New Year’s Resolutions can be a great way to reset your focus and put new energy into an old problem. If you have been in the job search for a while, then a fresh new year can be a great opportunity to jump back in with renewed motivation and a stronger resolve.
On the other hand, we all know New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for failing. So, let’s take a closer look at how you can make job search resolutions that stick by looking at how to avoid three common mistakes of resolutions.
1) Set Specific and Measurable Goals
Many people try to set job search goals that are overly broad. Examples include:
While these kinds of goals are nice in spirit, they fail miserably when it comes to being specific and measurable. And, this aspect of a goal really matters. If you don’t add some element of measurability, you won’t be able to hold yourself accountable to that goal.
Setting measurable goals will give you a much more concrete target that you can turn into action. After all, it is action that will make the difference in your job search. Sit back and look at your overall job search thus far and identify some areas where you know you need to improve. Then, consider listing a few specific targets for your job search this year.
Here are a few good examples:
- I will apply to at least four jobs each week.
- I will reach out to at least two professional contacts on social media each week.
- I will schedule one informational interview each month.
2) Make Sure Your Goals Are Realistic
It is easy to get caught up in the hope of what the new year promises and get a bit overzealous with goal setting. While it might seem like there is nothing wrong with being ambitious, the fact is that setting goals too high is setting yourself up for failure – and that isn’t going to help you stay motivated.
In fact, it is better to set your goals low, get some success under your belt, then raise them down the road if you find yourself ready for the next challenge.
For example, if your initial thought is that you can easily send out 10 resumes a week, when you have only been averaging three for the last several months, you are likely aiming too high. Instead, set your goal at four each week. You can always do more than your goal and enjoy that feeling of having gone the extra mile.
Another way to think about goal setting is to think about your job search and its many component parts and set small goals in each area to keep a balance. For example, come up with a realistic and specific goal for each area of your job search so that you can make regular progress on all aspects of your search, including:
3) Remember to Pat Yourself on the Back
When you set yourself up for success by setting attainable goals towards finding your dream job, then you will have plenty of chances to reward yourself for achievements. This is a step that a lot of people think they can skip, but there are important reasons not to.
Rewards are a critical part of reinforcing success. By taking the time to appreciate that you are accomplishing your goals, you will not only stay more motivated, but you will also feel more confident that you are on the right track. This kind of emotional boost will keep you in the game and make sure that you bring your best to your next interview!