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5 Ways to Use the Summer Months to Advance Your Career

By The Fullstack Academy Team

Two friends studying tech outside together

While summer is notorious for being a slow time in the professional world, don’t let the warm weather fool you into putting aside your individual career goals. If you’re trying to get promoted, craving a career change, or just seeking professional development, summer can be the perfect time to invest in your career.

According to Indeed, the summer months typically have the lowest hiring rates due to widespread vacations and budget limitations. While this can be a frustrating time for those looking to move forward, there are many opportunities to advance your career development.

Here are five ways to take advantage of the summer months to revitalize your career and help you land a new role by fall.

Set or Evaluate Your Goals

Summer marks the halfway point of the year, providing you with the opportunity to reflect on your past accomplishments, realign your goals, and set new ones. Think about what you want to achieve by the end of the year and what steps you’ll need to take to get there. For example, maybe you want to be in a new role by the beginning of next year. Will you need to develop new skills? Do you need to get certified? By taking the time to solidify your goals and develop a plan, you’ll be more likely to achieve them.

Additionally, once September rolls around, end-of-year reviews are often right around the corner. By making note of your achievements and goals now, you’ll be well-prepared to showcase your value for months to come.

Attend Networking Events

According to Zippia, 85% of jobs are filled via networking connections, making it a powerful tool for career advancement. Luckily, summer is packed with events, conferences, and other social gatherings—both in-person and online—that can be great for making new connections or furthering existing professional relationships. Additionally, you can use online platforms, like LinkedIn, to connect with other professionals in your industry and engage in meaningful discussions. Networking is also a great way to gain deeper insight into your industry, further preparing you for your next career move.

Enhance or Refresh Skills

Keeping your skills fresh and up-to-date is crucial for staying competitive. Enrolling in a course or bootcamp program can help you. Not only will you enhance your skill set, but depending on the bootcamp or course you choose, you may complete projects and other assignments that you can use to build a portfolio to demonstrate your skills to prospective employers. Plus, some programs even offer career support to help you land a job.

Make Your Move.

Take the first step in your journey by learning more about the immersive tech bootcamps at University of Illinois Chicago Tech Bootcamps Powered by Fullstack Academy.

Update Your Resume

When applying for jobs, your resume is often the first thing potential employers look at —and you only get one first impression. With things slowing down at work, summer is a great time to level up your LinkedIn profile and update your resume. Highlight your most recent accomplishments, projects, and any new certifications. If you’re switching careers, emphasize transferable skills that could be an asset to your new industry.

Take a Break

While this may seem counterintuitive, it’s important to remember that you need rest to be your best self at work. Searching for your next role can be draining, and caring for your mental health is essential. Whether you take a vacation, explore new hobbies, or spend extra time with your loved ones, the dog days of summer should also be a time to unwind and soak up the sun. Taking a break will allow you to recharge and be ready for when the right opportunity comes knocking. Plus, you could use a vacation as an incentive for completing any or all of the career activities highlighted above.

Advance Your Career This Summer

Although summer may have fewer job opportunities, you can still treat it as a period of personal and professional growth. Professional development and career preparation are keys to success in today’s competitive job market. At UIC, students enrolled in our online tech bootcamps learn in-demand skills and receive career support and guidance as they begin the next phase of their professional lives. By committing to career development now, you’ll set yourself up for success when the job market gains momentum again in the fall.

UIC offers several professional development opportunities to help you achieve your career goals. Explore our prep courses and bootcamp programs to find the right fit for you.