When was the last time you did a spring clean of your career?
I have been caught up, once again, in the Spring decluttering vibes that run rampant at this time. I absolutely love this time of year. The days are longer, the weather is warmer and I can start putting away my heavy jackets and knitted cardigans. This is also a very popular time for gyms and sales of diet books go through the roof. Not only do people do a spring clean of their house but also of their phsyical habits – both exercise and eating. But have you thought about doing a career spring clean?
I’m sure you are probably wondering “What the hell is a career spring clean? why would I do that?” Well my answer for you is this:
A career spring clean is all about realigning with what it is you truly want to be doing and casting away what no longer serves your soul. This is super important because if we don’t spring clean our careers once in a while, we end up pushing someone else’s agenda and land in a position that is less than perfect for fulfilling our calling.
The best work environment is one where everyone is in love with what they do, believes in the vision and mission of the company they work for and whose values are also completely aligned. It doesn’t matter if you work for yourself, have employees or work for a large company. Whatever your circumstance – spring cleaning your career and determining if you have a great work environment will do wonders on your confidence, happiness and motivation levels.
So here are my tips for a spick and span Career spring clean:
1. Get clear on the Company’s vision and mission statement.
Is what they stand for important to you? Or have you realised that actually it doesn’t sit quite right with you? If you are running your own business, perhaps it’s time to revisit these and re-write if you feel like it has changed. If you are thinking of starting your own business, this can be a really great place to start. Having a strong foundation based on an inspirational vision and mission will help you to build a business plan on top of that.
2. What have you outgrown
As we progress and evolve in our careers, it is very likely that there will be elements of our jobs that we used to embrace in the past but have now outgrown. There is nothing forcing you to keep doing those things if you have grown and are capable of more. So get really clear on what you want to let go and delegate to someone else. Whether it is through hiring a VA or speaking to your boss about redefining your job description – don’t think that you HAVE to do it. Especially if you can be spending your time doing something far better and more valuable.
3. What are your knowledge & skill gaps
I would love to think we are all perfect, but that is not the case. There will always be something we can learn that can make huge differences in our careers. These days with information so readily available, there is no excuse not to keep upskilling. I consider myself to be a life long student and am constantly learning about business tools and strategies. So think about what you might be able to learn, where you can add value to your business or the company you work for. And for an added bonus, education can be a tax deduction. (Just check with your accountant before purchasing anything if you are wanting it to be a deduction).
4. Where is your pay level
Do you have regular pay reviews? When was the last time you had a price increase on your products or services? It is one of the most important conversations to have but many avoid it because they think it can be awkward, they aren’t sure what to say or they don’t think they deserve more money. Well let me tell you, if you are adding value to the company or your customers, if you are exceeding their expectations and going above and beyond to deliver top quality work – then you have earned your right to negotiate a pay increase. The in’s and out’s of this negotiation process deserves it’s own post all on its own (stay tuned) but the basics are simple math. The more value you give = the more you should get. And whether you get a pay increase straight away or negotiate a path to which you can achieve the pay you want. This is a great time to review and get feedback on how you are going so that you can keep growing and evolving.
So those are my few tips for doing a career spring clean. Now I’d love to hear from you. Out of the tips above, what do you think would give you the biggest change in your current circumstances? And what is the one thing that scares you? Most likely, the one that scares you the most is the one you most need to do (pay review, I’m looking at you!) Leave your comments below (I answer each one myself :))
Good luck and happy spring cleaning!