It's summer, which means it's the perfect time for you to focus on your career goals. This season is known for relaxing by the pool, but it's also a transformative season. If you plan your summer accordingly, you can spend much needed time with yourself--and your goals.

If you are looking for ways to thrive, or get ahead in your career, you should spend your summer practicing these three simple, but meaningful, traits.

1. Become proficient in something new. 

Whether it's learning a new language, how to manage a team, or how to knit, take the time to learn a new skill. It would be beneficial to learn something in the same space of your career aspirations.

I once spent a summer learning how to code because I was part of the co-founding team of a coding startup. I'm a horrible coder, and the skill had nothing to do with my job function, but it taught me a lot about the space. By educating me, and serving as an "I can do this" accolade, learning to code brought me one step closer to being prepared for the career I was embarking on. 

What were your New Year's resolutions? Do you have any 2018 aspirations you haven't given any attention to? Now is your time to explore and focus on those dreams. For example, I'm filming the first season of my podcast. Since it's a video podcast, I've learned a lot about being on camera. It's something I've never done before--other than my 40-second Snapchat videos of me singing "No Scrubs." 

So, this summer I'm working toward my goal of being a successful podcast host by signing myself to a monthlong media training. What's a 2018 dream you have yet to go after? Whatever it is, learn a skill that will help you reach that goal. Whether it's a group class, a new book, or 32 YouTube tutorials, take the time this summer to become proficient at a skill.

2. Get organized. 

We've all heard of spring-cleaning, but what about summer? Days are longer during the summer, so it seems like you have more time on your hands. Which is why it's a season for organizing your life. 

For some of you, this means rearranging your closet (so you can dress for the job you want, not the one you have). For many, this looks like organizing your desk space so you can work on your side hustle, or that book you've always wanted to write. For most, it means learning to organize your time. 

It's 2018, which means you have countless apps at your disposal. So take the time to learn how to use Trello, Dropbox, or Evernote to help you stay organized. Get in the habit of using these tools that you can take with you after summer. 

A great summer goal would be to master the habit of organization. It will help you be more productive at work and can be a real game changer when it comes to getting ahead in your career. People want to work with someone who has their sh*t together and is organized enough to stay on top of it. 

3. Network like it's your job.

This summer, stay away from binge-watching Netflix shows like a hermit. Instead, challenge yourself to be a social butterfly. There are events happening all the time in the summer. So get out there and network. 

Go to Eventbrite or Google, and search for summer 2018 networking events in your city. There will be plenty of interesting ones for you to choose from. Or if you're an introvert and that seems like too much, you can find online networking groups. Facebook is a great place to do this. Look around and find groups that match your interests. If you can't find any, reach out to friends and see if they have suggestions (yes, networking starts with networking).

Networking is a great lifelong skill to have, but it can also be immediately rewarding. You never know whom you are going to connect with and where that will take your life. I've gotten full-time jobs from meeting people at networking events. And, at the very least, it's a great excuse to go out and meet some like-minded people in your space. 

Published on: Jun 4, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.