It’s the summer. Job seekers are facing dismal unemployment rates as the United States economy starts down the long road to improvement. If you’re lucky enough to have a job, it’s likely that you’re constantly looking for ways to stay on top of your game. Continuing professional development, working towards that promotion, or simply working to do your best every day, it’s tough to remain positive when the skies aren’t always sunny and the birds aren’t singing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah. I’ve done some thinking on this subject and think that it really comes down to three main points. Sometimes, the best answer is the most simple. I hope that these recommendations work for you.
Here are a few simple rules to help you stay on top of your game:
Keep your network informed and engaged. Set aside a certain amount of time each week to do this. I can’t say it enough - networking makes a difference! Regardless of your situation, it’s a good idea to keep your network up to date. Let them know how you’re doing. If you’re employed, it’s a great way to update them on your progress. If you’re still seeking employment, it’s a way to remind your network of this and the challenges you’re facing. You never know how someone could help! Students – if you’re interning this summer, you’re probably just about ready to meet with your sponsor or manager to update them on the progress of your assigned projects. Don’t keep this progress update to just your manager. Let your network in on it. They want to know too!
Remember your roots. It’s important to remember your beginnings. We all start somewhere and couldn’t get to where we want to go without a good push. Regardless of how successful you become, I’d encourage you to say thank you to the people that push you to be better and serve as a support network for your career. It seems like a little thing, but it means a lot to hear a sincere thank you these days (it’s not that common).
Learn and apply lessons. Have you read a great book lately? Did you see that awesome movie that came out on Friday? Look a little deeper into the story and premise of the books you read and movies you watch. Believe it or not, most times there is a moral to the story. Take the lessons you learned or the theme and apply it to your career. It could be anything from management to teamwork to leadership. As entertaining as the movies are, there’s a great deal of insight to gain from this summer’s blockbusters. Here’s what I learned from the new A-Team movie: Building Your Own A-Team.
So, whether you’re vacationing from school this summer, looking for a new job, or are already gainfully employed, these are three simple ways to stay on top of your game. This isn’t meant to be a one-sized fits all approach, so if you have other suggestions or recommendations, I welcome your input! Please leave a comment below. As always, thanks for reading.