For anyone working, the weekend is often the only time they have for career management. Too often, we talk about activities such as writing accomplishment stories, updating resumes and planning outreach as things we “have” to do rather than career-savvy activities we carve out time for in order to get ahead. If you are thinking of a career next step, here are 5 simple things you can do starting this weekend that will support your goals:
Reframe career management activities as key personal priorities, not chores. It’s the same principle as recognizing that carving off a percentage of earnings is “paying yourself first,” not denying yourself something.
Commit a chunk of time to your career every weekend. A lot can be accomplished in just one hour a weekend, and creating a rhythm will help you build and sustain momentum.
Capture opportune moments when they arise. Check LinkedIn when you’re looking at Facebook, keep a draft of a resume in progress open on your laptop or tablet so it’s readily accessible if you get a sudden brain-wave, use your cell phone’s notes function or send yourself a quick email when an idea strikes you at the soccer field or grocery store (but not at church or the movies!)
Since we no longer operate in a Monday-Friday, 9:00-5:00 world of work, capitalize on your available weekend time to match the new work realities. Use the weekend to send out LinkedIn requests and networking emails and leave voice mail messages for contacts. You may get the attention of someone who is also on-line (you’re reading this, aren’t you?!)
Be prepared for weekend contact from networking connections, even potential employers. I’ve had clients get phone interview calls on a weekend, one even got a job offer on Christmas Eve. Keep a copy of your resume on your cell phone to refer to or send out immediately.
If nothing else, the weekend is a great time to review and take stock on what you did/did not accomplish last week (both at work and for your career) and make a plan for the week to come. Lee Iaccoca, former chair of Chrysler Corporation and noted automobile executive, shared in his autobiography that he dedicated his weekends to family time, but that on Sunday evenings he was reviewing his previous week and planning his upcoming week just as we are suggesting here. That way, you’ll not only be able to hit the ground running on Monday morning, you’ll already be ahead of the competition.
Have a great‒and productive‒weekend!