If you have ever woken up, hunched over your desk with a cold cup of stale coffee next to your elbow and your keyboard imprinted onto your cheek with the most recent jobs posted online still listed on your screen, keep reading. You are exhibiting signs of Career-Seeker Frenzy, CSF for short. Other signs of CSF include hourly checking of LinkedIn Groups for newly posted jobs, a feeling of guilt over seeing a movie when you could be on Craigslist and an increasing level of anxiety that you May. Never. Be. Hired. Again.
First, you will be hired. Your dedication and determination are the very traits your future employer is looking for. Second, let’s take a step back and recognize that by spiraling into Career-Seeker Frenzy you are:
- Adding extra anxiety and stress to your life
- Probably showing up to your interviews with a sheen of sweat that doesn’t exactly exude “confident and ready” and
- Creating negative-self talk that further erodes your self-esteem
Career-Seeker Frenzy often leads to accepting a job, any job. You don’t want a job, you want a career, right? Work that allows you to reach your true potential, make an impact, perform highly and is in alignment with your core values.
The antidote to crippling CSF is taking back control over your career destiny. By setting the right daily, weekly and monthly goals you will begin to see incremental successes that will reduce stress, increase your self-confidence and begin to open the doors to your future successful career.
Now, we are going to walk through the rules of peak performance goal setting and a goal setting process that has helped me reach any achievement I set out for.
The peak performance goal setting rules are as follows:
- Goals must be incremental and all supporting larger, ultimate goals.
- All goals must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound)
- Goals must be written. People who regularly write their goals have been shown to make up to 9 times as much in a lifetime than those who don’t.
- Goals must be shared with accountability. People who share goals with a friend and check in on them regularly increase their success rate by 33%.
Now, use these rules to create your personal peak performance goal plan, as shown below. As you check off each incremental goal throughout the weeks, your sense of achievement and confidence will increase week by week, which is a much better look than that sheen of anxiety on your brow.
Here is an example of how a person in the throes of Career-Seeker Frenzy can create goals to calm the anxiety and focus their search towards the career they’ve been searching for.
Peak Performance Goal Setting
Ultimate Goal: Career as an HR Business Partner within a company that aligns with my core values and offers constant career development.
- 6 total interviews over the next 3 months
- 3 of the interviews will be for jobs found through word of mouth or websites
- 3 of the interviews will be for jobs found through the “Hidden Job Market”, as described by What’s For Work? leader Dennis Thompson. (The Hidden Job Market are the jobs that need to be filled but either the company hasn’t gotten around to posting yet, or they don’t yet know you exist and that they desperately need you.)
- Belong to 3 groups that offer networks of people who will support your career.
- Identify 15 career postings per month to apply for.
- Spend 5-10 minutes per day, per website reviewing job postings (a total of 30-60 minutes).
- Identify 10 companies per month which don’t have posted jobs, but you would be interested in working for.
Call each one and ask the HR manager for 5 minutes. Mention you are interested in leaving a resume with the company for future reference, but want to make sure you would be a right fit. Ask relevant questions about the company and mention your experience as appropriate.
- Identify 6 possible career-networking groups to join and try their next meeting out for fit.
- Create an interesting sentence this week that describes your ideal position and the value you offer. Memorize. Tell as many people as possible.
You can see how each level of goals supports the one above it. The plan needs to be flexible based on the job market, your career development and your weekly goal calibration. By using this format, I have achieved ultimate goals I never thought possible.
Most importantly, as you check off your weekly and monthly goals don’t forget to celebrate! We are so quick to mentally admonish ourselves for failing to achieve a goal, but a special cupcake or glass of wine is in order to bask in your incremental achievement. Take a minute to let your newly increased confidence and control over your career destiny sink in!
About the Author
Jessica Weatherford is CEO of Marble Arch Consultants, Inc. She leverages an arsenal of proven tools to remove the conflict causing stress in daily life, then replace it with habits that increase career success and relationship connection. Everyone gets a no-charge hour of consultation with Jessica and the arsenal. Email now to schedule yours: firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on Twitter @jvweatherford.
About What’s For Work?
The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! http://www.whatsforwork.com/
Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.