In April 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin launched Earth Day. It evolved after seven years of observation, discussion and planning to bring the environment into the "limelight." Today, I'm buying bottled water and see our air, ground water, soil, oceans and glaciers under siege. As we hear more about Going Green to save the planet, what can we do to Green our Career? Just like the environment, we cannot take anything for granted in today's workplace. Keeping our career path intentional and updated is necessary for career survival and redesign.
In honor of Earth Day, April 22nd, here are some ways to Green Your Career:
Sustainability: It's can be tough to stay motivated in a career search, but to persevere and stay intentional with your search are necessary. Be the glacier, but resist having a "meltdown!" Remember, looking for work is work. Review your habits and eat healthy, go for a walk, get fresh air, join a job network group, hire a coach, etc. It's about survival, and you can do it. Remember, Darwin's Survival of the Fittest? The village blacksmith will not return and neither will hand milking or the keypunch operator. You have to move on, retool and renew. That means an investment in you and that means time and commitment.
Recycle - Reuse - Renew: When did you update your resume? Did you ever attend a professional development workshop or use a career tool that identified your strengths, interests or leadership style? I have talked with many clients who discounted this kind of experience and shoved the results in the back of the file cabinet. In good times, we tend to think, that's nice, so what! Dig out the results and reread them. The results could be insightful.
Even if the resume or a performance evaluation is 5-10 years old, it can be a springboard. Dig it out, dust it off and remember who you were. It can provide direction as you ask, who am I today? Reflect, regroup, react. Just like paper or plastic, we can be "reused." Besides, it's spring and it might be time to spring clean your files and get reorganized.
Preserve: How can you preserve your identity and integrity? Some traits are timeless! It is important to "know thyself." Some workers think, it's over, I'm outdated, too old, too inexperienced, washed up. Hold on! A solid work ethic, good work record, willing to learn and retrain still mean something in today's workplace. We are not "throw-aways" waiting for the landfill. You are a valued entity in today's workplace, so market yourself, get grounded and persevere. Now more than ever, tough times call for a tougher, creative approach for your search.
Save Energy: Like the new energy-saving light bulbs, they cost more, but save money and energy in the long run. How about you? Can you save an employer money and energy in the long run? Are you a good investment? Can you glow brightly and provide long-lasting productivity? Think about the value you bring to the workplace.
Increase Efficiency: In your work search, work smarter and be efficient. Focus your job search, schedule your calls and keep accurate records of your applications, follow-ups and responses. To stay efficient, you need a plan and a schedule for your workweek. A "hit or miss" philosophy or "when I feel like it" attitude will not serve you.
For more efficiency, get involved with social networking. Create a profile on LinkedIn, Jobster, Facebook. Get curious about Twitter. Start a blog. There are many options to explore. Google yourself. Did you show up? Today’s job search requires positive visibility.
Keeping your career path green means you are aware, enlightened and alive. Spring is a season of renewal. The workplace is dynamic and your career path and credentials need to be dynamic too.