Even though we try to hold on to that summer feeling and the weather, it's hard to admit that September means the season is almost over (sorry).
This transition period has traditionally been a slower workload-- until the realization hits you and your teams that there's a lot to do before the end of the year.
Evaluate your professional and work goals. After September, there will only be three more months in the year, so if you haven't made serious strides in accomplishing the goals you've set for yourself for the year, it's crunch time. Since you're easing into work for the rest of the year, now is a good time to evaluate what you wanted to accomplish in work and in your professional development and think through how you're going to achieve them come December.
Start to plan for the rest of the year. The rest of this year will be particularly busy with the elections, evolving Zika story and the holiday season (which sneaks up out of nowhere!). If you're trying to get a story out there, it'll be more crucial than ever to strategically communicate it. Start planning the timing for the initiatives you have to get through and start asking questions about what you can push back or need to accelerate.
Reconnect with contacts. “Hey, readers! How was your summer? Do anything exciting?” Now is one of the best times to reconnect with your friends and colleagues because you get to talk about your summers. And since everyone is trying to get back into the work grind, a “hello,” coffee, or lunch will be easier to plan.
Look for learning opportunities and to do something different. It's convenient that the post-summer season coincides with the start of a new school year. I find there's no better way to spark inspiration than to go to a talk, panel, or networking event. If you work in a city or near a college town, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn about or do something different.
Ask clients/teams what they have on their radars for the rest of the year. It's important to realize that not everyone will be ready to get back to work after the lazy days of summer. Asking clients and teams about their priorities or activities that have to be completed before the end of the year is a good way to make sure everyone is thinking ahead and avoiding the sprint to the finish line.
Evaluate challenges from the past year and identify the tools you need to make work more efficient. For many professionals, the end of the year also means time for budgeting for the following year. Ask yourself about the challenges encountered in the past year (or even those on repeat) and what you need to resolve them and advance the work you and your team is doing. Then you can start to put together a list of resources you need in advance of end-of-year planning.
Julia Sahin works in financial communications at one of the largest PR firms in New York and is a monthly contributor to Muck Rack. She plans on doing big things.Connect with her on Twitter. All opinions should be seen as her own and do not reflect her employer’s.