How to Prune Your Professional Life to Encourage Growth

CM Spring 2024- Post 1
By: Nicole Hudson Career Mastered Magazine Contributor

Growing a thriving career is a lot like growing a garden; in the beginning, you start with seeds and care for them as they mature into hearty plants. But you can’t stop there. A gardener’s work is never done. To keep a plant looking and producing its best, you have to tend to it even after it has bloomed and matured. Pruning plants, or cutting away the dead branches, encourages healthy growth, and your professional life is no different. Here are three easy steps you can take to prune your professional life in order to support new growth: 

Start with a vision in mind 

When it comes to your career, ask yourself where you want to go. What do you want for yourself in the future? If you own or run a business, what do you want for your business and your team? How far do you want to go? Every path has a destination at the end, so before you make any changes, big or small, it’s important to have a vision in mind. That way, you know where you’re starting from and where you want to end up. 

Brainstorm: What will help you reach your goal?

After you’ve figured out where you want to go, you have to determine the best way to get there. Grab a pen and paper and write down what is currently going well in your professional life. Which processes are working and which could use some improvement? Maybe there is a practice that is outdated, redundant, or no longer working that you need to rethink. If you’re in a management position, this would be a good time to reach out to your team. Ask them for their honest feedback on your current processes and what they think could use some tweaking. 

We asked Hudson Collective’s own Christine LaSalle, Director of Operations, how she approaches pruning with her team.

She said, “At the start of the year, I meet with my team and talk about what went well last year and our goals for the upcoming year. I ask them for their honest feedback on our processes, even if that feedback is blunt!

But the key is to actually make the changes together rather than just point out what isn’t working.” 

Don’t be afraid to cut out the dead and dysfunctional branches 

Once you identify a practice that is no longer working, or is no longer necessary, don’t be afraid to sharpen the shears and let it go. Just because you’ve done something one way for a long period of time doesn’t mean you have to continue. In order to reach your future goals, you can’t have deadweight hindering your growth, so cut out any outdated processes that no longer serve you. Once you eliminate the dead-weight, it leaves room for better, more productive practices to develop. 

If you’re in a management position, listen to your team and do your best to cut away any frustrations that keep them from performing at their best. If there’s a part of their day to day that is more trouble than it’s worth, make the change and let it go, or get creative and find a way to make the task more productive. 

Done correctly, pruning your professional life can lead to exciting new growth. And the best part is: the changes don’t have to be big. Like in gardening, cutting out one small area at a time can make a big difference. Pruning is a small and mindful act and the more care you put into your career, the longer it will serve you. 

Nicole Hudson Career Mastered Magazine Contributor

Nicole Hudson is the Founder of Hudson Collective, an integrated digital strategy and communications firm creating social impact by activating their communities through branding, storytelling, and expanding their engagement with a robust online presence. Hudson’s strategies are driven to deliver compelling messages and a suite of business tactics that engage, inform and influence audiences to action that creates lasting impact.

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