Can you Marie Kondo your career?

This article is authored by Nina Perry, Career Coach and Director of Careerdiem, part of the Career Money Life Supplier Community.

Have you heard about, Marie Kondo? The most revered organiser at this very moment?

In a nutshell, Marie advocates for going through all of your belongings, sorting them, and keeping only things that “spark joy”.

Her method, explained in her book and used during her Netflix special, is known as KonMari. It has a mystical and spiritual component, with includes the energy or divine spirit of things, and the right way to live. KonMari focuses not on tidying up, but getting rid of stuff, because the less you have the easier it is to tidy. If you spend any time near Gumtree or on Facebook you will see there is a lot of stuff NOT sparking joy for many people – and now it’s been kicked to the virtual kerbside.

After watching a little bit of Marie and her method, I got to thinking. Can you apply this method to your career? Does the “keep only if it sparks joy” approach apply to your work?

Let me put the Marie Kondo philosophies to test and see what we come up with.

  1. Take inventory after dumping all of your things in one spot. I suspect this could apply to many jobs. Going back to your main purpose of your work/role/business and taking inventory of everything that you do and the skills you use would be part of this step. Writing a list over the week of what your tasks are and how you spend your time would be a relatively easy process. But what’s next?
  2. Declutter in a specific order. Marie advocates for starting with easier things to sort (e.g. clothes) and work up to more challenging things (e.g. sentimental items). This could translate into sorting your day-to-day skills into lists and then moving into lists of short, medium and long term career goals. This type of decluttering gives you mental space. It helps you take a step back and objectively view your career right now.
  3. Look at each thing and ask yourself if it “sparks joy”. Now, I can see how this one would work spectacularly in a career space. I can imagine myself going through my list of tasks and skills and thinking about my energy when I’m doing/using them. If it doesn’t get me excited, is there some way I can ditch the task, or focus less on using the skill? This reminds me of the purpose of a motivated skills audit. I may be good at something (e.g. writing reports) but does it spark joy? I can also imagine this process applying to career goals. Is my future still exciting to me or has something shifted? Interesting.
  4. Make sure every item has a home. This step helps you organise a space so you know where everything is. I have likened this to having structure to your day. For example, when is the best time to trawl through your many emails and not look at them again for the rest of the day? Do I know where my favourite files or reports are? Is my desk top looking like a red-hot mess? Maybe taking time to find a home for everything will help.
  5. Respect your things. Marie advocates for paying respect to your home and thanking things for their service. What would this look like in a work environment? Maybe expressing gratitude for the job and career we have right now? Thanking the people we work with? Paying due respect to our customers who pay good money for our service might be a place to start?

So, what do you think?

I must acknowledge that I haven’t looked into her method in great detail, and I’m not sure if I will ever KonMari my house, but the idea of sparking joy when at work is a process that I can really get my head around.

Here’s to more joy being sparked this week!

Career Money Life offers a wide variety of career services – from career coaching and counselling, mentoring, career transition, resume review, LinkedIn, job search coaching, and more. Book a demo now or contact us to learn more about our programs.

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