It’s the New Year. The holidays have come and gone. Now you’re back in the swing of things you realise you’re no longer satisfied in your role. You want something more. Perhaps it’s time to shake up your current role. Maybe it’s time to find a new one. As Marie Kondo asks us, “If something no longer makes you happy in your life, why would you hang on to it?” The New Year is a good time to make a change. It’s time to apply the KonMari Method to your career for a life that Sparks Joy!
Design the life you want
We only have one working life. So why waste it? Ask yourself, does your current role bring you joy? Does it need a re-boot to bring some excitement back? Or is it time to let it go so you can make the most of your career potential? Is it time to throw the old job out, yet keep the aspects you enjoy?
If you have certain skills, experience and talent that make you happy, all it takes to be successful in finding a new job is drive, ambition, opportunity and a little help.
But first, let’s see what you could do to spark joy in your current role.
5 ways to spark joy in your job
Tidy up your internal connections
When you hate your job, there’s a tendency to withdraw from interacting with those with whom you work. But research regularly shows us that it’s the people we work with that we like most about our jobs. Withdrawing can damage your happiness quotient and lower your self-esteem. Instead, reconnect. Be interested in others. Offer your help. And attend those Friday group lunches or work social occasions.
Get a “zing” from helping others
Because you’ve been doing your job for a while, it probably comes easy to you. By teaching others you solidify your own knowledge for the role, remember aspects of the job you actually enjoy, and help others to develop their skill set. And teaching is almost always satisfying – we can’t help it.
Welcome new responsibilities
Maybe you’re reluctant to put your hand up, especially if your plate is full. But when we’re responsible for contributing, we also get value from that and a sense of ‘a job well done’ (and possibly some genuine praise, which makes us feel good). Whether you’re responsible for leading a project or are part of a team in a larger project, you have an impact. Whatever your contribution is, own it.
What can you reorganise?
Talk with your boss. Plan the conversation first. You may find your boss is aware of your discontent. But you may also find they don’t want to lose you and will change things to avoid that happening. Is there an aspect of your job you don’t like that they can pass on to someone more suitable? Is there a particular project you’d like to be part of? Or a certain colleague with whom you’d like to collaborate? Maybe you can adjust your work hours to better suit your lifestyle. Any of these things can take away the pain and boost your satisfaction levels.
Straighten things up to match your next-stage goals
Maybe you don’t hate your job. Maybe it’s become routine and you’re simply bored. Remind yourself what you want out of your work life and look for ways to move forward. This could be extra training, developing a new skill, or even picking up some freelance work.
Put your job hunt in order in a way that will change your life forever
1. Tidy your CV
First things first: get your CV up to date. This can be a daunting task and it can be hard to write about yourself and your achievements. But it has to be done. Because every role is different, you will need to modify your CV for each application.
Throw out the clutter
Easy-to-read CVs stand out, so make sure your CV is concise. Everyone can claim they have ‘excellent written and verbal skills’. And it’s probably a given you’re a ‘team player’. Throw this clutter out and replace it with your skills or traits that are relevant for the role.
Pack away your content
If you have a long work history, condensing that information is a good idea. If your work history is longer than 10 years, include it – but trim it back.
Tidy up your CV content
Make sure your CV is free of spelling and grammatical errors (be aware, you can’t always rely on Microsoft Word to get corrections right!).
Unless you’re a graphic designer or professional creative, avoid fancy designs. This leads to clutter, and clutter is confusing and off-putting. Make sure yours is clutter-free and appealing to the eye. A clean, easy-to-read CV is best.
For more CV tips, read Getting Your CV Right.
2. Sort out your LinkedIn profile
A bit like sorting out that cluttered kitchen drawer, you need to sort out your LinkedIn profile so everything is neatly in its place. Make sure yours is in order, complete, up-to-date and aligned with your CV.
Endorsements: Approach colleagues (past and present) for endorsements, as employers will read these.
Skills: Complete the skills section. Employers using LinkedIn to find candidates can search by specific skills.
Profile photo: Use a professional-looking headshot that presents you well. This needn’t be you in corporate attire. However, nor should it be a blurry-eyed selfie taken in a bar at 1am.
Make meaningful connections: Reach out and connect with people, friends and colleagues (past and present) that can add value to your job search. Ask your connections to introduce you to others. Building your network will help you in your job hunt.
3. Clean up your online presence
Social media is now a key part of the recruitment process, so expect that people will have researched you online. Before you start job hunting, make sure your digital footprint (that’s everywhere you can be found online) is tidied up and squeaky clean. You don’t want a prospective employer finding those embarrassing snaps taken during a wild night on the town from two years ago.
4. Job search engines and job boards
Register with leading job search engines and visit them daily. Most sites have advanced search functions that let you drill down to find jobs that are the best fit for your experience, qualifications, skills and interests – and they will email you jobs that match.
Visit the websites of companies you’d like to work for and check out their Careers page.
5. Sort out your job search with a recruitment company
Just remember, not all roles are posted online. Register with a recruitment company so you can be advised when new roles are listed.
KonMari your career in 2019
Of course, there are many other things you can do, like re-connecting with past colleagues and approaching companies for informal interviews. But nothing will happen until you get yourself sorted.
As Marie Kondo says, “when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future”. While we know she’s talking about clothes and clutter, we can apply this sentiment to our careers.
And remember, when assessing a possible new role, ask yourself,
“Will it Spark Joy in my life?’.