“Really? Just 3 things?” you might be asking. And you’re right—a successful job search needs much more than three things going for it.
However, I recently gave some thought to aspects of job searching that you might not have considered before, and I wanted to share them in case they help you develop a different perspective when planning your next search.
Briefly, every job search needs these elements to produce a successful outcome:
(1) a realistic goal;
(2) a combination of time, energy, and determination; and
What does that mean to your job search? Let’s break it down a bit more.
Realistic Goal, Not Pie-in-the-Sky
If you set your sights on a career or job goal that’s a stretch for you but at least potentially do-able, you could still have a good outcome. On the other hand, for example, if you decide at age 60 that you want to become an astronaut, your goal might be more of a pie-in-the-sky wish than an achievable target.
By the same token, you could start out your job search with a particular type or level of position in mind—one that seems quite reasonable—and discover somewhere along the way that you’re not getting any closer to it. Or maybe you’ve made some progress and then hit a roadblock that threatens to derail your entire job search.
Either way, it could be time for a re-think. Whether your initial goal was realistic or conditions simply changed en route, you probably need to review your options and decide whether an adjustment of some sort is called for.
What’s important is to get your job search back on track instead of beating your head against the wall.
Time, Energy, & Determination
Regardless of whether you’re currently working full time or between positions, a job search demands a certain amount of your time and attention. Getting help from others when appropriate makes sense, but you can’t delegate the control and direction of your search to other people. You need to be willing and able to dedicate a sometimes-significant portion of your time and energy to it.
It’s also critical for you to understand the important impact your own determination can have on when—and how soon—you conclude your job search successfully.
If you let yourself get distracted by too many other considerations or discouraged by temporary setbacks, you might end by giving up when you really need to push forward. For all you know at that point, success could be just around the next corner!
Fixating on one narrow goal in any endeavor can sometimes be a “two-edged sword.” In the right circumstances, it can propel your job search to a successful conclusion. Under other conditions, it can turn your search into a miserable flop. What you need, above all, is a sense of purpose that isn’t blind to considering other options if circumstances change.
Being open-minded doesn’t mean taking a wishy-washy approach! Far from it. It means that you’re willing to reconsider your plans if you encounter a major obstacle.
I believe that there aren’t too many situations where we don’t have or can’t find a viable alternative. Sometimes we just need to look harder and more creatively to identify it. Before you decide to retreat to square one, give some thought to finding a way over, around, or through the obstacle.
So when you’re evaluating what you need for your next job search, try adding these three elements to the mix: realistic goal; time, energy, and determination; and open-mindedness. When you do, you will increase the odds of your success substantially!
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