I love this time of year! Everything that once was dead is coming back to life, and I love seeing vibrant colors everywhere while the sun is shining. Like me, you may use this season to clean out your closet and yard, but what about cleaning up your career? Below are a a few simple things you can do to spruce things up and get ready for the next season in your career.
Spend some time on LinkedIn
I can't emphasize enough how easy it is to make LinkedIn work for you, and yet it's such an underutilized resource. Don't wait for when you're desperately searching for your next opportunity to build your network, and it really doesn't take a long time to tidy it up. Make sure your profile includes all of your recent work history, an updated bio, and a fresh and professional photo. It's important that your profile truly reflects who you are so that the right recruiters and connections are drawn to you. Also, take a few minutes to request and then write a few recommendations for past and present colleagues. These will be so helpful to have on hand as references for the future.
Did you know that the LinkedIn algorithm rewards you for spending time liking, sharing and commenting on posts? The more time you spend on it, the more the content will be tailored to you and the more visible you will be to companies trying to hire people with your skillsets. So set a timer for 10 minutes each day or week and get your LinkedIn looking like new.
Reach out to your manager
As a VP and Director of large teams, it always surprised me that people would wait for the end of the year to ask for feedback. This time of year is typically slower, so take advantage of the extra time and ask your boss how you're doing. Be sincere and ready to accept the critiques you'll receive, but know that by asking instead of waiting for feedback you'll be impressing your manager.
If you manage teams yourself, now is a good time to reach out to your people and check in on how they're doing. I did spring cleaning check ins with all of my direct reports to ensure things were moving in the right direction and they were getting the kind of support they needed.
Invest in Professional Development
One hard learned truth about our careers is that no one is going to invest in us the way we can. If you've felt stuck, now is the time to learn a new skill or try something new. You can attend webinars on LinkedIn, look into getting PMP certified, or invest in Career Confidence Courses. If you struggle with time management, it would be wise to improve your own processes and fine tune your organization. The #1 skill you can monetize is doing your job in less time. Learn more about how to do that with the Livlyhood Managing Your Time More Effectively course.
Whatever you decide to learn, make sure to put yourself and your own skillset first. Learning constantly is one of the best parts of working!
Reflect back and make new goals
I hate the idea that goals only need to be made in January. Instead of waiting for an opportunity to come up at work, why not use this time to inventory if you're truly where you want to be at work. Using resources like Glassdoor.com and Salary.com, find out if your wage is fair for your experience level. If not, make some goals for yourself and talk to your manager about how to make profitable changes. You may even spend some time day dreaming about a new opportunity and looking for a new job. There have never been as many jobs open as there are now, so if you've been thinking about it, might as well take the leap!
It's easy to put off some of the simple tasks that help your career stay on track, but by cleaning up just a few areas of your professional life, you can improve your day to day life, make more money and find more joy in your job.