It is June. The time of year when teachers and students at all levels of education across North America breathe a collective sigh of relief and put away the books until September. It is a time to recharge, explore a hobby or a new career field at an internship, and reflect on the past year. It is also a time of graduations. Saying goodbye to one chapter of one’s life and looking forward to a new beginning.
For many of us in the working world however, it is business as usual. Some of us may be lucky enough to have “summer hours” or a nice chunk of vacation time to look forward to, but for the most part, the workplace does not have the neatly defined beginning and end like the academic calendar. It is easy then to simply let the months roll along as one year becomes another.
While it is not feasible or even desirable for the rest of the world to run on an academic calendar, it is important not to lose track of the advantages that naturally occur when one switches gears for ten weeks out of the year. The most obvious advantage is time for reflection, as discussed in this blog two weeks ago. For those on an academic calendar, June is the ideal time for reflection. The school year has ended and students and teachers can take stock of what worked and what didn’t while they plan for the next year. For those not on an academic calendar, it is still important to designate a time to adequately reflect on the preceding year and make plans for the next one.
The other major advantage to the academic calendar is the opportunity to do something different from what is done during the rest of the year. Students and teachers alike can participate in internships, work a summer job, travel, take classes, or go to a camp. These things offer a chance to develop and grow in your chosen field or explore something entirely new. It is significantly more difficult to do any of these things while working a fulltime job but many of the same advantages can be obtained by carving out time for both professional development and hobbies during the year. Volunteering, taking an evening class, or perhaps participating in a recreational athletic club are all great ways to change gears and obtain new perspectives on one’s work and one’s life.
How do you take stock and recharge when your work schedule does not naturally allow for it? How do you keep your worklife fresh year after year?