Time for a little spring (career) cleaning?

One expert suggests the change of season is a good time for new success strategies to dispel on-the-job doom-and-gloom

NEW YORK – May 2, 2011 — There’s nothing like a little spring cleaning to reenergize and renew the spirits after a long, hard winter, but one career expert says more than our homes and yards need sprucing up.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 67% of American workers are unhappy in their present work situation. Another recent study says that 61% of people said that if they could do it all over again, they would NOT choose the same career.

“Postpone shampooing the rugs, and spend a little time re-energizing your career path,” recommends ‘corporate navigator’ Amanda Mitchell.

After more than 20 years spent helping companies and employees figure out what they need and how to get it, Mitchell recommends the following ‘spring cleaning’ career strategies:

Clean out the negative influences/influencers in your life.
“You become who and what you surround yourself with,” says Mitchell. “Negative people and influences encourage you to think negatively, and that impacts how others perceive you.” She adds that not only does negativism make you unattractive to potential employers (“No one wants to hire a ‘Debbie Downer’”), you shortchange yourself by limiting your options. “It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says Mitchell.

Don’t wallow in the dirt.
Be proactive not reactive—stop letting life happen to you. “Identify what you want and go after it. Quit living on the sidelines, blaming people and letting others control your career. Take action and accept responsibility for yourself and your career.”

You’re head of an important new project that senior management is very involved with which is funded out of another group’s P&L.
When you hear someone claim, “Older workers are not getting hired,” check it out, says Mitchell. “A recent news report spotlighted the fact that one reason older workers were not hired was their lack of technology skills. In other words, they couldn’t do the job. It wasn’t their age – the people fearful of learning new skills just happened to be older.” Mitchell warns clients not to accept merely at face value what colleagues, friends, family or the media tell you. “Use your critical thinking skills and figure out the ‘why’ behind their conclusion or uncover their bias. Even if you convince yourself a ’fact’ is true, remember there are always exceptions.“

Being happy on the job is great for personal satisfaction, but the stakes are much higher, says Mitchell. The Gallup Organization found that three-quarters of workers feel detached from their work, which translates into a $300 billion negative impact on business.

“Spring is about renewal and rebirth, so take the time to take stock of where you are and where you’re going, career-wise,” says Mitchell. “Sure, it’s a great time to clean out a closet or air out that favorite rug, but don’t forget to put the same ‘home improvement’ effort into your job and career path.”

About Amanda Mitchell and Our Corporate Life
Amanda Mitchell is the founder of Our Corporate Life LLC (www.ourcorporatelife.com), a company that offers a new system for reducing unnecessary workplace suffering caused by the organizational, interpersonal, and ethical issues of our time. Our Corporate Life (OCL) is founded on the belief that adhering to core human values and achieving business success are always compatible, a belief crystallized during her corporate career each time she witnessed a company sacrifice profitability by wasting human capital.

Amanda Mitchell is an executive coach and strategist specializing in helping senior executives deal with disruptive drama within their teams. An advertising agency veteran, she experienced first-hand the business implications of corporate drama both with her Fortune 500 clients and within the Manhattan ad agency she led. She founded Our Corporate Life (www.ourcorporatelife.com) to help executives solve the problems no one wants to deal with. She has been published in Bloomberg Businessweek, and quoted in Fast Company, CNBC.com, and Monster.com. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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