Summer's less frantic pace can be catalyst for career creativity

Having just completed perhaps the busiest month during my tenure at PRWeek - three roundtables and a virtual event in the span of 20 days - my thoughts have now turned to summer.

Having just completed perhaps the busiest month during my tenure at PRWeek – three roundtables and a virtual event in the span of 20 days – my thoughts have now turned to summer. Those of you on the PR frontlines certainly understand that sentiment.

Time to take a well-deserved breath, but make sure your productivity doesn't take a vacation. The summer months are the opportune time to not only recharge your batteries, but to think of creative ways to help your clients, your companies, and, perhaps most important, your own career.

It's totally understandable to be so focused on the day to day that you never find time to think beyond the task at hand. This is the time to do so. If you've been pondering a specific academic course or advanced degree, the summer is the perfect time.

Improve your social media skills. Start or continue on the road to that MBA. July and August might be the best months to do that.

No matter your experience level, work environment, or sector of focus, being well read is always desirable. The summer is a wonderful time to devour books, particularly ones relevant to a career in communications. A couple of titles I've had recommended are Small Message, Big Impact: The Elevator Speech Effect by Terri Sjodin and Terry Pearce's Leading Out Loud.

Another workplace pastime synonymous with summer is the internship. And while this is obviously a tremendously useful way for up-andcoming PR pros to spend the dog days, great value can also be derived by more experienced practitioners. Picking the brain of the digitally savvy and idea-rich youth while you have a bit more time to do so is an excellent way to stay on top of trends.

Who has time for lunch? Too often, a PR pro's answer would be “not me.” But the summer's slightly less frenetic pace offers the chance to connect or reconnect with past or potential colleagues, clients, or connections. An amazing project you will work on down the road could very easily be born from a lunch meeting you only found time for in the next couple of months.

Downtime is often the best period to come up with the idea that could lead to a client win, a compelling campaign, or a career-advancing push – and that's another reason to be excited that the summer is upon us.

Gideon Fidelzeid is the managing editor of PRWeek. He can be contacted at gideon.fidelzeid@prweek.com.

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