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Optimum Talks Blog

Back to Business: Capitalizing on the Energy of the Fall Season

by Optimum Talent
August 25, 2016

In our most recent e-newsletter Engaging in Leadership, we discuss the importance of organizations harnessing the energy of the new season as they get “back to business” this fall. But what about the individuals? For any professional, this is a great time to check in on your career progression. Whether your organization offers a formal annual career development program, or you have a few individual professional goals jotted down in your notebook, fall is a good time to evaluate your progress.

If you are new to the career development process, a recent Forbes article, “7 Tips to Kick Your Career Into a Higher Gear” highlights a few great ways to get you started. Contributor Lisa Quast suggests starting with thinking of yourself as a business or “competitive product.” Once in that mind-frame, ask yourself a few key questions:

  • What strengths, weaknesses and differentiators do I possess?
  • How do I stack up against the competition?
  • What are my career aspirations and associated short term and long term goals?
  • What professional development and training do I require to get there?

Once you have completed your self-evaluation, record your findings and make calendar reminders to check back in at regular intervals.

If you already have a career development framework in place, take an hour to revisit it. Review those career aspirations and goals, then ask yourself a few critical questions:

  • What has changed? This could be internally for you or externally in your work environment.
  • Which short term and long term goals need to be adjusted?
  • What new short term and long term goals do I need to incorporate to reach my aspirations?

Going through the process of reviewing your career development and goals is critical for individuals at all stages in their careers. Find a style that works for you, but remember to stick with it and review it on a regular basis. This will help you be more focused and content in your current role and give you the guidance and confidence you need if looking to make a career change.

– Megan Schwann

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