Does Your Career Spark Joy?

Many of us have all watched the latest Netflix sensation “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” It’s time you streamlined your career, cleaned up your cubicle, and got joy out of the place you spend 8 hours or more out of your day. I sat down as I watched it, and wondered “How can I encourage people to “KonMari” their career?”

The overall philosophy is clear: Don’t let the excess overwhelm you, get rid of what doesn’t make you happy, find a place for everything and simplify whenever possible. If you’re anything like me, a million and one thoughts are running through your mind and you have no idea what any of that sentence actually means.

Let’s break it down in a few different ways. At the foundation of the KonMari method, you have visualize, consider, and decide – without question, you have to decide where these things fit into your career. Be intentional about it, and when that happens, it is meant to be life-changing.

Visualize

Start by visualizing what a day at your job looks like. Assign times to these tasks. Where is most of your time going? Are you responding to emails for hours? Are you stressed out because your first 2 hours are spent responding to emails? Is the structure of your day making the rest of your day hard to get through? The more detailed the visualization of your day is, the easier it will be for your next steps to occur.

Does it Spark Joy?

Your job is made up of a lot of small jobs, as are most jobs. What parts of your visualization make you happy? What sparks joy about them? How can you incorporate parts of those tasks into the others? For example, I get really stressed about building presentation decks, however, I love writing the copy for them.

In order for the building portion of it to spark joy for me, I write my copy first and then build the deck. This allows for me to build around my copy. If you feel alive, focused, expert, or satisfied during one part of the job, consider that as joy-sparking. If that’s at the end, focus on that as you work on the beginning. Push yourself to get to the joy enabling portion.

What Do You Need?

The very first episode of the show, Kondo asks her client When’s the last time you wore it?” in regards to her husband’s favorite old shirt. This is a prioritization reminder that you can use in your own career.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST! Many company cultures focus on finger pointing, blaming someone else, anyone else. You can’t change your boss, you can’t change your coworkers, but you can change you.

What do you need in your career to be successful? Marie Kondo focuses on your needs for a clutter-free life, you have to focus on your needs for a clutter-free career.

Declutter Your Workspace

I don’t mean a bare space. My desk is full of sticky notes, pens, quotes, and notebooks. Everything needs a space, everything needs a container. A physically clean desk space ensures that you are free of visual distractions, and makes things easier to find. A decluttered space is a focused space.

Be Grateful for the Lessons

Your careers HAVE to have meetings, colleagues, and jobs that don’t spark joy but you still have to endure. Marie Kondo said the goal of tidying is to learn “to cherish everything that you have.”

You have to train yourself to say thank you that you do have a job and that you have things in your job that you are grateful for. You learn about yourself through the joy-filled tasks and the ones that don’t fill joy.

Be grateful for the lessons under the mad supervisor, and the bad. You should be grateful for the times you felt anger, guilt, and think back to the lessons that they taught you.

Marie Kondo Your Career

Keep in mind, you have more control over your own career happiness than you think. You might come to appreciate certain parts of your job you previously dismissed as boring or useless. Taking a step back to wonder what makes you happy and what doesn’t is an exercise worth doing. Organizational skills should be used in your professional life. Take stock of your career and tidy it up as best as you can.