Whether you are packing bags for a road trip or an overnight stay with a friend or rummaging through boxes you have stored in the garage from your past jobs, clearing away your career baggage is should not wait until spring cleaning! We all keep things longer than we need or have to. Maybe we think we’ll need something from our past one-day, or perhaps it’s just too hard to let go of items for sentimental reasons. Hanging onto things including items from your past jobs, might seem like a nice idea at the time but can soon turn you into a career hoarder if you are not careful.
We all need to learn when it’s time to purge. Cleaning out and clearing out are signs that you are making room for new experiences and opportunities to come into your life. Whether you are giving up old ways of thinking or simply throwing out years of stored files that you will never use again, making room in your life for the new helps you eliminate career baggage and lighten the load for you to move forward freely.
Baggage comes in many forms not just the stuff that’s hidden away in storage or at the back of your desk drawer. You may have stored away feelings of doubt and frustration over your career in a way that binds you to emotional baggage that weighs you down and makes it hard for you to move ahead. Emotional baggage may be because you were turned down for a promotion, had a poor performance review or struggled with a co-worker or boss. You may have doubts about your communication skills or your ability to lead and manage and wonder whether you will ever get ahead in your career.
Career baggage can take many forms not just the physical stuff you hold onto but the emotional wounds that you won’t let heal. Finding a way to let go of not only the material stuff but also the psychological stuff helps free you in ways you may not have imagined or even allowed. Holding on prevents you from moving on when all you need to do is create some much needed space to allow you to see more clearly. Changing your perspective on things helps pave the way for new job opportunities that you can’t do when your view to the future is blocked with baggage from your past. Knowing how to clear out the unnecessary from the necessary is your first step in managing to lighten the load and to make a clear path in the road ahead.
We all have stuff from our past we want to hold onto no matter how unrealistic it is for us and when it holds no purpose towards helping us towards our future growth. Like a warm and worn security blanket with many tattered holes, we need to know when it’s time to lay down what has served its purpose and free ourselves towards a lighter, brighter road ahead.
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