What happened to summer? Is it me, or does time go by more quickly after July 4? Before your experiences of the past few months are lost in the excitement of fall work assignments, take some time to reflect on what you learned.
Did you travel, study, volunteer or all of the above? Did your curiosity lead you to interviews with folks outside your career field? What did you learn about yourself?
Catalog your experience including the skills you acquired or any challenges you overcame. Some of these will fall naturally into a resume, but others will provide the content for future professional conversations.
How did you grow as an individual or as a professional? Can you identify ways to link your summer experience to your current work?
Sanity and survival compel us to try to separate work from the rest of our lives. But when we return to work after vacation, maintaining the separation can be a barrier to creativity.
Refreshing the view allows us to be open to new opportunities.
Develop a narrative that tells your story of the summer – a story that incorporates all the elements of the ‘new and improved’ you. Keep it simple. Focus on experience that adds value to your ‘brand @work’.
A conversation poolside that sparked an idea for a new product. An article/book that offered an alternative approach to problem-solving. A civic engagement project that spurred ideas to motivate your team. A faculty member or classmate who provided a connection to a potential new client.
Or, did the chance to step away and just daydream provide new insight into your next career?