Help needed: The writer and the quest for criticism

Over the week-end, I reached 43k in my YA paranormal romance, I blogged, enjoyed the Christmas Market, worked out, tweeted (I am becoming an official addict of Twitter) and cooked. Go, me, go! (*does her own little cheerleading dance while husband rolls eyes*). I decided to take part in Deja Vu Blogfest (more details here) ´cos it sounds like fun 🙂

I also roamed the internet and the wonderful-super-helpful forums (Absolute Write, YAlitchat.org) to learn more about getting crit partners and beta readers. First, I had to come to terms again that writing meant I did have to learn a new language (what the heck is the difference between a crit partner and beta readers?), this post helped me clarify a bit. Basically, a beta reader gives you a full impression (more on the plot/characters than on the hard editing) while a crit partner may tear your draft apart with language/vocab/grammar error. Am I getting this right? Feel free to correct me if I´m wrong. ..

Then, the next question came: when do I actively start looking for either one of those? And here I am at loss. I am not sure if I should already try to dig out my beta-reader(s) or my crit partner(s).

So, now on to you and your knowledge/experience/ideas: when did you start looking for a crit partner/beta reader? Did you even have one? Will you look for one if like me you´re still in the middle of your first draft?