Because of the warm and wonderful weather and the long, light-filled days, you want to get outside and reconnect with professional contacts and colleagues rather than sit in your office at your desk alone with only your tablet, laptop, desktop or smartphone to keep you company. Your focus and discipline on your work wane considerably as you shift your attention to looking outside at the bright sunshine and clear blue sky instead of reading and responding to numerous e-mails or attending and participating in endless meetings. June encourages you to think about you and your career and to craft thoughtful responses to the following important questions: Who or what is moving you forward or holding you back from career success and progress? What do you need to do to make a successful move to the next level in your career? When do you see yourself making a job or career change? Where do you want to make the next move in your career? Why do you like or dislike working in your current role and with your colleagues? How do you feel about making a job or career move?
Once you have spent the time and energy answering these questions with honesty and integrity, it is time to prune your career. First, review your online presence and confirm that your LinkedIn Profile clearly and accurately represents of your past and current skills, abilities, strengths, knowledge and experience. Your eye-catching headline should be loaded with keywords that describe what you can do rather than the title assigned to you by your current organization. Review the rest of your Profile and ensure that it is clear, concise, complete, compelling and convincing. As you update your LinkedIn Profile, you may recognize that you have skill, knowledge and experience gaps that you need to address or that you have all that you need to move to the next level in your career. Second, get feedback from your management and colleagues on how they see you as an employee and colleague either openly through an in person conversation or confidentially using a 360 feedback tool. If you have the courage and confidence to do this and see its purpose as a gathering for growth rather than a call for criticism, the feedback that you will receive is a gift that keeps on contributing to your personal and career development for years to come. Once you receive the feedback, the key is to accept and act on it quickly. Finally, make a plan to meet in person, on Skype or the telephone with every one of your contacts and colleagues over the next 60 days and find out how they are doing with their careers, if they see you where you are now and if not where they see you in the near future.
Each day presents you with an abundance of opportunities to grow and prune your career when you take risks, show what you can do and acquire new or expand existing skills and experiences with the changes that new and interesting people and situations bring into your working life. Resist the temptation to solve problems and overcome challenges using limited or outdated thinking and costly and confusing solutions or dealing with difficult people by assigning blame, or worse, ascribing the same attributes and annoyances to them that you do to an annoying friend or family member. Instead, commit to do and be your best as you never know who may be watching, listening and learning. It could be the person who can open the door, offer you your next job or career move and become a wise and valued mentor for your career success.
While June is the perfect month to prune your career, make it a habit to prune your career every quarter by setting and achieving realistic goals that allow you to be poised and prepared with a productive and progressive career.