because work will not typically be as busy (depending on your industry of course) and with the world opening up you may be able to go in person. Do some research on conferences in your field that are taking place close by or virtually and look into attending.


3. Read

Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading list! As you do your leisure reading, throw in a couple of career boosting books such as Unapologetically Ambitious by Shelley Archambeau. I will be putting together a summer reading list shortly so keep an eye out. Even as you relax on the beach or on vacation, bring some books along that you haven't had time to read.


4. Reach out to mentors/be a mentor

The great thing about summer is that most people are in a relaxed state of mind. This includes your mentors. While regular times in the year may be busy and go go go, summer is a great time to take advantage of the downtime to have a long sit down with your mentor either before or after their vacation. Send out an invite for a coffee or have a virtual chat lined up. This goes both ways: there are several benefits to being a mentor - check out this post I did on 6 benefits of becoming a mentor. Use this time to reach out to up and coming professionals who could benefit from your wisdom and sage advice.


5. Take your Paid-Time-Off (PTO)

This is the biggest thing you can do for yourself this summer is take some time off to relax, clear your head, get out of screens and just replenish your energy, renew your focus. We are almost into the post-pandemic period - whatever that means - and now more than ever you need to take a breather and use the time off to reflect on what you want, what you really want and get some internal direction. Spend some time in prayer and meditate and focus. It will you do you more good than you could ever imagine.


Bottom line: This summer make sure you get some good rest in and rejuvenate especially after the year we have had and all the virtual meetings. That being said, you can still do some things to keep the fire burning in your career. Set yourself up for success so that you are ready to pivot in the early fall when we are post summer and ready to gear up.


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