Ah, Fall. We know this time of the year is when we “fall back” and gain an hour of sleep as we enjoy cooler and milder temperatures. But it is also a time that you should pay careful attention to at work. During the autumn months, your workplace is a bevy of activity, a lot of which you should be paying attention to for the betterment of your career and professional life. Doing a few things during Fall can mean a lot in terms of your career next year. So pay close attention and peep my list of 6 Things You Need to Do this Fall at Work.
1. Open Enrollment
If your workplace offers benefits (health insurance, life insurance, dental, vision, etc.), the open enrollment period to register for next year usually takes place between September and November with deadlines to enroll in December. Do not ignore any emails or literature that you may receive on the subject. Your workplace may be changing health care providers, or the cost of your portion may be different, so you don’t want to wait until the last minute to find this out. Do your research and ask the questions now.
2. Vacation and Personal Day Count
If your workplace offers vacation and personal days and they don’t roll over to the next calendar year (meaning you use them or lose them), you need to know this so you can plan accordingly. If you’ve got some extra days left and you don’t want to lose them, then it’s time to start strategizing on how you will plan these days around the days other employees will be taking off too. Make sure to consult your manager or HR for your vacation and/or personal day count—use them up.
3. Address and info
If you’ve moved or changed personal information (got married, divorced, etc.) and you haven’t contacted your HR department to make these changes, do so now. Your W2′s will be printed in January and you will want to make sure they are going to the correct address. Also, if your marital status or number of dependents have changed, make sure that is reflected on your current tax forms at your workplace so you aren’t penalized later.
4. Career Goals
If you’ve taken my 2013 Career Assessment for 2014, or you’ve created a list of professional goals, it is time to take a look at them and see where you are. Have you reached many of your goals? Or are you feeling stagnant and not as ahead as you’d like to be? This is the time to take action, as you’ve still got three more full months in the year to complete your goals and plans. You can also begin working on your professional goals for the upcoming year.
5. Extra Dough?
Are you looking to make extra money for the holiday season? Right now is the time where many retailers and department stores are hiring up for the holidays. It’s a great way to make some extra money to spend during Christmas or save. Start applying now. Or if your employer is offering extra hours and overtime currently, snag it now while the getting is good.
The Fall time is the 2nd busiest time of year in terms of new hiring and promoting within the company. If you are looking to move up within the company you are already working for, start researching what positions are open and begin the application process. Don’t assume that there will be a huge announcement or that you will be told about these openings—many times, that is not the case. Meet with your HR department and let them know you are interested in advancing your career within the company.
This is the best time to get your ducks in a row before the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Wishing you a happy, healthy, and productive Fall season.