The summer may seem like a challenging time for a job search. Between vacations and camps for kids, the routine is different for sure, making it tough sometimes to schedule calls and meetings. But it can be a very fruitful time to make headway in your job search, albeit in a “summer-ly” way.

Here’s how to get the most of your summer search.

Network at the BBQ

One of my favorite personal stories is of my mother’s return to work story. While not even job searching, she was talking about the stock market one morning at a brunch gathering at someone’s home. A man standing near her overheard her conversation, gave her his card and suggested she may have a future as a financial advisor. She took the card, earned her CFP, joined a firm and then launched her own — a career that has lasted over 30 years.

This is a great example of unstructured networking. While setting up coffees and calls to reconnect with former colleagues is a smart way to network, it’s hard when schedules don’t align over the summer. What to do? Recognize opportunities in situations you may not even see as networking opportunities! Career coach Rachael Ellison explains this well in her post Why the Playground is the New Old Boys Club.

Bottom line — talk about things that interest you and where you might be going with your career. You never know who’s listening — at the BBQ or summer party, at the pool, and wherever you may find yourself socializing.

Polish Your Resume

Take advantage of a little down time to update your resume or LinkedIn profile. Do you need a professional headshot? Now’s the time to book this. Do you need time to refresh a design portfolio or work samples? Summer is your time. Here are some great tips to help you create a resume and LinkedIn profile that shine.

Take a class

Are you worried your tech skills may need a refresh or are you interested in learning better marketing strategies? How about how to build an online presence and own your brand? Summer is a fantastic opportunity to take an online course. Search our list of vetted classes based on topics you’re interested in.

Think about what you want to do

Will you find yourself at the beach or by the pool this summer? Take some space to really think through what you want to do. Day dream. Reconnect with times when work or interests made you truly happy. Take the time to ask others what you’re good at and spend some time researching your ideas. Use this set of questions to guide your thinking on what you want to do next. Write it down.

Take a break

We spend the majority of the year being busy. The summer can offer a glorious moment to slow down. And there are many benefits to not being so busy. Career coach Julie Houghton explains “the truth is, busy-ness is more likely to be BLOCKING you from living your potential.” Stillness, she says, is where the magic happens.

Après is your savvy friend who sends you a weekly email to help you navigate the exciting, challenging and momentous journey that is Career + Motherhood. 

.