A few years ago I wrote about trying to avoid the supposed “career offseason.”

At the time, it was positioned around the time of college football kicking off and beginning anew. I talked about many factors like schedules, offense, defense, coaching and the intangibles. Every day in your work life and career there are wins and losses (and sometimes ties)…it just depends on how your character deals with the result and tries harder the next time.

Each and every cycle (season), there will be strong and weak aspects. How do you balance the ongoing aspects and take the time to build on the strengths and shore up the weaknesses WHILE you are running your career franchise. Always be ready to take on more responsibility or lead. Always be willing to share knowledge to a coworker or “backup” as well.

The most important part is never stopping learning no matter what time of year or phase in your career!

Here are a few reminders that I keep close to me that are just as important today:

• Always be working on all facets of your portfolio. Your leadership, attention to detail, team player outlook and lending your hand to make others around you helps make your boss(es) and company shine.

• Look ahead at meetings or projects that you know you can excel. It will prove to your supervisors that you belong as a self-starter. More importantly, you will be looked at as someone that can always be counted on to get the job done and done well.

• Every meeting, every call, every presentation and every opportunity is important. Treat every day like it's the most important day of the “season.”

• Take what critics say about your team and use that as motivation. Only you know what true success means to you, your coworkers and your company. You are your own coach in these situations.

While you may not be able to equate your specific career to these sports analogies, it’s a great exercise to try and take a look at your work path in a whole new way, and make it even stronger and more defined.