As the temperature begins to rise and blooming flowers signal the start of spring, many of us are overcome with the desire to spring clean – decluttering, disinfecting and disposing of items for a clean, fresh start.
This annual ritual of reorganizing not only feels great — having less mess can make our lives a lot easier and a decluttered space also does wonders to clear our heads.
So, why not apply this method to your career? Certainly your resume could use a refresh. Or perhaps your inbox needs a severe cleaning (we’ve all been there). We asked our experts for their top tips for spring cleaning your career.
“While it’s getting nicer outside and you feel like putting a spring in your step, how about making sure your career information has a step up too,” career coach Terry DellaVecchia suggests. “It’s way easier to do once or twice a year while all your information is fresh than when you really need it and can’t remember dates or exactly what your job entailed.”
Terry says that when it comes to updating your resume, don’t wait until you’re looking for a new job. “It’s important as you change roles within your organization to update that information too, it’s not just about changing companies.” She also suggests you rework your summary statement or elevator pitch and update your skills or certifications regularly.
Career coach Marla J Williams advises that you clear up your resume’s employment history section as well. “Remove all jobs 10 years or older off the resume (anything from 2007 and past). If you need to leave them on make sure they are aligned to the position you are applying for, most of the time they are not.”
LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world and has become an essential component in your professional brand. It’s something employers and recruiters rely on when looking into potential candidates, so having your LinkedIn profile optimized and up-to-date is in your best interest, whether you’re looking for a new career or just looking to network with like-minded individuals.
“Update your skills list and reorganize them according to your true likes and strengths,” Terry suggest. “Have you got a really nice headshot? Update that too. Add your new certifications and jobs here too.”
Although many may be familiar with the phrase, “Less is more”, it takes on a whole new meaning when you reduce the things that help to create greater possibility. Reducing clutter from your mailbox can definitely free up time, space, and stress,” explains career coach Reginald Jackson Sr.
Feeling overburdened by your lengthy list of unread emails? There are some awesome apps out there to help you conquer your inbox.
Career coach Sally Anne Giedrys advises you to spring clean your to-do list. “Streamline your schedule and jumpstart productivity by evaluating what you’re actually spending time on every week and making any needed changes,” she explains. “Ask questions such as: Is there an easier way to accomplish this? Does this need to be done by me, or could it be delegated? How does spending time on this activity relate to larger goals? What results am I getting (and how are they documented)?”
“Freshen up your workspace by eliminating clutter,” Sally suggests. “Bring in a plant (research shows greenery helps to clean the air and improve feelings of well-being) or a couple of personal items that you love. Consider adding tools to improve your focus and effectiveness such as reminder apps, project management software or music designed to help focus and creativity. If there’s something in your environment that’s draining you, now is the time to take action.”
Haven’t got a set work space? Maybe it’s a good time to declutter your purse or backpack, pick up some new lunch gear and get organized with healthy packed lunches – which has an added bonus to your wallet and if you’re choosing the right foods, you get a health benefit as well.
“Boost your well-being with a small tweak to your daily schedule,” Sally says. “Consider scheduling in a walk at lunchtime or early morning exercise. Commit to leaving the office on time. Start batching small tasks such as emails or phone calls into one part of the day to maximize your effectiveness. If you’re responsible for meetings, inject new life into them by changing location or mixing up the agenda.”
“Spring is also a great time to take stock of your skill set and proactively seek out opportunities to stay current,” Sally suggests. “Is there a new technology you’d like to learn, or an area of expertise that you’d like to explore or develop? Sign up for a class, buy new tools or propose a professional development opportunity that intrigues you. In today’s job market, it never hurts to be learning.”
The term “personal brand” has become the hottest buzzword among professionals these days and with the rise of social media marketing, it has become an essential part of our professional lives. Personal branding is basically the practice of marketing yourself and your career as a brand. Your personal brand is how people look at you, how they describe you. Your personal brand is what makes you, you.
“Create your brand mission statement and vision statement,” suggests Marla J. “What is your one word? Read ” Your One Word” by Evan Carmichael. Become very clear about what you are trying to accomplish.”
“What we put out in our perspective tends to come back to us,” career coach Mary Kruger explains. “For example, one client of mine said, ‘There are no jobs in Vancouver.’ How do you think that went? When we send out a positive perspective, things change. Instead, think, ‘I only need one job!’ Does your attitude need spring cleaning? What perspective will you hold on finding a new career? Working with a coach you can expect to experience fresh perspectives on your challenges and see the opportunities which in turn will become your successes.”
“Spring clean your inner critics. Banish those saboteurs from the dusty corners of your mind!” Mary says. “When you hear things like, ‘I’m too old for this job’ or ‘I’m not smart enough,’ think again. Your saboteurs aren’t helping you be successful. Try on instead some positive affirmations. ‘My experience from working in the field for over 15 years will be an asset to employers because….’ or ‘I was able to learn complex processes in my last job – I can do it again!”
Kristen is the editor and community manager at Noomii.com and the Noomii Career Blog. Kristen's desire to ask questions and share information with others led her to pursue journalism. While she has worked at various publications, covering everything from municipal politics to local restaurants, it was her love of self-improvement and sharing inspiration with others that made Noomii the perfect fit. Connect with Kristen on Twitter and LinkedIn.