Spring has sprung, and with the year being well and truly past the half-way mark, there’s never been a better time for a career spring clean.
How is your year going, what’s been great and what’s been mediocre? It’s important to take time to reflect, check in without being self-judgemental, and set new goals to help motivate you for the remainder of the year.
Be a Goal Getter
Now is the perfect time to see how you’re tracking with any existing goals or make some new ones. Make sure you take the time to recognise the progress you have made.
Ask yourself these questions;
- How am I progressing?
- Do any changes to my goals need to be made?
- Are they still relevant and achievable?
Setting up goals is the perfect way to be inspired and stay motivated. To set good goals, make sure to…
- Decide on your objectives
- Determine how you’ll measure success and think about what that looks like for you
- Set a time frame for achieving your goals that are realistic yet stretches your comfort zone.
- Set a framework for how often you want to check back in on progress – e.g., weekly, or monthly? Put these times into your calendar.
Step up on your Career Ladder – or switch to another one
If you are unhappy with where your career is heading, then it’s time to take action. First, assess your options. Could you move into a senior position within the same industry or find a fresh start in something completely different? A chat with your boss is the first step in the right direction. Express interest in taking on more responsibility or use the insights you’ve gained from your self-reflection to explain your worth and ask for a pay rise.
Returning to study and completing a diploma can be a valuable way to give you the skills required to excel in a senior role, or break into a new industry. Investing in your career demonstrates to employers that you’re enthusiastic and serious about taking the next step.
As well as evaluating your goals, remember to keep sight of yourself in the process. Looking after our minds and bodies is just as important as checking off career goals, so make a self-care date to assess what’s working and what’s not.
Important self-care factors to think about:
- Work/Life balance – Are you happy with this? Can it be improved?
- Mindset – Are you coping with the demands of work and are you in a growth mindset?
- Health – Are you eating well and exercising regularly?
TIP: Give these an honest score out of 10. Jot down easy actions that can you do to improve the score and then put a plan into place. Perhaps you could work part-time or try to leave work on time. Perhaps you could join a kickboxing or yoga class or a free walking group.
Refresh your LinkedIn Profile
Another way to spring-clean your career is to freshen up your LinkedIn profile. A professional and up to date profile is a must, especially if you’re looking to change jobs or careers.
- A recent and professional photo
- Up to date experience, including responsibilities and volunteering work
- Connections with colleagues and people in your industry
- A concise and informative summary
Soft Skills, Solid Impact
Something that’s commonly overlooked is the importance of ‘soft skills’. Soft skills are what defines high-quality candidates in the recruiting process.
Important soft skills to develop include:
- Emotional Intelligence
- Leadership skills
There are many courses and online resources which can assist you to explore and grow your soft skills. Ask your boss or colleagues for recommendations.
Clear Desk, Clear Mind
Your physical environment can benefit from a spring clean too. An organised work-space is one of the best ways to improve productivity and efficiency.
Where to start?
- Go through your desk drawers – think about what you really need to keep, and throw out anything you haven’t used in a while
- Update computer folders and ensure an easy to use filing system is in place
- Show the world your best – remove old stationery and restock notebooks, sticky notes, highlighters and so forth
- Ensure your work-space is as ergonomic as possible with your computer screen placed at eye level. A chair with adequate back support and a mouse pad with wrist cushioning can make a big difference to your workday.
When life is busy, we can forget to stop and reflect on how we are progressing, what can be improved and how we’re going to get there. For overall happiness as well as career success, a spring makeover is an important undertaking. You’ll be surprised and satisfied by how fresh you’ll feel after.