By Karen Hendricks
Early June never fails to bring a contrasting mixture of sweet, as well as bittersweet, days. My children are celebrating every moment that brings then closer to the last day of school. As a Mom, I find myself celebrating as well, but also savoring those fleeting final milestones (i.e. final spring concert, last soccer game, etc.).
I think there are four basic, fun and useful lessons that can be learned, by looking at the public relations, marketing or writing world through a “last day of school” lens.
1. Take time to celebrate.
Think back upon your childhood and try to remember that euphoric “last day of school,” when the entire summer beckoned to you, filled with the promise of sun-drenched adventures. Pure bliss. How often do you take the time to truly celebrate marketing or PR milestones, or look forward to new ones, with a similar spirit? So often, we’re on to the next writing assignment, or caught up in the building blocks of a marketing campaign. This is the perfect time of year to be in touch with your “inner child” and allow yourself to celebrate your accomplishments. Be reinvigorated by looking forward to new challenges.
2. Reflect on how far you’ve come.
Depending on the age(s) of your children, they may or may not be in a reflecting mood at the end of the school year. My children accumulate school papers, projects and other paraphernalia in large baskets throughout the school year. At some point early in the summer season, they each go through his/her basket, deciding which items are truly worth saving, incorporating into scrapbooks, or tossing. But it’s always a great exercise that results in several exclamations of “Wow, I forgot about this project,” or “Can you believe algebra (or fill in the blank) used to be hard for me?” So too, should we as writers, marketing and PR practitioners, evaluate our work periodically and take stock of where we’ve been, noting which projects caused us angst but allowed us to grow.
3. Are your goals within sight?
As the school year winds down, my children are simultaneously planning next year’s schedules, making sure they’re meeting school and graduation requirements, being mindful of their goals. During this season of final endings and new beginnings, it’s the perfect time to evaluate our clients, our work and our future goals. Are you accomplishing everything you set out to do? If not, make adjustments that allow you to stay in focus and on track.
3. Remember that summer is a season of growth.
I treasure summers for the time they allow me to spend with my children, so I’m not a fan of year-round school, however I do agree with the experts that summer presents some of the best opportunities for learning. Studies show that children are healthier during the summer season, growing more during this season than any other–physically, emotionally and mentally. We too, as writers, marketers and PR practitioners, should tap into the unbridled, wide-open skies of summer to find inspiration and new approaches to our projects (I was trying to avoid the cliché “think outside the box” here!). Allow summer’s green horizons, blue skies and golden sunshine to work its magic on you.