Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to finish what you start? I’m sure on some level you can relate to this. Maybe you joined a gym in January and by February you were done. Perhaps you started a new hobby then shortly after, decided it wasn’t for you and sold all your supplies. In job searching, this “start and stop” behaviour can take many forms. Maybe you found a job posting but haven’t finished tailoring your resume. Maybe you finished tailoring your resume but haven’t submitted the application. No matter the situation, the most important thing to understand is that commitment is determined by the choices we make every day.
There are many reasons we have a hard time staying focused from start to finish (whether job searching or beyond). Some of the most common experiences at OFE in terms of WHY people struggle with commitment would be the following:
- When we don’t get results, or don’t make progress quickly enough. We’re used to a quick fix for many parts of our life. If you need an answer to almost any question, you can just ask Google and you’ll have more answers than you need in less than a second.
- When we no longer feel motivated. Some might say true commitment only begins when motivation stops. It’s easy to stay on track when we feel energized, focused, and positive. It’s harder when we don’t “feel” like doing it anymore.
- When it feels uncomfortable. Often we confuse discomfort with pain, and when we start to get uncomfortable we quit. There’s a cost to growth in every aspect of life. Ask a toddler learning to walk after 100 falls. In order to achieve what we really want, we’ll most likely have to step out of comfort zone.
In your job search, you might not get results as quickly as you want, you might not feel motivated anymore, and you might feel uncomfortable. Here is the good news: You can choose commitment even in the face of these obstacles. How? Through Intentionality. Leadership expert John Maxwell says:
People have uphill hopes, and they have downhill habits. The only way to break downhill habits is to get intentional.
I think he means that we need to be intentional about our daily choices, or habits, in order to get what we truly want – our goal.
We need to PUSH ourselves. Below is an acronym you may find helpful in order to become intentional about job searching, or any goal that requires commitment.
P – Past success and achievements can boost your confidence. If you got jobs in the past, you can do it again. What worked last time? The answer may be found in how you achieved a similar goal in the past.
U – Understand. Understand and accept that you’ll have good days and bad days during your job search. Understand that you’ll need to make sacrifices and embrace discomfort for the sake of your goal. Some days you might wonder if you’ll ever get a call. Other days you’ll feel that any employer would be lucky to have you. It’s our job to monitor ourselves, and remind ourselves that after the hard day, another good day WILL come as long as we don’t give up.
S – Set boundaries. Boundaries protect us by protecting our time, energy, and goals. Boundaries enforce rules about how we allow ourselves to be treated. In your job search, setting boundaries can make a huge difference in your ability to prioritize finding and keeping a job.
H – Have a team to support you. Most people don’t achieve success alone. Here at OFE, we want to be part of your support team. When you struggle, your team can help you get back on track, and when you succeed, your team can celebrate the hard-earned win. At OFE, Consultants, Coaches, Liaisons, Facilitators, and Employment Services Advisors can all be part of your team.
We are so excited for the success coming your way when you get intentional about commitment and push yourself towards your job goal. We’re just a phone call or email away if you want to know more!
Author: Jennifer Wiebe, Program Manager