This is an idea that has caught on online and when I came across it, I immediately loved it. These are goals you set yourself—no HR forms or manager conversations necessary. Ask yourself: What do I want to accomplish professionally in the next quarter? Most appealing to me is the time frame: long enough to achieve something meaningful and make real progress, but short enough to stick to. Set three, write them down, post them somewhere you can see them. Then find a way to hold yourself accountable. Do you want to send a certain number of tweets? Keep track. Send a certain amount of money to the bottom line? Keep track.
I took a walk around the office and it’s official: Every person has at least one pile of paper on her desk. Some have more, some have less, but everyone has some. Do those papers need to be there? Are they important? Can the pile be filed or thrown out? In the spirit of spring cleaning, last week I went through every pile on my desk and filed or tossed what I could. The few things that really needed doing, I moved to a prominent spot. We all get busy and this kind of cleaning is hard to do every day. But once a quarter? I’m on it.
Refresh Your Résumé and Visit Your LinkedIn Profile
I know you love your job. We all do. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to be sure you’re on top of your professional brand. When the headhunter calls, you want to be in a position to simply give your résumé a quick read before you send it—not have to give it a total overhaul. That’s how mistakes get made. It's all too easy to let this stuff slide, and that's why you should go ahead and update that sucker right now. While you’re at it, make sure your LinkedIn profile (you have one, right?) is up to date, too.
While you’re on LinkedIn, go through your contacts. Identify people you haven’t been in touch with for a while and send them an email or give them a call. I am haunted by a bit of advice More once published: An expert told us that the number one regret she hears from job hunters is that they did not keep in better touch with their network. Again, this is the kind of thing (like refreshing your resume) that you want to do before it’s necessary. Set up some lunches!
If you’ve been at your job for any length of time, chances are some personal information has built up on your work computer. Maybe it’s pictures of your kid that your spouse emailed; maybe it’s a friend’s contact info that is only attached to your work email address. Take an hour now to clean it off. Then get outside and enjoy the spring weather!