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Back to School, Back to Work – Part 1

For many, this is the week you pack up lunches and backpacks and send the kids back to school. I have to admit I was a little melancholy seeing all of the “first day of school” pictures on Facebook. Come on…is there anything cuter than seeing a little one heading off to kindergarten?

As an empty-nester, I no longer shop for the critical first-day outfit, buy new notebooks and number two pencils, or take the awkward pictures on the front porch.

This truly is the end of one chapter, and the beginning of an exciting new chapter for everyone.

However, it doesn’t matter how old we get, how many years it’s been since we graduated, or how we’re coping with the empty-nester status, we all still adhere to the school calendar. The New Year doesn’t start on the first of January; it starts on the first day of school.

Over the summer, everyone is on a physical or mental vacation…or both. They’re not called the lazy days of summer for nothing. That’s the time we head to the beach, read trashy novels, travel to visit with friends and family, and try to do the least amount of work possible.

This is true whether you’re currently employed or looking for a new job. However, all that changes once the kids break out the new backpacks, sharpen those number two pencils, and get organized for an exciting new year at school. Kids or no kids, everyone has a renewed sense of excitement at this time of year and is ready to re-engage their brains, buckle down, and get back to work.

Just like the kids have a new school supply list and curriculum to kick off the school year, so should professional adults. Here are the first 5 tips for going back to work with a bang.

  1. Update Your Résumé — Not only is reflecting back on your recent accomplishments an important mental exercise, it’s critical to your professional success. An updated résumé that reads like a “success story” not only helps job seekers get a new job, but helps employed professionals promote themselves within their organizations. Don’t let the sluggish days of summer cause undue amnesia when it comes to celebrating your successes.
  2. Reconnect with Your Network — Between varying travel schedules and taking the kids to camp and tennis lessons, there’s not a lot of extra time to network during the summer months. Now is the time to reach out those quality connections and get reconnected. Networking is truly the key to success.
  3. Clean Your Desk — Whether it’s cleaning out your desk at home or at the office, take time to get organized. Papers, projects, and post-it notes can accumulate over the summer, and no one is fully productive or completely efficient when they need to wade through clutter. Start fresh with a clean slate and a clean desk.
  4. Find the Focus — Summer is the time for day-dreaming, slipping away from work early, and procrastinating. Priorities change and a sense of urgency takes a vacation. Revisiting those professional goals and objectives, making a strategic action plan, and getting focused is the best way to get back to work.
  5. Get Engaged — It’s not about getting married; it’s about increasing your visibility within your organization, industry, and/or community by volunteering for selective and strategic extra-curricular activities. Donating your time, expertise, talents, and passion not only can feed your soul, but can catapult your career to the next level.


Stay tuned for more ways to get “Back to School, Back to Work”…

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