Keep the Home Fires Burning


Summer is a time of relaxation. Even businesses feel the slower pace and often run on autopilot while all level of staff takes time off to regroup. And everyone should take some time to relax, regroup and refresh since doing so opens the mind to new ideas and direction. However, if you have a bigger goal in mind – like being promoted or getting exposure to bigger clients – then this is the time for you to take it up a notch or two.

During this typically slower season, every day is about putting out little fires and running the day to day as usual. However, this is a great time to show your skillsets that aren’t being seen. Those small fires are an opportunity to shine as you douse the flames. If a client has a problem or the competition comes out with something that can change your company’s stock position or something breaks in the office when the normal administrative staff is off work, then grasp these moments to showcase your ability to step in and function at a higher level. Stay alert to opportunities and keep the following three things in mind as well.

  1. Exercise and network: Get in your steps by walking around to places you haven’t spent much time. Go to the bathroom on another floor and introduce yourself to anyone you see around. If you happen to get a moment to skim through the company directory to recognize a few faces, then all the better.
  2. Listen all the time: Don’t put your headphones on and zone out. Stay connected to the office noise – no matter how soft or loud it is – so you can pay attention to what’s going on around you. Something as small as overhearing someone looking for places to take visiting relatives can be your foot into a conversation. And those people may remember you when they have an issue they can’t solve or need another opinion about.
  3. Look the part: Keep your professional composure. Even if your company eases up on the dress code for summer, it’s still a work environment. You want to always look as though you could give a presentation to the CEO if you had to. If your outfit looks like you could go from work to a cookout, take it off and start all over. Press your shirt, polish your shoes and keep your accessories office friendly.

Some people look forward to working in the summer because it usually means the flow of the workday slows down a bit. Anything behind can be caught up, a reorganization of files and folders can be done without much interruption. Don’t forget that the summer can also mean unscheduled openings to step in and step up in the office. If you keep your career goal in mind, even the slow days of summer can be a place of opportunity for the grind-minded.