By Kelly Gillis
Contributing Writer at Quantum
We’ve all been there – it’s the middle of July and you’re getting more out-of-office messages than actual replies, reminding you that everyone else is on vacation. While you may be tempted to kick back until 5 o’clock, there are some simple steps you can take to kick-start your career during the quieter summer months.
See if you can optimize/improve a process
It’s always exciting to start a new project, but summer is the perfect time to assess how you can work more efficiently. Can you set up certain emails to go to specific folders automatically? Are your Excel spreadsheets connected to each other so you can update multiple documents with one click? When work starts to pick up again, your future self will thank you for making routine tasks easier.
Ask a colleague you don’t know to lunch (outside, of course!)
That colleague you admire but is always busy during the regular season? She’s probably more than happy to head outside for a stroll, now that she has fewer year-end projects. This is a great way to learn more about other departments at your company. It’s also an easy way to connect with a potential mentor if you’re interested in changing departments.
Many companies host an annual summer activity for employees – why don’t you volunteer to help organize the event? You could also offer to help a colleague in another department while his co-workers are on vacation. Not only will you have something productive to do, you’ll also spend time with people outside your core team, strengthening your relationships and showing others you’re engaged with the company beyond your paycheque.
Learn something new/update your professional skills
Instead of checking your email for the twelfth time, use your downtime to sharpen your skills. Improve your French writing skills by doing some online grammar exercises. Become the Excel wizard of your team. Learn how to use a new graphics software. Obviously, choose activities that will make you better at your job so you can justify the time spent to your boss.
Your career doesn’t have to take a back-seat just because your office is in a summer slump. While everyone else is daydreaming about weekend getaways, you’re setting yourself up to crush your career come fall.
Ready for your next career move? Search our current job listings! One of them might be just what you’re looking for.