Whether you are looking for your first job or you are trying to carve out an opportunity to take your career to the next level, you need to stay focused until you reach your goal. While it sounds like a simple concept, it is sometimes difficult for career advancement hopefuls to keep their target in their sights.
According to Forbes magazine, for every 118 people who apply for a given job, only 20 percent of those candidates ever receive a call for an interview. That means you need to practice patience and maintain razor-sharp focus to keep your head in the game. Use those statistics to propel you forward on the path that leads to your exciting new job instead of giving in to frustration and doubt, which can certainly prevent you from focusing on your goals.
Our fast-paced world is chock full of distractions—smartphones, tablets, laptops, and social engagements—that create yet another way to veer off-course and lose focus. We’ve all procrastinated away an afternoon while playing video games or watching a movie instead of retooling our résumés.
You can rise above life’s incidental distractions, as well as the ones you create for yourself, which might derail you from your goals. Try these 5 tips to stay focused on your goals so you can forge ahead and plow through the inevitable ebbs and flows you face during your job search:
- Write your goals down on paper.
Commit your goals to your paper and ink, and you stand a better chance of branding those goals into your memory. According to a study, students who take notes by hand retain information better by engaging the brain to do more “heavy lifting.”
- No one is ever too cool for school.
Regardless of your field, the more career training you pursue and absorb, the more likely you are to impress your prospective employer. Even more importantly, career courses help you stay engaged and focused while you continue to sharpen your knowledge about your field.
- Positive affirmations and visualizations are powerful.
There is no room for negative self-talk in your job search. Use positive affirmations and visualizations to remind yourself that you have all the qualifications you need to meet your goals. Take the time to imagine your life as if you already have your dream job and reflect on how to carry out your prospective responsibilities.
- Tracking is a valuable skill.
Once you have set your goals and you start working toward them, treat your job search as if you are a highly skilled tracker or hunter. Tracking your progress will help you fine-tune your goals, so you can make the tweaks and adjustments to stay focused on your goals.
- Learn the art of saying “No.”
Comprised of only two letters, “no” is an extremely complex and loaded word for most of us. However, when it comes to finding your dream job, you have to say it. And mean it. Often. Whether you have to turn down a job that you instinctively know is wrong for you or refrain from attending your favorite social events, staying focused often means saying “no” fairly liberally.