Now that spring cleaning is behind us, and your home may be a little more organized as a result – what about your career? Have you been procrastinating on the business clutter or overlooking any potential opportunities? It’s time to tackle those dust bunnies and everything drawers!
A regular refresh of your career can give you the boost and direction to keep moving forward. Here are some core elements that should be included in a good declutter:
1. Clean up your social media profiles
You’re all savvy individuals, so there’s no need for me to alert you about maintaining a clean and private presence on Twitter and Facebook; this is essential if you wish to evade any potential embarrassing situations. It’s not only necessary that we remove our “not-so glamorous” posts from public view, but it also important that your content remains current and valuable.
- Constantly audit your LinkedIn profile to ensure you’re presenting yourself in the best light. Add any new job titles and skills, as well as delete outdated information that can no longer be found on your resume. Doing this will give potential employers a clear picture of who you are today!
- Have you connected with any new business contacts recently? Ensure that all your acquaintances are properly integrated into your social networks, like LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter. With social media being a powerful networking tool these days – don’t let anyone essential slip through the cracks!
- To build a powerful personal brand, make sure your profile pictures are professional yet showcase who you truly are. Utilize the same picture across all of your social media accounts to ensure you’re easily recognizable everywhere online. You can also attach that photo to an email via Gravatar so it shows up whenever commenting on sites or forums as well!
2. Refresh your resume
Whether you actively job searching right now or not, chances are that you might be in the future. The last thing you want is to try and quickly refresh a five-year-old resume at that point! It’s wise to periodically review your resume and make sure it has all the most current information available. Consider this – if your dream job came along tomorrow, would you be ready for it? Taking some time every few months to update your resume ensures that when opportunity knocks, you’ll be prepared.
- Boost your employability by adding hyperlinks to your resume that lead employers to a website, blog, or portfolio of yours. This will give them the opportunity to learn even more about you without bogging down your resume with unnecessary information. Keep it concise and sweet!
- Streamline the layout to make your content more readable. The chaotic font usage you thought looked cool is actually hurting, not helping – opt for simple bullets and ample white space instead.
- To guarantee that your references are current, it’s a wise decision to reach out with an email and remind them of who you are. A little check-in never hurts!
3. Streamline your systems
Simplifying and optimizing your days will not only make you a more valuable asset to your workplace, but it’ll also provide you with the energy and time needed to achieve greater success in your career.
- Stay abreast of the most advanced to-do apps, websites, and other innovative tools that can make everything from task management to scheduling a breeze.
- Observe the magical 80/20 rule to ensure your desired results: A mere 20% of recurrent tasks will be responsible for 80% of key outputs. Consequently, prioritize this select group and drop some out.
- Maximize results by utilizing your natural energy rhythms – discover when you’re most productive in the day, and shape your projects around those times. Energy management has shown impressive outcomes by understanding and making use of these cycles.
- To ensure your workday remains smooth and easier to manage, prioritize setting up a personalized email system. Email overload can be tamed by creating a system that allows you the potential of reaching inbox zero on an ongoing basis – it’s absolutely possible! Most importantly, stay consistent with this approach once in place for maximum productivity results.
4. Spiff up your workspace
Whether you work from home or the office, your workspace has a significant impact on how productively and happily you go about your day. An organized, open-plan setting can set an energizing tone and ensure that each morning starts off right!
- Get your filing pile sorted and then schedule time in your calendar to address it every week from now on. Yes, I know that tackling paperwork is the least enjoyable thing ever, but searching through a monumental heap of receipts for one bill from two months back makes it even worse!
- Invest in furniture and accessories that are comfortable. Nobody has ever been able to work better with aches, pains or repetitive stress injuries. Ensure your chair and desk height promote healthy posture; if not, either invest in a new chair or purchase essential items like a footrest or backrest. Purchase an ergonomic keyboard and mouse for optimal comfort levels while working at the computer! Your lighting should be bright enough to keep you focused without causing annoying migraines—a perfect balance between stimulation & relaxation is key!
- Personalize your space. Adorn your work area with family photos, knick-knacks that make you smile and even a tiny Zen rock garden to help keep stress levels under control. After all, why not take the time to make sure the place where you spend most of your day is an expression of what brings you joy? Create a workspace that allows for peace of mind and productivity!
5. Touch base with your network
Taking care of your network is essential in cultivating a successful career. Just like how you’d periodically remove inactive Facebook contacts, regularly evaluate the connections within your network and make sure to stay connected with those who can help further your aspirations. If you only initiate contact when something benefits you, chances are they won’t be very welcoming towards it. Therefore, keep up with meaningful conversations even if there’s no foreseeable advantage for doing so–it will pay off in dividends later on!
- Draft a friendly and upbeat email so you can catch up with your contacts, inquiring about their recent activities. Don’t forget to keep it light and casual—this is not the time for sales pitches!
- Let’s get together for a coffee to catch up. (My treat, of course!)
- Mark your calendar to maintain the connection by reconnecting after a certain duration of time. Doing so will ensure that the bond between you remains strong and vibrant.
6. Review and reevaluate your goals
Looking back, do you find yourself in the same place as five years ago? What about your progress towards where you want to be five years from now? Have all the necessary steps been taken and are they still being implemented or have they stalled? Analyzing this information is essential for planning out a successful career strategy.
It is tempting to get caught up in the daily details of your job, yet it is essential not to forget about tending to your long-term goals.
If you want to be where you envision yourself, it is essential that you jot down the action steps needed to reach your goals and add them onto your everyday tasks list. On the other hand, if everything is going according to plan for once; brainstorm ways in which this positive trend can continue, then set timely deadlines for each one of these ideas. Although having a smoothly run career could benefit us greatly, what’s more beneficial is ensuring we are heading towards our desired path.
Kelly Gurnett is passionate about helping people to focus on what matters. As the Assistant Editor of Brazen Life, she runs Cordelia Calls It Quits – a blog that chronicles her journey to simplify life and get rid of unnecessary items. Be sure to follow Kelly on Twitter and Facebook for regular encouragement! Additionally, you can hire her services as an exceptional blogger here.