05/30/2019 by Kori Burkholder
4 Fun Ideas to Boost Your Career Success This Summer
Summer is typically the time to take a mental break and enjoy the warm weather, the fun vibes, outdoor picnics, and activities. But, the dog days can be a great time to take stock of your career and its trajectory (or lack thereof) and what you want to achieve next. You can take advantage of the downtime to create new goals and find fun ways (yes, fun!) to boost your career momentum no matter what you’re seeking next.
Is it to find a new job/industry, expand your network, build more leadership skills, or maybe it’s to find more work-life balance?
First, figure out your career goal, and then try out these 4 fun ideas designed to boost your career success this summer.
Hate to Network? Find a Wing(wo)man.
If you’re looking to change jobs or industries it’s vital to get out there and meet people and expand your network.
What comes to mind when you hear the term "networking event,"? So many people feel dread, nervousness, anxiety, discomfort, and awkwardly forced conversations. And the thought of having to talk about themselves, having their "elevator pitch" down and a CTA to top it off, can often derail efforts from doing it at all!
It doesn’t have to be this way. Networking can be fun if you get a little creative with it. I always tell clients who "hate to network" to find a Wing(wo)man (aka a friend), choose something fun that you both want to do, discuss your professional objectives and 2-3 talking points you’d like each other to highlight about each other before walking in.
I love this idea because you don’t have to talk about yourself, and it takes the pressure off! You get to brag about your friend and their accomplishments and goals and your friend gets to brag about you.
And that’s it! Enjoy the activity and see what you can make happen. You are both are a team accomplishing more together than either one of you could ever do alone.
Want more visibility? Put together a fun team activity
Want to boost your leadership and visibility? Whether you’ve been working at the same company for years or are a newbie at your company, why not create and organize a fun work activity? It could be anything from hosting a creative happy hour at the latest trendy outdoor space or in-house training.
When YOU become the organizer it puts you into the spotlight. It shows leadership and initiative. It’s no secret that people bond over new experiences. As a workshop facilitator, I see it all the time when colleagues participate in a unique experience together, they walk away with more compassion and camaraderie towards their co-workers. It’s an easy way to get to know the people you work with on a whole new level and can boost team productivity and communication.
If you are at a loss for ideas, here are a few to get the wheels spinning and will make you look like a superstar:
- organize an art happy hour in the office or at a location off-site
- initiate a group improv or acting class (hey! I just signed up for this and thought we could all do this together).
- I’m sure one of your coworkers is certified (something) like maybe outdoor yoga/mediation
- a team run, or even raising awareness and money for a charity that aligns with the mission of your company
- organizes a lunch n’ learn around a topic of interest.
Whatever you choose, make it fun, and at the same time, it could put you on the map as a leader and someone who enjoys bringing people together.
Need more work-life balance? Explore a passion
Do you need more work-life balance? Being busy professionals, we can often get caught up in our work, office politics, tight deadlines, and our stress can go through the roof! Usually, the things we love to do or think about doing often take a back seat as "other things" become a higher priority.
Having a passion for exploring outside of work creates more balance and can reduce stress levels as it becomes an outlet for your emotions and creativity.
I’ve always had something going on outside of my day job, whether it be painting, tennis or my many sides hustles, which gave me more purpose and fulfillment, giving me more energy and focus at work.
The other advantage is that you are your best self when you’re in a happy place, feeling confident, content, and maybe even more relaxed. Typically, when we’re in our element and consumed with a passion project, we tend to feel more ourselves, which is a great place to be when meeting others and a fun way to network, too!
Please don’t keep it all to yourself! Instead, share your career goals with others.
Whatever your career goals are this summer, start sharing them with others. For example, when you’re at a BBQ or taking that surfing class, please make an effort to get to know the person sitting or paddling next to you and share with them that your dream company is [fill in the blank], and your dream role is [fill in the blank]. You never know; that person might see the recruiter for that company.
As J. Kelly Hoey, author of Build Your Dream Network who has a slew of great ideas for networking says, "What I do know about networking is this: It is an essential and continuous activity. You control the effort – but not the outcome. Networking is everywhere."
I agree. Networking opportunities are all around us!
Growing your career this summer can be a fun activity in and of itself, even if you’re on a "mental break." So create the goal, try out these four fun activities, and see what happens for your growth.
Kori Burkholder, Certified Professional Career Coach
Kori Burkholder is a Career and Creativity Success Coach and facilitator of transformational art experiences for busy professionals who have a desire to explore their unique creativity. Kori’s work uses creativity as a pathway to turn career, business, and life dream into reality. Kori’s coaching and facilitation provide tools, ideas, and resources to support individuals and organizations to become their happiest and best selves.
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