August might be called the dog days of summer but industrious employees who don’t take an extended vacation in August can use these slower workdays to position themselves for a much coveted promotion, raise or new client. Here’s how several Millennial women plan to use the slower days of summer to prepare for fall when everyone is back at work.
Do a self-assessment
Slower days mean more time to reflect on the first half of the year and any progress toward your goals. Tina Wie, chief operating officer of the matchmaking startup Three Day Rule, will use August to assess the progress she has made on goals set in January as well as set targets for the coming year. “I’ve started a running list of improvements to our company operations that I would like work on for 2018 so I plan on setting aside some time to do some brainstorming about how best to roll out these new initiatives,” she says. August is also a good time to start a new morning routine, Wie says. She plans to use August to make it a habit to wake up without a snooze button, work out, and spend 10 minutes either meditating or journaling each morning.
Kelly Anne Smith, a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder, plans to reevaluate her goals. She will evaluate what she’s doing well and what she needs to improve on before the end of the year.
Build your network
August is also a good time to get to know your colleagues better, including your manager, who might have some extra time to chat, Smith says. If you’re both in the office, August is a great opportunity to ask your manager what’s going well and what you need to improve on before your annual review, she says.
Eleana Collins, director at Warschawski, a marketing communications agency in Baltimore, will focus on broadening her network. Because she isn’t as busy in August, there’s time to attend networking events, educational workshops and seminars, and to invite colleagues to lunch or coffee. “It’s a great time to research and identify potential business opportunities and set up meetings,” she says.
Chanèle McFarlane, founder of Do Well Dress Well, a career and style advice resource, will meet with colleagues and reach out to new connections this month. “Since my workload is much lighter in the summer, I typically dedicate August to meeting new people and reconnecting with my existing network,” she says. “People are more sociable and are typically in a great mood.”
Amber Swenor, founder and brand strategist at Strategic Partners Marketing LLC in Madison, Wisconsin, plans to write personal notes to past client leads and ask if they are ready to evaluate their marketing plans. “ Many companies plan ahead to 2018 between September and October so now is the perfect time to reach out to businesses,” she says.
Learn something new
The slower pace also provides time to develop a new skill by taking an online webinar or course, Collins says. Last summer she took a six-week course on digital marketing. “It was one of the best investments, from a time and monetary standpoint, I’ve made in my marketing career,” she says.
Missy White, a digital marketing specialist at Insect Lore, plans to use this month to get certified in Google Analytics and Google AdWords. “This will be very helpful for my current position but I’m also thinking about how it will look to add these certifications to my LinkedIn profile and my resume,” she says.
Work on long-term plans
Because there are fewer day-to-day tasks to manage, August is a perfect month to work on long-term planning. “I think of summer as my secret weapon,” says Jena Luckman, marketing and public relations strategist at Maclendon Wealth Management. “I always feel like I’m sort of beating the competition in August, because most people are still in vacation mode,” she says. “August is when I begin to roll out my marketing plan and media pitching calendar.” Luckman also uses August to focus on any menial tasks she’s been putting off all year like catching up on business-related podcasts and YouTube videos, and reading all the articles she’s bookmarked for later.
Andie Levine, a public relations coordinator at Philly PR Girl, will spend August creating strategic plans for her clients. “My busy event season is October through May, so a slower August is the perfect time to organize their schedules,” she says. “I research publications’ editorial calendars, check in with producers for any specialty segments and use the time to catch up with some of my other contacts I haven’t worked with in a while.”
Client-based companies tend to be quieter in August so it’s a great time to get organized while your clients are on vacation. “I take care of things in August that need my attention all year long but I’m too busy to tackle at other times,” says attorney Jessica Markham. This month, she will update her firm’s website, writing blog posts that she will save for the coming, busier months and draft articles for industry publications.
Although the publishing industry slows down in summer, literary agent Megan Close Zavala will use August to get ready for the busy fall season. Because Keller Media Inc., isn’t actively pitching any book projects in August, Close uses this time to help her authors get their proposals in great shape while making a list of editors to pitch their projects to in the fall.
Take a vacation yourself
Don’t forget that August is the perfect time to get away. Bonnie Bryant, a freelance writer and designer, plans to rejuvenate by taking a few days off and to work several half days in August. “I’ve been trying to take off all summer but I’ve been too busy,” she says. “My clients slow down in August, so I can slow down in August, too.”