This post originally appeared on TheEveryGirl.com
If you’re like us, you never quite lose the nostalgia for that back to school feeling. A fresh start, crisply sharpened pencils, and the fun of tackling something new still get us excited in the early fall. Even after moving on to that post-student phase of our lives, there are ways we can capitalize on all of those feelings and translate them to best practices in our careers. This is a great time of year to practice these holdover habits from our school days!
1. Expand Your Network
A new school year used to be the perfect opportunity to make friends and grow your inner circle. After we graduate, it can be not only harder to hang on to our school friends, but we can also find it difficult to make new friends outside of that historic context.
Fall is a great time to revisit being diligent and purposeful about expanding your network. Most of your professional contacts are just getting back in the swing of things after Labor Day. It can be great timing to schedule a coffee meeting or lunch and have the baked-in talking points of what everyone did over their summer.
For extra credit, challenge yourself to push beyond the professional context, and think about those few gals in your work circle who you’d like to be better friends with. Sometimes all it takes is suggesting a shared yoga class or jointly attending a networking event to get past that awkward “let’s be friends” phase.
2. Check In on Career Goals
Without set deadlines and semesters to keep us on track, it can be tricky to find other ways to measure our progress on career goals. Again, fall is a great time to take a step back and set some tangible benchmarks on your goals.
What are you looking to achieve in your career before the end of this year? Before next year? Set aside an evening with your personal planner and actually book yourself some goal check-ins. The best goals are “SMART” — specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time bound. Hold yourself accountable by literally booking appointments with yourself over the next few months to check in on whatever next career move you’re working toward!