Hurry up and collect the experiences and know-how that will wow your colleagues or get you a job come September. Don't you know that making the most of your fabulous Summer Vacation is the secret to getting ahead in your career?
1. Your Reading List
Rattle off five new books that you just read (even if you aren't running for higher office). No, silly, you don't actually have to have read them. But do buy them and place them prominently in your cube or office. Read the introduction, or, if that's too long, the book jacket or a review.
2. Make Them Laugh
Doesn't matter what it is. Travel snafus. Restaurant catastrophe. Some incredible coincidence. Just fine-tune so it's YouTube ready -- in other words, under two minutes.
3. Your New Hobby
Return to the office with some new source of inspiration. You've begun to collect early American Indian art. Study World War II history. Begun practicing martial arts. Flying planes. Learned to sail or scull. Have something new in your life other than a sunburn.
4. Your New Look
Change one thing. Could be your hair. Jewelry. Clothes. The colors you choose. Start by throwing out half the crap in your closet. The Fall season is the beginning of a new work year. Don't be the same old, same old come September.
5. Get Partly Fit
Tans are so '90s, fitness is so now. Extra pounds make it harder to get hired, easier to get fired. Summer is when you want to get a leg up. The time to drop a pant size, tone your calves or start jogging again. Best of all, you don't have to get truly fit just alter the appearance of at least one key body part.
6. Learn A Few New Words
Smart people sound smart -- and don't just mindlessly repeat the tired office jargon that passes for communication. If you struggle with reading (see #1) try iPods at the beach. Consider learning a little of a foreign language; it's like cross-training for English. While it's always better if you can actually cross a border or two and get your passport swiped don't let that hold you back.
7. Surprise With A Story Of Place
Doesn't have to be Paris or Rome or even San Francisco. Just make a point of having a point. People will remember you.
Jonathan Littman is the co-author of the new book I HATE PEOPLE! (Little, Brown and Company; June 2009) with Marc Hershon. A Contributing Editor at Playboy, Jonathan is the co-author of the best selling Art of Innovation.