In the chaotic hustle and bustle of searching, interviewing and networking to find your next job, you may forget to take time to appreciate yourself and the efforts you’ve made towards recognizing your goals. As you struggle to keep up and keep moving, you should remember to take the time to acknowledge and reward yourself on all of your hard work. You may not have gotten a job offer, but you are well on your way to succeeding. It’s important in all of the day-to-day struggles to stop, take a breath and remember to reward yourself for a job search well done. It’s time to set your own career curve and steer your career in the right direction.
Competing with others is a rat race against time. You are taught that competition is a good thing when you are competing against someone else. You are not taught however that it is just important if not more to learn to set your own bar and to learn to compete against the one person that matters most, yourself. Setting your own personal goals and rewards sets you apart from the rest. Yes, it’s important to know what your competition is doing and to strive to perform at a higher level. What you need to focus on is where you want to go, what your highest aspiration is and to set your sights on competing against your own personal best.
Finding time to focus on you is a struggle considering you may be preoccupied by mounting bills, juggling family obligations, keeping connected to friends and figuring out how to network to find new or more meaningful employment. Focusing on you now must be your number one priority. Life will distract you from your goal, that is a given. So will other people, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It’s up to you to know when to set your mark and to reach for higher ground in order to stay ahead of your own career curve.
Making time to reward yourself, focus on your long as well as short term goals and to acknowledge your own greatness might seem like a waste of time. It is the single most important action you can do for yourself especially during uncertain times and when you’ve already had your fair share of rejection, disappointment and job search frustration.
Learning to set your highest bar is like setting any other goal: when you reach it you need to push the limits even further the next time out. Like setting a goal to lose weight, get out of debt, or attain “x” amount of dollars in your checking account, you need to set aggressive yet attainable career goals.
Your career curve checklist should look like this:
1) I made 20 calls this week and I’m going to do 30 next week;
2) I interviewed with 5 companies on my target list this week and I’m going to add 5 more next week;
3) I earned $10,000 last month freelancing, I’m going to earn $15,000 next month;
4) I billed $100 dollars an hour last project, I’m going to bill $125 dollars the next project:
5) I added 3 new clients in the first quarter, I’m going to add 5 new clients next quarter.
and so on…
Your career curve needs to be aggressive, attainable and you need to remember to reward yourself when you reach your milestone. Staying focused on setting and competing against yourself keeps you sharp and alert to new opportunities and makes you less distracted or discouraged when life throws it’s own curve ball.