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The robins are back, daffodils in bloom, and those tiny soldier ants are beginning to lay siege on the kitchen. Spring has officially sprung (at least in my part of the US, my condolences to the North.) With winds changing we will often start filling our evenings and weekends with household and yard projects. There is something about how those first rays of sunshine breathe life into our home and fuel activity. However, one area of our lives that regularly remains untouched by the season of rebirth is our careers.
Why is it that we never seem to step back and look at our careers the same way we look at our house after a long winter? They are both things that require maintenance and contribute to our overall well-being. If your house has a leaky roof you make strides to fix it and don’t wait for a complete collapse before taking action. But when it comes to our careers we suffer from chronic blind eye. We wait for total disaster before addressing its needs for maintenance and growth.
Spring Cleaning Tips: Minor Career Maintenance
So the deck is looking a little drab and in need of some quality TLC. Even if you’re happily chugging along in your current role there are a few upkeep things that may seem like small potatoes now, but can become huge pains in the neck down the road.
Take some time update your LinkedIn or resume. It’s a recruiter’s likely first destination to find qualified talent for their open positions. Surely you’ve accomplished something worth noting in the past year. You may not be looking for a change but it much easier to remember what you’ve accomplished in the last six months, than six years.
Additionally take a moment to review your professional certifications. Now is a great time to update, renew or make plans to add one.
Rebuild and Reinforce: More Than Your Personal Brand
If things are looking a smidge dry rotted but still structurally sound it may be time to rebuild or reinforce. What I mean by this is if you’re still receiving satisfaction from your career, but it’s getting a little dry and old it maybe time to change your approach.
The good news is this probably means you’ve successfully met goals along the way. Now is the time to make new goals, work on or create your personal brand or find new solutions to old problems. Maybe try a new technology or take a class to improve your own skillset. Whatever it takes to rejuvenate and fuel that passion you felt for your work at the very beginning.
When to Sell the Farm & Look for a New Job
Knowing when something is a total loss is probably one of the hardest things to do. It’s in our nature to cling to the norm and as result, continue to grind away at something so devoid of passion and purpose. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, spring can be time for many of us to reinvent. Reinventing or stepping away from a career developed over years can be frightening and come with stigma. However it is probably the most natural thing that could happen over the course of time.
As life goes on and family dynamics change, the maintenance your home and home life need change too. Three kids latter that two bedroom downtown apartment doesn’t quite work. Same principle goes for your career. The job you were previously happy with and did well in under completely different circumstances just might not work any more.
It’s time to sell the farm. It’s time to look for a new job.
What has been your experience with spring-cleaning your own career? Comment below and share your story.