If there’s any time that I consider ideal in order to focus on business and personal brand development, then it would have to be the summer. Why is that? With so many people taking holidays during this period and work becoming slower, I have the time to reflect on the past year’s progress and plan for the year ahead.
Taking the time to completely switch off and do nothing is as essential to your career’s success as is dedicating time to its growth.
I devote days to doing absolutely nothing, and allow my brain to unwind. Nevertheless, I also ensure to dedicate some time for my career’s development for it to skyrocket when the busy period kicks in in the fall.
Here are five areas you should focus on this summer to give your career a boost in the autumn.
Update your personal brand
Let’s face it, the first place people will look to find more information about you and what you do will be online. Google yourself and find out what the search results yield. What is the first impression that people will have about you?
As a person who works a lot with creatives, the first place I look to find out more information about someone is their personal website/portfolio. Your personal website or portfolio should include your biography, photo and links to any press coverage about you or your latest work. If you are a writer, it should include links to your articles and if you are an artist it should include samples of your work. They should also be categorised accordingly. The more work you have, the better.
You can also dedicate the summer time to establish yourself as a thought leader. Provide online courses, publish your own blog and contribute to your local media.
Develop your leadership skills
My schedule is hectic throughout the year. Summer is the time where I can dedicate more time to online courses and develop my leadership skills. The Covid-19 pandemic shifted the way we work, learn and develop. There’s more emphasis on digital skills and there’s no time like the present to ensure that you are ahead of the learning curve.
Are you up to speed with the latest trends in technology? Even if you don’t work directly in the field, technology and the digital sphere impact many areas of our lives and will help you build a diverse set of skills that will make you appealing to employers. It may even inspire ideas for your business. Many of these online courses are available at competitive rates online from top universities and institutions. These allow you to learn at your own pace.
Give back to the community
Consumers appreciate businesses that help their local community. How have you or your business been helping yours? You can dedicate the summer to volunteer at your local hospital, vaccination drive or help raise awareness about a cause. You can also utilise the team to integrate social responsibility in your business model and plan your targets for the year ahead.
While many people prefer to keep planning and their annual review until the end of the year, I prefer to get a head start in the summer. Dedicate the summer to review your inventory and other time-consuming tasks. Plan for the year ahead, setting out your goals for the next year. What should you be doing now to help you reach your targets faster?
Network and build relationships
Summer is a perfect time to meet people outside work and build relationships. Don’t limit yourself to work-related networking events only. Join a sports club, online casual groups or ask your friends to introduce you to their friends. The more people you meet, the more opportunities will emerge.
Enjoy your summer holiday and dedicate the extra time you have to work on areas that will help you come back stronger in the autumn and ready to take your career to new heights.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati journalist and entrepreneur, who manages her marketing and communications company in Abu Dhabi