My favorite time of year to #GetAhead is during the summer months. Everyone, myself included, have summer fun, sun, and sand in mind. The difference is I, and some of the people I most admire professionally, are thinking ahead to September.
The fall is when the executive team, including my boss is back from vacation and in a ‘back-to-work’ frame of mind. I want to impress. I want to show that I’m ready for more responsibility, or to take my business to the next level.
So I manage to find a few hours every week to advance my skills through a course or workshop.
Before you write this strategy off, consider the perks of taking an online summer class:
1. In class attendance is not required. In fact, you can be anywhere your laptop, tablet, or smartphone will take you. I love cafes and patios in the summertime. Admittedly, I have even been on my favorite beach in Mexico with a workshop too. Those summer plans, and work schedule are still possible.
2. It’s self-directed. You can move through the content at your own pace – and if you need to review something 5 times, you can. The classes can be smaller than a traditional class, so the instructor can give more focus to each student (usually via email – he’s enjoying his summer somewhere too).
3. It’s cheaper. No transportation expenses, less than an average course at a local college or university. Frequently, my employer will cover the cost of my professional development. And if the course is directly related to my job, I am able to get time at work to review the course content. That means I’m getting paid to advance my skills!
Sondra Rhimes said in a recent commencement address, “don’t just dream, work.”, and this applies to most professionals, even in the summer. So build your momentum for September without sacrificing fun, sun, and sand.