There’s no better time than now to start fresh. Think: spring cleaning for your professional life.
Spring is in the air and it’s the time for fresh starts! With just a little professional spring-cleaning, you can put any past mistakes behind you and start fresh in your career.
Here are a few professional spring-cleaning tips to help you move forward in your career and achieve increased success.
Save the lessons and dump the negativity
Mistakes may cause self-doubt, which can lead to additional mistakes. One thing you need to do while professional spring-cleaning, is to separate the negative aspects of your past mistakes from the learning opportunities, and toss all the negativity in the dumpster.
Mistakes aren’t all bad. The problem with them is that they often beat us down and end up defining our careers. A little professional spring-cleaning will allow you to eliminate the negative impact of mistakes and instead, hold onto the lessons you’ve learned, enabling you to avoid repeating them.
Repair broken relationships
On occasion, the mistakes you make in your career can impact your relationships with co-workers, bosses and others. This can lead to broken relationships. Just like broken pieces of furniture, electronics and other items around the house, many relationships still hold value and can be repaired.
Start by listing the root issues that caused breaks in each affected relationship. Then dig into the root cause of the problem. Once you’ve gathered these details, you can set to developing a repair plan.
Sit down with each person and determine where you have common ground. You may not be able to fix each problem fully, but finding common ground gives you a base point to get started working toward a solution.
Mending broken relationships can take time, so be patient, and don’t go into the conversation holding a grudge. In the end, the efforts you make will return peace to your work environment, and you’ll be afforded the ability to walk down the office halls with a clean slate.
Stop being a slob
One mistake that many of us make in our jobs is failing to organize our files, appointments, desks and other items effectively. This can lead to a cluttered mess, both on your desk and in your brain. A cluttered mess can lead to appointments being missed, inability to find files and information at critical times and other issues, which can lead to bad performance reviews and worse.
The first step is to start with your files; both physical papers and electronic files. If you’ve never been an organized person, find someone who is and ask for help. But don’t let them do it all or you’ll end up not being able to find anything.
Next, get your desk in order. A cluttered desk is bad for a number of reasons. It gives the impression to your boss that your brain might be cluttered as well, thus impacting your work performance adversely.
A cluttered desk also can increase your stress levels. Consider the Chinese concept of feng shui. According to the concept, organizing a particular space, in this case your desk, in a particular manner will allow your energy to flow, creating a positive environment.
Patch Up Your Reputation
Besides fixing up your desk area, another thing that can go a long way in creating a positive work environment is patching up tears in your reputation. Maybe it’s a presentation that flopped, a client you lost or something negative you said to your boss. Whatever the case may be, we’ve all done things around the workplace that caused a slight (or huge) tear in our reputation. Spring-cleaning is the perfect time to patch up and mend those tears.
Let’s say you botched a sales presentation and lost a client. The last thing you want to do is to withdraw and let the reputation build that you can’t close a deal or you scare off clients. The best way to patch this up is to express to your boss that you really want another opportunity and assure them you won’t let them down.
Come prepared with an outline that details your new plan to approach a similar situation with greater levels of success. Then, if given the chance, make sure you put everything you’ve got into it and you’ll have that tear all patched up. Patching up your reputation will put you in a position to more easily achieve your career goals.
Each of these spring-cleaning tips for your career will help you start fresh and burst forth anew like the sunflowers in your garden. Take the opportunity each year to clean up your mistakes and put them behind you. Learn from them and seek to improve. Try this refreshing exercise each spring, and you’ll notice significant improvements in your professional position year-after-year.
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