4 Things You Can Do to Help Your Career (That Are Also Fun!)

When you think about taking steps forward in your career, “fun” likely isn’t the first word to spring to mind. I can’t blame you—making progress involves a lot of late nights, early mornings, and your fair share of elbow grease.

But, what if I told you there were things you could do that would benefit your career, while also being fun? Would you roll your eyes and brush me off as another crazy person simply trying to disguise professional development as a good time?

Probably. But, I’ve got news for you: There really are a few career-boosting things you can do that aren’t a total drag. On the contrary, actually. They can be pretty fun.

So, prepare to be amazed! Here are four things that are a great time, but can also be awesome for your career.

1. Volunteer

Volunteering isn’t only a benefit for your community—it’s good news for you too! Why? Quite simply, volunteering looks great on your resume.

Even better? There are tons of different available volunteer opportunities you’re sure to enjoy. Whether you want to walk dogs at your local shelter, play card games with the elderly, or even help a nonprofit organization in planning a large fundraising event, it’s bound to be better than sitting on the couch working your way through your Netflix queue. Plus, you’ll get to meet new people and refine some new skills.

So, grab a friend, get out there, and do some good—both for you and the community you live in!

2. Take a Class

I get it—the word “class” is likely enough to inspire nightmares of dreadfully boring textbooks, dry teachers, and stuffy classrooms. But, signing up for an educational opportunity doesn’t have to be as loathsome as you’re making out to be. In fact, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy it!

Perhaps you want to beef up your coding skills by signing up for a class at your local community college. Or, maybe you’ve always been intrigued by photography and you see an area organization is offering a one-day workshop.

Go ahead and throw your name into the mix! The fact that you took the initiative to better your skillset all on your own will work wonders in terms of your professional reputation. Plus, I’m willing to bet you’ll really enjoy doing it.

3. Read Up

The sun is shining and it’s the perfect time to kick back in a lounge chair with a great read. But, before you get your greedy paws on that celebrity magazine or trashy romance novel, why not change gears a little bit by picking up a book that could actually benefit your career?

No, it doesn’t need to be a cringe-worthy manual about the latest updates in your industry. There are plenty of awesome books out there by successful, influential people that are sure to inspire you and change your perspective. So, stay away from the tried and true beach reads and give one of those a try instead.

Expanding your professional horizons with your sunglasses on and a strawberry daiquiri in hand? What could be better than that?

4. Socialize

We all enjoy meeting new people (not to mention escaping the office every now and then!). So, don’t forget to set up informational interviews with networking contacts and professionals you’d like to start forming bonds with. Bonus points if you pick somewhere fun to meet—like a picnic table in your favorite park or a restaurant patio where you can enjoy a delicious lunch.

Expanding your web of contacts is a great way to boost your career, and also open yourself up to potential new opportunities. So, make a point to get away from your desk when you can. Trust me—you’ll be glad you did, and you’ll definitely enjoy it!

Furthering your career is rewarding. But, it’s likely not exactly your idea of a good time. However, it’s time to challenge your perceptions! There are quite a few things you can do that are not only good for your career, but also surprisingly enjoyable.

Give these four a try, and watch in amazement as both your career and your attitude improve.

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Kat Boogaard

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Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer covering topics related to careers, self-development, and entrepreneurship. Her byline has appeared in numerous outlets and publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, QuickBooks, Business Insider, and more. Find out more about her on her website, or connect with her on Twitter.

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