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What I did on my summer vacation to enhance my career?

J0432982 One of the funniest things I hear from young people, especially those who just graduated is: "I am just exhausted from college and I have to take some time off this summer to rest and re-energize before I go to work or graduate school." What?!!! As Shaw said, "Youth is wasted on the young." When we were in school we can remember the lazy days of summer interrupted by summer school, camp, chores and maybe a summer job. Those were the days. I watch my kids and can remember the angst over the question, "'what are we going to do today?"

Now that we are all growed up, summer can be busy but a time when we typically put off things until to the Fall. Many excuses are generated, other people's vacations, the warm weather, or the gravitational pull of our childhoods. But summer is an ideal time to tune up your careers. It is a time to to think and reflect. It is a time to plan. You were thinking you were going to be planful in the Fall? Yeah, you will have so much time then! Wrong. 

Po Bronson has said in his What Should I do With My Life series that we tend to procrastinate by using dates, seasons, and milestones. This time is not good because: its summer, my kids are busy, the holidays, my birthday, things are up in the air etc etc. He concludes that the "right time" should not be the objective. That the people that have found their passions and success were never hindered by the time or the season.
 
This is the greatest time to make a change or to venture outside of our little cocoons. Change is afoot. Everything is changing. Literally everything. All assumptions about the future are being questioned. And there are so many opportunities. Do you really think that the strategy and path you have chosen can be followed without any adjustments? The first space shuttle made approximately 1500 course corrections to stay on its seemingly linear path. And you want to wait until the summer is over? Really? 96px-STS-31_Hubble_launch_roll_and_pitch

Why do we live like the mythical lemmings and just follow each other over the cliff? Why don't we break the habits that cause us to be stuck? How can we differentiate ourselves if we robotically follow the seasons like a career Almanac? Lemming

I am just saying, take the summer to step back and think and prepare. Ask yourself a few questions:
  1. What do I want to change about my life and career? 
  2. How will my life and career be different next summer? 
  3. With whom do I need to spend more time? With whom will I reconnect?  What am I waiting for?
  4. What can I do to strengthen what I value, enjoy, and love? Download SWIVEL new 2009
One concrete step you can take is to volunteer for a cause or charity that you deeply care about. An hour a week will make a dramatic impact on your life. When you align yourself with your values, you will feel better about yourself. A weird thing happens when you give, you receive. I will give you the John Kobara guarantee :-), that if you engage as a volunteer for a cause that has personal meaning to you, you will be transformed. You will be transformed by being with like minded people. You will be transformed by your own fulfillment. And you will help transform that cause and that organization and the beneficiaries of that work. 

J0441048 Don't waste your summer. When summer is over, and people ask, "What did you do on your summer vacation?" You can tell tell them how you took your career and life to new places.

Thanks for reading. John

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