Success Insights

Career Clarity or Career ClutterWhat steps can you take to mentally and emotionally de-clutter?

I tend not to embrace every ideology or philosophy that pops up, but some aspects of Feng Shui make perfect sense to me.

For the past few weeks, I have been struggling to get a few tasks off my “to-do” list, but kept getting stuck. I finally realized what was blocking me – it was a growing pile of unopened mail and paper clutter that had invaded my workspace.

So on Sunday evening, with a determined mind, I started organizing and de-cluttering…boy, what a difference that made! I swear there is new energy running through my house and my body. My point is simply this – when we choose to operate in a chaotic or cluttered environment, it can restrict our lives.

  • How about you? What are you still holding onto that is standing in your way?
  • What steps can you take to mentally and emotionally de-clutter?
  • Are you staying bound to your current job due to last year’s excuses?

Career change takes efforts, a shift in mindset, and more importantly it takes time. With the ringing in of the New Year still in sight, don’t put your career success (and happiness) on hold; take note of these easy steps to give you clarity and get you moving again.

  • Evaluate your core skills and areas of expertise more than once a year. Make it a practice to peruse new job opportunities outside your company and compare your career background and experience against what other employers in your industry are actively seeking.
  • Take nothing for granted, take time to quantify your efforts, impact and contributions. If you cut down the turnaround time for developing a report from seven days to two days, calculate the time savings. There is a big difference between saying “improved monthly report turnaround time” and “increased report turnaround processing time by 70%”
  • Step away from yourself and get an objective opinion from a career professional. When you are the only person staring at your resume, you can overlook and forget a ton of great information. Remove yourself temporarily from the resume development and career evaluation process and pay close attention to what others are saying about your career background.
  • Don’t be so specialized that you cannot adapt to changes. Are you only an expert at internal, customized company tools and software programs? Don’t become so specialized at what your company needs that you are no value to other employers. Stay current on technology trends and take evening or online course to improve your proficiency.
  • Be diligent about filling in the expertise gaps. You may discover that your skills are outdated and that you are in jeopardy of being inefficient in your industry or marketplace. Take advantage of every learning opportunity so that even if the dynamics of your existing position changes, you are still a valuable employee to your company and other employers.

So get dusting, get cleaning, and get moving in 2013.

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Abby Locke is an executive resume writer and career transformation coach who helps emerging leaders, executives and professional women to craft compelling career narratives and standout brand profiles.

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