The unofficial end of summer is only four short weeks away. That’s right, another season of beach, barbecue, and vacations is almost behind us.
I’m not trying to hurl you into a depression. Instead, I’d like to encourage you to make the most of the remainder of the summer season. Before Labor Day strikes and you’re fishing for excuses to get out of the office Secret Santa, follow these pieces of advice:
1. Buy ice cream for the office. Frozen treats have a way of bringing out the kid in everyone. Surprise your co-workers by bringing in a variety of ice cream, ices, or your favorite summer treat. This is a foolproof way to enjoy other people’s smiles, curry favor with subordinates, and enjoy the best that summer has to offer. Consider it a random act of kindness.
2. Call in sick. At this point in the summer your boss is accustomed to the Friday Flu taking down staff. If you haven’t treated yourself to at least four consecutive days away from work, consider putting in for a few vacation days (or call in sick). Every job has its own cycle, but for many employees, post-summer weeks tend to be quite busy. Clear your mind now and calibrate for the busy season. When you’re away from work, try to maximize your time so you don’t have any regrets.
3. Arrive in style. Summer is the perfect time to utilize a different mode of transportation to get to and from work. If you normally drive, try riding your bike. If you take the train, try the bus. A fresh take on your commute can introduce you to new things and help break up the work routine. Hey, you might even discover a new lunch option. Make the most of your commute and try something new.
4. Dream big. Use the month of August to contact a person with authority at your dream company. Since the end of summer tends to bring a light workload, you might get lucky and find that a person who is normally busy has the time to speak with you. The goal is not necessarily to land a new job, but to make a lasting connection.
5. Clean up. Germs and bugs love summer. Take some time to wipe down your entire work area. Wipe down your computer monitor, use compressed air to dust your keyboard, and disinfect everything in sight.
6. Get outside. Engage in an outdoor activity with your work colleagues. It could be a company picnic or a casual game of tennis. Use the warm weather to add a new dimension to relationships and create new ones. This strengthens your network and potentially gives you access to information you otherwise would not be privy to.
7. Wellness. Put the summer BBQ excuses behind you and return to healthy eating and exercise. Get yourself on a routine now. A healthy diet, a good night's sleep, and plenty of exercise can help make any job more enjoyable.
Now get out there and make the most of your summer!
Andrew G. Rosen is the founder and editor of Jobacle.com, a career advice blog. He is also the author of How to Quit Your Job and an established freelance blogger who is available for hire. Follow him on Twitter (@jobacle) or connect on LinkedIn.