When I spoke about goals in other blog posts, I mentioned that I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions that you make on January 1. Rather I believe in continuous challenge and continuous actionable goal-setting.
Whether you are reading this as a job seeker or as an entrepreneur or as a business professional or as a stay-at-home mother or father, you need to continuously challenge yourself to come up with new goals and action plans.
How do you build a habit or routine?
Studies have shown that it takes 28 days to build a habit or routine. If you try to change too many things at once, you generally will fail. When you set a goal, often there is change that needs to happen. Whatever your goal is, you have to determine clear steps to get there and usually it also helps to break the goal down into smaller steps and set smaller time frames for each step.
For example: If I am trying to decrease paper clutter in my office, decrease paper clutter isn’t a goal with enough clarity for me to actually make any progress. However, let’s look at it another way:
Goal: Decrease Paper Clutter
- Devote 15 minutes daily to decluttering paper. (more probably won’t happen)
- Target one spot. (the top basket)
- Set a timer. (most of us do better when we make things a game)
- File items.
- Shred critical info.
- Timer off. Done.
Now you can always give yourself another 15 minutes for your task of choice but setting the timer will help decrease being overwhelmed.
I am not saying that as a job seeker you should only spend 15 minutes but focusing on certain things will help you get them done.
Goal: Get a new job
- Devote time to rewriting your resume.
- Plan your job target:
- What field?
- What industry?
- What specific job title?
- Gather your historical data.
- Where did you work?
- Where did you go to school?
- Verify the dates.
- Find your transcripts in case you need to list courses.
- Think about your accomplishments.
- List 5 accomplishments from your career.
- Think about the key words needed for your job target.
- Read job descriptions matching your target
- Select 10-20 words that fit your background and seem to be prevalent in the job descriptions.
- Study resume samples, making sure you are reading examples written by career professionals certified by international career industry organization such as Career Directors International, Career Thought Leaders, National Resume Writers Association, or Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.
- Create an outline and formatting plan.
- Execute the plan by adding content.
This is a quick start to getting a job. If you make the goal too big, it won’t happen. You need little actionable steps. So, what are you going to do differently today? Me? I have to declutter some paper!