Fall speed ahead

Autumn is the time for career planning

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Are you waiting until the clock strikes midnight on December 31 to plan your next career move? Positive change is good no matter when it’s made, but now is as good a time as any to get started on the next phase of your career. In fact, the next couple of months may be the best time to start brainstorming.

According to Goodrich and Sherwood Associates Inc., one of the country’s largest full-service human resources management consulting firms, autumn is the ideal time to focus on the direction of your career. Why? Many companies assemble or refine their marketing and manufacturing plans for the year ahead in the fall, structuring their budgets. By giving yourself this kind of head start, you’ll be in a better position to take advantage of new opportunities or be more likely to make the transition to the next phase of your career in the year ahead
“Based on my observation, only about 3% of all people plan their careers prior to a crisis,” states Andrew Sherwood, chairman of the firm whose headquarters are in New York. “Don’t depend on your boss to take care of your career or wait to be rewarded if you do a good job. . .. Start this fall to plan your career.”

Sherwood offers the following tips to help you get started:

  • Tip #1: Identify your strengths, including your technical competence and expertise in specific areas.
  • Tip #2: Determine whether you desire job security (trusting the company to help you) or autonomy (doing things your way).
  • Tip #3: Talk with vocational counselors and human resource directors before choosing a career path.
  • Tip #4: Analyze the paths others have taken to reach the position or level you are seeking.
  • Tip #5: Seek feedback on your professional abilities from colleagues, and pay attention to performance reviews from your boss.