Most people think about detoxes and resolutions on January 1st, but the real winners in life are the ones that think about setting and achieving goals year-round. And since summer is on the horizon and we’re already half way through 2017 (yikes!), my team and I at Career Contessa decided that May was a great month to detox… our careers. These are the attainable, small-scale, realistic commitments every woman can make to clean up her career.
You can use this list in one of several ways. You can commit to completing one goal every day, going in the order I’ve suggested. Or you can print it out and cross each one off in any random order that suits your schedule. You can even tackle a handful of these in one Saturday. It’s really a buyer’s market — pick the process that suits you.
By the way, this isn’t like your typical green juice detox, where eating a rice cake constitutes falling off the wagon. You’re not required to finish every one of the items on this list or to start over if you miss one. Because think about it: even if you only manage to complete five or six of these tasks, you’ve still made major strides toward an easier and more fulfilling career path. Ready?
31 Days, 1 action item per day
- Let’s start easy: don’t open Instagram today.
- Go through your LinkedIn connections and remove anyone you don’t recognize or no longer have a real and useful connection with.
- Unsubscribe from three newsletters you no longer open. But maybe also sign up for Career Contessa’s emails to keep the useful career advice coming.
- Sign up for a Skillshare membership (because 1 month for less than a buck?!) and enroll in at least one class on a topic that interest you.
- Turn off push notifications on your phone for 24 hours. Then consider keeping them off for a week.
- Send “touch base” emails to eight people in your network. Because everyone’s pleased when you wish them well in the middle of another busy year.
- Find your current resume and cover letter templates on your computer and organize them all into one folder on your desktop. Delete any outdated versions by searching “resume” in your files.
- Install those pesky yet recommended Macbook updates. And, hey, update your phone while you’re at it.
- Plan a girl date and don’t talk about work.
- Plan another girl date and don’t talk smack about any other woman, even if she’s your most obnoxious coworker.
- Clean and organize your desk.
- Good morning! Before you open Instagram or your work email, spend 15 minutes reading for fun.
- Update your resume. Cut down any descriptions of older positions that aren’t related to your current career goals.
- Set an alarm clock instead of using your phone because tonight, you’re leaving your phone in another room.
- Delete any apps you haven’t used in the last month.
- Practice saying “No.” It’s much harder than you think. Start by watching Career Contessa’s webinar.
- Reread your LinkedIn summary. Is it still accurate for your 2017 goals? Is it too long? Just for the challenge, cut one full sentence from it.
- Call a strong woman in your life (moms are great, as are grandmothers, but so are retiree neighbors and/or formal mentors) and talk to them about how they found their path.
- Really figure out your monthly budget.
- Get outside.
- Unfollow people on Facebook who post political rants or comments that upset you, especially after the year we’ve had. It’s both an emotional drain and undermining your creative productivity.
- Write a letter to yourself about your goals and plan to reread it next May.
- Clean out your closet. Give any old work clothes to Dress for Success — especially the ones you never wear but keep because they were expensive.
- Chances are you’ve got some time off saved up from unused vacation days so far. Time to brainstorm your next vacation. It doesn’t have to be far away or long. If you’re feeling particularly daring, plan a vacation you take alone.
- Organize your work and personal email folders.
- Change up your commute.
- Sign up for a fun class or watch a TED talk on a topic you’ve never explored before. Taking a basket weaving class counts.
- Eat vegetarian today and/or pack a wholesome lunch.
- Connect with an old coworker for lunch or a drink. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them.
- Reach out to someone about an informational interview.
- Start a work journal.
What are some other tasks you’d like to complete this May?