We just weren’t on the same page. I said our meeting was at 10 am. He said it was at 11 am. After several attempts to resolve this by email, I picked up the phone. That’s when we discovered that he thought it was at 11 am because he just returned from the east coast where 10 am really was 11 am EST, and he knew Dewey’s Pizza doesn’t open until 11 am. From his frame-of-reference it had to be 11 am. From my frame-of-reference it had to be 10 am because that’s the time we had set up. We eventually agreed to meet somewhere else to keep the appointment at 10 am.
I have a good voice, but not a great voice. I do not sing with power, and my voice cracks sometimes when I try to hit high notes. Yet something magical happens when I sing in our awarding winning choir. How do you create that kind of magic? For those of you in a career transition or even a life transition, it helps tremendously to surround yourself with others who bring out your best. If you currently do not have such a group, it can be found. How do you create a group who encourages your best?
You: Hi, may I speak to Charlene Morton?
You: When might she be available?
You: Oh, I see. Is Charlene no longer with the company?
Operator: You might say that. Charlene died nine months ago.
Ouch! Talk about a cold call! If you make this kind of mistake, it’s hard to recover and get the information you need for your career change. This kind of error could happen for several reasons:
1. The business database you are using is really out of date
2. You haven’t been able to track down the right person because you are changing careers in a new city.
3. You got in a hurry and overlooked important steps.
Check out the accuracy of the information! Imagine using this approach instead:
Professionals looking for work need four tools: A plan, a focus, action, and accountability. If you have the wrong plan, or the wrong focus, or the wrong action, who is going to tell you? That’s where accountability comes in. Success metrics evaluate results. Those results are usually measured by time or units of activity.
First define what units of activity you will be using. How many networking meetings will you have a week? Most people who are job searching full time set a goal between 5 – 10 a week. Decide how many job applications you want to complete each week. Then you will have something to measure with your accountability partner. If you do not consider yourself very organized, commit to doing 3 things a day no matter what. One activity might only take 5 minutes, another 5 hours. Units of activity are not defined by time.
Feeling good about yourself can be as simple as keeping your promises and then noticing.
There are a couple of ways to notice. First report weekly to your success team you have created around your job search. Second record when you keep your promises into your career transition journal. You are creating tangible evidence that you are not sitting still.
A job search is the ultimate in delayed gratification. Focus on action taken and promises kept, not the results of your action. So many things are out of your control. Will they return your calls? Will they like you? Will they bring you back for a second interview? If you focus on what you cannot control, the optimism that you’ve built will fade. If you want to build optimism, keep your promises.