Five tips to kickstart your career spring cleaning

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imageContributing blogger John Long is a professional career coach and consultant in Atlanta who founded Two Roads Resources. He blogs at Atlanta Career Coach.

Q: I am so nervous about continued layoffs at my company and my chances for finding a new job if the ax falls on me. What can I do to combat this anxiety surrounding my career?

A: There is no denying the fact that the U.S. economy is in turmoil and the upheaval is profoundly impacting employment. That said, I think it is time to turn off the evening news. We have become so connected and this level of connectedness can translate into heightened states of fear, stress and anxiety. We need a 12-step program for information overload.

We have RSS feeds, 24-hour news networks, emails via cell phone, Facebook updates and Tweets. But somehow we think we might still miss something if we turn some of that off. Believe me, if something monumental occurs in the world this week, you’ll know about it pretty quickly, so relax. Give your nerves a break and disconnect somewhat for several days.

Start channeling some of that anxiety into creating a flow of positive energy. Spring is in the air and that can mean so much more than pollen and allergy season. Spring is an undeniable catalyst for change and renewal, so take advantage of this creative energy.

Get some dirt under your fingernails by planting some flowers and tomatoes. If you’re a condo or apartment dweller, start a container garden on the balcony or work in a community garden.

Follow that energy flow by getting involved in new career-related activities. Try new roles and gain fresh experience while keeping your day job or navigating a transition with these suggestions:

Volunteer with a worthwhile cause and expand your network while you’re paying it forward.
Take on a part-time job to gain experience in a new area and bring in a little extra income.
Sign on with an agency that focuses on connecting employers with temporary assignments.
Use vacation time to test drive a new career role.
Consider contract work and freelance engagements to strengthen your skills and credibility.

The LGBT community often gets a bad rap for being the jaded, bitter, sarcastic members in the crowd. Yes, defamation, assault and lack of equal rights can tend to have that effect. But we can also be some of the most light-hearted, genuine and helpful bitches in the room. So get out there and participate in new opportunities to engage, contribute and benefit from organic networking and grow.

Resource Links

Atlanta’s LGBT Volunteerism
Vocation Vacations
The Freedom of Freelance

Have a question you’d like John to answer here? {encode=”[email protected]” title=”Email us.”} Subject: Career Coach.

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