Spring cleaning for your career

Spring is in full bloom, and many people regard the emergence of nicer weather and new growth as a time for starting fresh with a little spring cleaning. But spring cleaning doesn’t just have to mean organizing your closets or scrubbing down the patio furniture—it is also a great opportunity to apply a “fresh start” mentality to your job search or career plan.Dust off your long-term goals and ambitions. Are you taking the right steps toward making your career goals reality? Many of us tend to stick with what we know is safe and easy, especially when looking for a new job.  Sometimes, however, it takes a full change in direction to put yourself back on course to achieve the goals you set for yourself.  It might mean looking for work in a different role or industry.  It may even mean expanding your education or relocating to a new city! In the spirit of “spring cleaning,” be sure to clear out your preconceived notions about your job search and think outside the box.

Re-organize your contact book.  Sure, a well-rounded network is one of the most important professional assets you can have.  But having a bunch of old contacts for the sake of having a large network isn’t always the best strategy.  Since an effective network is one with which you keep up relationship ties (and not just email addresses in your “contact” list) take a look at who makes the most sense in your professional network, and get to work maintaining the connection!  This is not to say you should delete old names and numbers of prior acquaintances, just organize your list so you can focus on building the relationships that are most important.

Refresh your professional image. Whether it’s a resume renewal, cover letter overhaul, or social profile upgrade, an image update can do wonders for your confidence and enhance the way you present yourself to colleagues, employers, and potential employers.  It is often easy to let an outdated professional information go unnoticed–even though it is often the first thing a company discovers about you. Consider having someone new take a look at your resume and give you feedback on how you are coming across to others. Once you’ve updated your resume, be sure to post it so employers can have access to your new-and-improved image!

Clear out your desk. This may seem like the simplest (and most obvious) way to apply spring cleaning to your professional life, but it is important nonetheless.  Take time to organize paperwork, file important documents, delete or archive old emails, and give a whole new sense of function to your work space. Whether you are looking for a new job or looking to advance in the one you have, an organized work space can provide you with a renewed sense of inspiration, relieves stress caused by unnecessary clutter, and help you find that important document without risking an avalanche of paperwork!

Spring is a great time for renewal, especially when it comes to your career. Once you’ve done some cleaning, be sure to renew your job search!

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