Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, people have officially fallen into summer mode–even though it’s not officially the new season until June 21st. People are coming to work later, leaving earlier, and taking Mondays and Fridays off. The only thing getting longer are Happy Hours. You might think this lovely season is the perfect time to slack off a bit at work and relax. But you’re wrong. Summer is actually a great time to recharge and get ahead in your career.
According to a new poll from Citibank’s Connect, the company’s Professional Women’s Network on LinkedIn, most of your fellow working ladies aren’t even getting those fun seasonal perks like Summer Fridays. Their survey says that 83 percent of Connect members work regular hours during the summer. No slacking off there. So if you aren’t even allowed to leave your office, you may as well use this time to get ahead. Your friends might come back with a tan but you may walk away with a raise in August. Here are some tips:
1. Network it!
Summer is known as party season, so you’ll have ample time for networking. This is the time to get those drinks with so and so that you’ve been meaning to do for months. People are just more willing to stay out later because it’s warmer and lighter in the evening. Use this time wisely!
2. Ramp up your personal brand
If you find that you have less work, use this extra time to ramp up your personal brand. For most of us, this means taking full control of our online presence. According to The YEC, you should start by registering your name online. If you can’t snag a dot-com address, think of getting a .me, .net or try using your middle name or nickname. Sign up for the social networking sites that you feel most comfortable with, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to secure your identity with them.
3. Bring new ideas to the table
Again if it’s slower, use this time to strategize. Look at the big picture. Do research. Ask if you can meet with your boss to talk about some new ideas.
4. Offer to take on extra work
Hey, if you have the energy, this is another great way to show off your stuff. Offer to lead a project or maybe manage an intern?
5. When you are at work, Lean In
Summer is like permanent senioritis in a way. We just constantly imagine ourselves at the beach or a lake or backpacking through Europe–instead of sitting at our desks. I almost burst into tears last summer when my parents texted me pictures of the view from their room in Maine. But I am not the only one who feels this longing, which results in serious distraction. According to a survey by Captivate, those polled reported a 20 percent decrease in productivity, 19 percent dip in attendance, 13 percent increase in project turnaround times, and a heavy rise in level of distraction at 45 percent during summer hours.
It’s hard, but when you are work try to be in the moment and totally present. Looking through Facebook or Instagram at your friends will only make this harder. Definitely take a vacation, but then come back ready to work!
6. It may legitimately be the perfect time to ask for a raise
We have talked about timing when you are going to ask for your raise or promotion. You don’t want to do it when half the company has been let go or your boss is super stressed out. You want to do it at the end of the fiscal year, which actually June of July for some companies. Woohoo!
What are your goals for elevating your career this summer? What are your best tips for staying engaged in your job, without burning out in the sunny months? Tell us in the comments!
Photo: Zero Creatives / Getty Images