The first part of the post on How to Do a Career Detox focused on what can be called as the more technical aspects of the process. This post speaks about how looking inward is also an integral aspect of a career detox. The career paths we choose and how we go on to progress in them is defined by our relationship with our own self, and with those around us.
Discipline, gratitude and communication are three aspects which we constantly need to be aware of, and continually need to work on becoming better at, to have the dream careers we all want.
1. Reach out and Reconnect
Make a list of people you have worked with through your career, and would like to touch base with. Include in that list professors from university, mentors during the various internships you may have done, mentors you had during your various volunteering experiences, and employers from your previous work experiences. It isn’t a bad idea to get in touch with a classmate or two, you remember fondly, and find out about how their career trajectories have shaped up so far.
This can be quite a personally and professionally invigorating and refreshing exercise. Usually, people reach out only when there is some ulterior motive. Keeping in touch, or simply reconnecting every now and then is a healthy thing to do. Remember, when you do need that favor, or that reference, you don’t want to be feeling awkward about how you look asking for it when you’ve not been in touch with the person for years now.
“It is always worthwhile to remember that any relationship is cultivated over a period of time, and is never only ‘taking from’ but also ‘giving to’. You need to give to the relationship as much as you would expect from it, otherwise it could be called a transaction and not a relationship. Make sure it is a consistent bond that you establish, one in which you would be in a position to reach out for help when you need to, and not be inhibited because you haven’t kept in touch with them for the longest time!” Wondering who to get in touch with? Here are 5 people you must have on your ‘career rolodex’, always!
2. Take charge of your physical fitness
I actually Google-d “do successful people exercise?”, and this is what Google showed me –
Here are exercise habits for some of the world’s most successful people:
• Barack Obama, erstwhile president of the United States: Exercises for 45 minutes a day, six days per week. He exercises first thing in the morning, alternating between lifting weights one day and doing cardio the next.
• Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group: Wakes as early as 5 a.m. to kite surf, swim, or play tennis in the morning. He claims he gets four hours of additional productivity every day by keeping up with his consistent exercise schedule.
• Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook: Works out at least three days per week, usually in the form of taking his dog running first thing in the morning.
• Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief: Wakes up at 5:45 a.m. so she can play an hour of tennis every morning.
[Source: Huffington Post] The citations also have links to the credible sources, so you really know that it is no myth – the fact that to be successful professional, you’ve really got to take care of your body and invest in being physically fit. Doing a career detox without taking charge of your physically fitness, is as good as not doing a detox at all. Implement a thorough health routine as a part of your career detox. If you already have one, take stock of what’s working and what’s not to improve the routine.
3. Write a letter to yourself
You become only what you imagine yourself as becoming. What do you imagine yourself metamorphosing into? Are you happy with where you currently stand in your career? If you are, express gratitude for being blessed with the strength and conviction which has brought you this far. If you aren’t, express gratitude for having the courage to identify the signs and resolve on working towards making things better for yourself. Put all this down on a letter to yourself and let it serve as a gentle reminder of everything you are, and you everything you want to grow into becoming. But above all, let it serve as a letter of gratitude.
4. Clean and organize your Desk and Stationery
This should ideally be a part of your daily schedule. Waking up to a clean, and organized desk brings forth a fair amount of inspiration and productivity. If you’re one of those who don’t believe in keeping their desks clean – everyday, it would still be worth it to do it once in a while. The act would be similar to a metaphorical restart, which even if momentary, creates an illusion of stability at work for you. Well if not actual, metaphorical stability wouldn’t really hurt now, would it? Besides, cleaning up and organizing your desk also makes you put everything back to where it belongs, and for a change, you won’t have to go crazy looking for your stuff. If not anything else, a clean and organized desk is a semblance of order.
5.Put into practice the ‘Miracle of Mindfulness’ at work
An apt, and essential culmination of your career detox would be to implement the miracle of mindfulness in your work life.
What does being “mindful” mean? Very simply put, it means being aware, being present in the moment. Or like our favorite phrase at OBOlinx, it simply means being “happy in the now.” In our endless pursuit for success, and achievement of goals in the world of work, we focus more on achieving the end result, rather than on the journey to get closer to our goals. Being mindful means to invest all our focus in the present moment, and not in the future. Practicing the miracle of mindfulness at work means to realize that it is only when we start molding ourselves to become more ‘process’ oriented, instead of being ‘result’ oriented that we will succeed in being ‘happy in the now’.
6. Plan a Solo Trip – Yes! Travel Helps!
Travel is good for the soul. And what’s good for the soul is great for your career. When you travel, you un-make and make yourself – which is the very idea behind a detox. You let go of everything that you feel should be eliminated from your work lifestyle and from your personal life as well. Traveling is a great way for you to assess your career. Don’t believe us? – read this on what travel teaches us for the world of work. We don’t mean carry your work with you. Quite the contrary, we mean leave your work as far behind as you can and leave for the mountains, or any place you feel most connected to yourself.
When you travel, a magical thing called finding yourself happens – which happens in an even more powerful way when you travel solo. Even if it is for a weekend, get away. And while you are away search your soul for the answers you’ve been looking for and don’t surprised when you find them. It is only when you are closest to yourself, that you realize what in your professional life should change in order to make it even better than what it is.
What are you waiting for? Start your Career Detox Today!
We have summarized some of the key aspects a career detox involves and this you can customize any which way that you feel suits you better. You don’t need to follow the lists in the order that we’ve made them – pick up whichever you want to start with but remember to be patient and follow it through to the end to experience real results. An ideal way to do a career detox would be to set a timeline for yourself – which again completely depends on how you want to pace it.
We’ve given you all the inspiration you need, all you need to do now is get started!
Image Courtesy: themuse.com