Schools around the United States either just re-opened for a new year, or are already deep into the first quarter. The end of summer also means an uptick in production at work, as the majority of vacation time used spans from June through August.
Returning to the grindstone full-time for a few months until the holiday season may present new opportunities to either improve your place in your current job, or provide incentive to find new employment. In either case, follow the lead of children going back to school in recent weeks: work on your education.
Now, that advice may seem incongruous with an end to downtime at the workplace, but it's quite the opposite. For those with children, the start of the school year will have them busy with their studies and extracurricular activities. Consider using the hour or so you have free while your little ones are at soccer practice or math club to take an online course focused on an in-demand tech skill.
Perhaps you are considering making a career change in the coming months or years, or just want to be prepared for whatever may come next. Continued education through a local community college or online program is a great way to evaluate both your aptitude for and interest in a new field.
The time and monetary commitment necessary for a class, even if it's just a few hours a week, might be too much. That's understandable -- Americans are putting in longer hours than at any time in the last few decades.
You can still continue your career education with online tutorials through outlets like YouTube or with literature. Set aside time each night to study, much like your children have designated homework time. Turn off the TV, set your smartphone to silent, and dedicate even just 30 minutes to expanding your career aptitude.