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5 Ways to Refresh Your Career This Spring

signs of spring

 

Some doubted it would ever come, but warmer weather is on its way: snow banks are melting, birds are starting to sing, and the days are growing longer.

The beginning of spring is a great time to reflect on your job. Decide what’s working well, what can be improved, and how your career is going in 2015 so far. The year is almost a quarter done, but there are 5 ways to help your career grow this spring:

Drop the winter weight


If there are still projects on your plate from December or January, finish them or find a new way to approach them. Managers won’t give you more projects if they think you’re unable to finish them on time or if they assume you’re too busy already.

Look critically at what still isn’t finished, and figure out why not. The issue may be procrastination, but it’s also possible the project wasn’t in your wheelhouse in the first place. If that’s the case, talk to your manager about why you’re struggling, and seek help from coworkers. Have the conviction to decide what to do with these loose ends, and then move on to new projects for the new year.

Plant new seeds


Set yourself up for a promotion or a raise in 2015. Ask your manager what it takes to thrive in the role, and what you could be doing better. Show your drive and desire to advance at the company, and then execute.

This spring, make an effort to become the expert on a topic at work, and become a resource for colleagues. Go above and beyond on every project you’re given… show you’re capable of finishing work on time and doing it better than expected.

If a promotion demands skills you don’t have, take the initiative to attend a class or get a certification

Stop hibernating


Countless studies have shown early risers are more successful, healthier, happier people. During the cold winter months it’s natural to want to stay tucked under the covers. But as the weather warms, kick the habit and get up early.

Everyone has a different routine in the morning, so it’s important to find what motivates you to get up early. Make a delicious breakfast, work out, or read the paper, for example. Resist the urge to hit snooze: doing so can actually interrupt your sleep cycle and throw you out of whack.

Getting up early gives you a head start on many of your co-workers. Eat breakfast, catch up on the news, arrive at work first, and be prepared for the work day before most people start their commute.

Get some sunshine


Try switching desks in the office to be closer to a window. If that’s not possible, take a short break at least once a day to walk outside in the sunlight; it will make a big difference.

Most research agrees regular exposure to sunlight can boost your mood and energy. When people are in the sunshine for at least ten minutes a day, their serotonin levels rise, making them happier, more alert, and more energized.

The natural daylight doesn’t just boost your mood; studies over the past few years have shown workers perform 10 to 25 percent better on memory and mental function tests when they have regular access to sunshine throughout the day.

Revisit January’s goals


By early March, most people have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions, but it’s worth revisiting any career-oriented goals you set for yourself.

Set aside time to look at these goals again. Are you making progress? What could you be doing to keep these 2015 goals? Try setting three month goals as well, breaking the yearlong goals into manageable chunks to accomplish. Envision what you want to do by June, and set targeted metrics around these goals. Craft an action plan to achieve these goals, and discuss the plan with your manager so you’re held accountable.

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