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It’s that time of year again when we break out the cleaning products and industrial-sized trash bags, and now's also the perfect time to do a little sprucing up on the career front. Whether you’re in the midst of a job search, or looking to improve your standing situation, a little elbow grease and polish will make your career shine.

 

If you’re actively looking for a new job, Executive Director of Rollins MBA’s Career Development Center Jane Trnka suggests reassessing your search plan. “How many hours are you dedicating to your search? How are you allocating those hours? By creating a calendar, charting out and making deliberate plans, you will avoid the ‘I can do it tomorrow’ self-talk and take productive action in a more timely manner.” Cut down on the hours spent aimlessly surfing and search with precise timeframes and goals in mind.

 

If you’re employed but keeping an eye out for a more fulfilling position, take a good look at what you’re putting on the Internet, it could be hurting you. Comb through your social media platforms and make sure they are scrubbed clean. “Be thoughtful about what you’re posting on your own social channels,” says Ben Martinez, HR director at thedigital recruiting platform HireVue. “You might want to consider deleting some old items if you feel they won’t go over well with a new boss,” he adds.

 

If you’re looking to dust off the cobwebs on your current position, it helps to be concise. Clear off the clutter and get to the heart of what your job is. Dorie Clark, marketing strategy consultant and author of book "Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future," explains the importance of a career’s sharpened narrative. “Take control of your narrative by creating a one or two sentence statement that explains where you've been and how that uniquely positions you for the future,” she says. Now you’ve got a sparkling view of how to move forward.

What to toss

It wouldn’t be spring cleaning without a little purging. Joseph Grenny, co-author of the personal improvement book "Change Anything," lists the top five bad job-search habits. It’s time to haul these to the curb.


  • Unreliability

  • “That’s not my job” attitude

  • Procrastination

  • Resistance to change

  • Negative attitude