Even more than the start of January, Labor Day kicks off a new career year as people get back to work with fresh energy.
Whether you're an experienced leader, a talented millennial, an executive seeking reinvention, or a returning professional, the weeks ahead bring some of the year's best opportunities for advancement.
These four steps will help you maximize them:
1. Evaluate yourself. How close are you to being at the top of your game? What progress have you made since January? How well have you prepared for and adapted to crucial business and industry trends? You'll see your next steps better when you understand where you are now.
2. Set goals. And write them down. If you made New Year's resolutions, some of those goals may still apply. If so, recommit now. Or maybe your assessment shows that you need to rethink what you want to accomplish. Either way, you have ample time to boost your career before the winter holidays.
3. Build support. Whatever your goals, you need people to help you reach them. Use September to connect and reconnect with people you enjoy and admire. Make dates for lunch, breakfast or coffee. Join a professional association and take an active role. Volunteer. Even if you network primarily through social media, find time to connect in person too and use those occasions to help others as well as yourself. Look for ways to turn everyday encounters into career connections.
4. Own your success. First, get comfortable talking about your talent. Remember: it's not bragging if you can do it. Second, resist the temptation to turn your career over to others, such as a boss, a spouse, a recruiter, a coach, a mentor, or a hiring manager. While advisors play a crucial role, you're the one who best knows what you want. Take ownership of your dreams, starting today, and your best career may be closer than you think.
The JBK team wants to help you get there and is dedicating our September Twitter Chats to career moves for the second New Year. We'd love you to join us each Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST for #JBKChatWithUs to brainstorm strategies, share expertise and inspire others. It's the season of new starts. Let's make the most of it together!