Marie Kondo explains how to spark joy in your job search

You might be familiar with Marie Kondo and her method of tidying that has ignited people across the world to improve their lives by cleaning their homes. She even has advice for how you should tidy your home office.

Kondo, whose popular Netflix show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” was released in 2019, has since moved beyond the physical and into abstract, focusing specifically on the workplace in her book “Joy at Work.”

In the book, Kondo and coauthor Scott Sonenshein describe how to tidy the work place, including how to organize time and efforts as an organization.

But Kondo also has some advice for tidying up your own individual career, including how you can use her “spark joy” method to find a career that brings you happiness.

“When we ask ourselves what sparks joy, we reconnect with our inner self and discover what’s really important to us,” Kondo told Ladders. “This approach can be applied to all aspects of life – from your home to your career.”

Ladders spoke with Kondo to find out her advice for sparking joy while planning your next career move.

How to spark joy in your job search

According to Kondo, sparking joy in your job search is about finding something that truly makes you happy. When beginning your job search, Kondo recommends starting by imagining your ideal career. What is your desired job title?

“Ask yourself what kind of work life sparks joy for you and what your values are,” Kondo said. “Imagine a day at work in vivid, motion-picture detail – focus on the physical environment, your behavior and your feelings.”

You should try closing your eyes to picture these things. With your eyes closed, see yourself arrive at a workplace in the morning. While doing this, take notice of how your body reacts to these thoughts.

“Did your heart leap? Did you feel a warm rush of pleasure spread through your chest?” Kondo said. “This is the first step to tidying – a physical space or something bigger, like a relationship or your career – and it’s crucial to success.”

Practicing imagining each detail and focusing on the physical response that our emotions generate, instead of thinking about them intellectually, as most do during a job search, our ideal situation “becomes almost tangible.”

“This naturally reinforces our desire to attain that state, helping us to stay motivated,” Kondo said.

Anyone who has been through a job search knows that motivation is key during this process.

How Marie Kondo deals with failure

Kondo has by and large had a successful career so far. Her first book was originally published in Japan in 2011 and catapulted her consulting business. The book debuted in the U.S. in 2014, and in 2016, she and her husband moved from Japan to the San Francisco Bay Area.

As she rises in fame, Kondo reveals that she often struggles with being in the spotlight.

“She likes being at home,” Takumi Kawahara, Kondo’s husband, told Fast Company. “That’s why she likes to tidy.”

When it comes to career struggles, Kondo has adopted different methods to deal with them over the years.

“I used to be quite hard on myself when it came to my perceived faults and failures, but I’ve become kinder to myself over time,” Kondo said.

Most of us want to learn to be kinder to ourselves, but it’s not always an easy thing to do. So how did Kondo learn to do this?

“I credit this to becoming a mother – not only did my daughters force me to give up on always being ‘perfect,’ but they also taught me the value of supporting and encouraging myself, just as I do with them,” Kondo said.

Jennifer Fabiano is an SEO reporter at Ladders.