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4 Tips for Morphing That Back-to-School Mindset Into Personal Development

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The recent college graduate is about to experience something they haven't experienced in the past 16 years…the lack of dread that the summer is over and the new school year has begun.

Even if you loved going back to school each fall, you still experienced the change in mindset. The September following graduation is when the real world really cements itself in. Even tenured professionals tend to re-engaged in their career after Labor Day. You've possessed this "reset" button for 16 years of your academic career. Keep it working for you in your professional career?

Related: Are You Actually Setting Goals? Probably Not. Here's How in 3 Steps.

Here are four things you can do in the fall to enhance your professional career.

1. Selling season. From Labor Day to Thanksgiving is a good time to meet with prospective clients. Vacations are over, the kids are off to school, people are re-energized and looking to get stuff done before the end-of-year craziness. Memorial Day was three months ago! Reach out to people who were too busy during the summer so you can reconnect in the fall.

2. Goal reflection. Are you 66 percent of the way to accomplishing the goals you set for 2014? September and October are prime months for making progress towards any year-end goals.Give yourself the best shot to achieve over the next 60 days by getting busy now. When December comes, you won't need to punt goals into next year.

3. Learn something new. Fall is synonymous with returning to the classroom, so what better time to learn a new skill set? The long summer nights are over, so you might as well take some online courses on your iPad while it's dark out. Your career plans and goal setting for 2015 will look a lot different when you acquire new certifications or skill sets in the fall.

4. Form a study group. September, with its back-to-school momentum, is a good time to form a new study group with your professional peers. Take the lead organizing people in your field for monthly meetings to share challenges and ideas.

Take advantage of the psychological refresher that autumn provides to advance your career.

Related: 8 Questions to Refocus Your Vision and Achieve Success

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