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Now’s the Time to Take a Long, Hard Look at Busy Season

busy season

Now that busy season is over, and you’ve had some time to yourself,  work schedules go back to normal. Same old, same old.

So it’s a good time to assess what you learned. Doing that can give you a picture of how your firm managed the stress of filing season—and, more importantly, how you did.

Here’s a checklist of nine things that will help you measure what busy season taught you and how you can use the information to further your career.

Busy Season Assessment

  • Training. Were you given adequate training, if it was needed so that you could work as effectively and efficiently as possible? If you were struggling, were you able to ask questions?
  • IT support. Were issues resolved quickly? If not, did you have to take matters into your own hands? How did that work?
  • Exposure to clients. Did you have the opportunity to meet with clients, or were you mostly in the background? If it was your first busy season, keep in mind that you can learn from even the most mundane tasks.
  • Data mining. Were you able to learn from clients’ data? Are there opportunities for initiative? How does that change how you look at your assignments?
  • Overall “firm feel.” What was the atmosphere like at the firm? Were you able to take the time you needed to handle personal or family business during busy season? Did the firm do things to make your life easier, like bringing in lunch or dinner or sponsoring fun events?
  • Firm leadership. Were firm leaders visible or absent? Supportive or snappy? Was help offered if needed?
  • Practice and procedure. Did you find any ways for the firm to implement a better practice or procedure? If so, how was your idea received?
  • Opportunity. Did you spot any opportunities for you to grow and learn? Any areas of special interest? People that you’d like to have as a mentor?
  • Future planning. Did you come to any conclusions about your future? That may mean looking for a private industry job, so you never have to face another busy season—or that busy season wasn’t so terrible, and you like public accounting.

Whatever the stage of your career, it’s always valuable to step back and assess where you are. Looking at a busy season in a way that focuses on something other than long workweeks allows you to focus on how you want your career to move forward.

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