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Career Hack- Use The Summer Months To Climb The Career Ladder

June 23rd, 2008 · 5 Comments

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It’s well known that business tends to slow down during the summer months. Wall Street traditionally experiences slow trading days in the summer (though maybe not this year) for the simple reason that traders and brokers are all out in the Hamptons enjoying long weekends.

Perhaps you’re in an office where the bosses are starting to disappear for weeks at a time and your co-workers are setting up out-of-office auto replies to let people know when they’ll be back from the Bahamas.


If you’re so inclined, the summer can be an excellent time to climb the corporate ladder. At the very least, it’s a good time to try to impress.

Here’s why: as the office clears out and certain desks go unoccupied, someone has to step up and take up the slack. While others are checking out temporarily, those remaining behind will have to take on extra duties in the short term.

Instead of thinking of this as an annoying burden, why not look at it as an opportunity?

If you have the time and the motivation, the summer months give you the opportunity to show the bosses all the things you can do. Temporarily doing other people’s jobs can show the bigwigs your range. At the very least, it can raise your value around the office. People will learn they can depend on you do your job… and a lot of other things.

And not to get Machiavellian here, but maybe, just maybe, you can show you can do other people jobs better than they can. What if, while others are on vacation, you land a big sale or clean up a long-standing mess? I’m not suggesting you can steal your co-workers’ jobs while they’re cavorting and barbecuing, but what’s the harm in showing how well you can perform in a wide range of tasks?

Picking up everyone else’s slack is an opportunity to show what sort of different roles you might be able to evolve into.

Related posts:

  1. Broken Promises Can Break Your Career
  2. How To Think Like Management (And How Doing So Can Help Your Career)
  3. Career Advice From Chris Rock
  4. 40 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Career
  5. How Have A Six Figure Career
  6. 5 Career Lessons of the Clinton/Obama Race

Tags: Getting Ahead · Office Politcs

  • Scott

    Naw … that wouldn’t happen where I work! Our organization is like a waffle – each has their container and no one is allowed to cross over that wall. Granted they will just pile more work on you while you stuggle from being overworked in the first place!

  • Willy

    Nice post. I think this goes for interns too. Summer is a time when it’s easier to be impressive.

  • Ivon

    I agree, pick up the slack while they are gone. Yes it does show the bigwigs your range and value. As well as the added benefit of learning more and you have more for your resume.
    Although you have to remember to do this in a way that the person you are covering for does not feel threaten.

  • worker bee

    No one like a kiss @ss – but if done tactfully – the sky is the limit.

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