Make the Most of Your Summer

Are you taking the summer off? Your competition isn’t.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer. The sun is shining, it’s hot outside, the grill is fired up, and it’s tempting to take time off, especially if work has slowed in the office, or if the job search doesn’t seem fruitful.

Don’t give in to the temptation! Your colleagues are still out there making connections and making deals. You want to stay ahead of the pack. If money is an issue, here are some low-cost ways to update your skills and market yourself and your business. I’ve listed some of these before, but this is a reminder. Have you done any of them?

1. Update your resume, and be sure to add or modify the information on your social networking sites, too.

2. Make a slide presentation of your resume, a video resume, or both. This can also make it easier for you or your business to be found on search engines.

3. Write an article—or several—for trade magazines. Send copies to potential employers, existing clients and collaborators .

4. You can start an internet blog (weblog) for free. Let your colleagues and clients know where to find it.

5. Correspond with clients and colleagues regularly with an e-newsletter, postcard, or phone call so your name stays in on the tip of their tongue.

6. Learn new skills, software and programs. There are free videos and webinars online.

7. If you don't have a website, build one to showcase your work using slides and videos.

8. Network. Network. Network. There are many free or low-cost live conferences and conventions. Did you know first time members of the AIA and those whose memberships have lapsed 5 years or more who rejoin get free entry to the AIA National Convention in Miami?

Check the Building Industry Resources Building Relationships page for more event listings.