Have you been thrust into a job search? Laid off, outsourced, fired, position eliminated, forced into early retirement…no matter the reason, being forced into a job search is difficult on many fronts. In my first post in the Career Change series, I focused on taking some time to process what happened, today I encourage you to build some momentum to make sure inertia does not delay your progress.
Brian Tracy authored a book about procrastination entitled Eat That Frog where he provides readers 21 steps to help stop procrastinating. The catchy title, Eat That Frog, is premised on the concept that if one were to eat a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing else that day would seem as bad. This means that one should handle the most difficult task or the item on one’s “to-do” list that one has the greatest aversion towards, first. This will make the rest of the day seem better and will prevent one from finding 100 smaller tasks to do in an effort to avoid having to deal with the “frog” on one’s list. This short movie details the concept a bit more.
Besides daily ingestion of an amphibian, how else can one avoid the awesome power of inertia and procrastination in one’s career search?
Write It Down: Keeping a journal of activity can help one see progress throughout a search. I recommend beginning each week by writing down a series of goals that one would like to accomplish that week and refer to that list often to ensure tasks do not fall through the cracks. When one realizes at the end of the week all that he/she accomplished, it can act as a motivating force to accomplish more the following week.
Tell A Friend: Having a support network is important in one’s search. Not only does this group allow you to bounce ideas off them for feedback, it also keeps you accountable for your progress (i.e.: share your weekly list of goals you wrote down). If you arrange brief “Check-In” meetings/calls/emails every couple of weeks, you are more likely to complete the tasks you intended. Peer pressure can be a force for good when properly applied.
Four-Day Week: “I’ll do it tomorrow” is the favorite phrase of every procrastinator. With no firm deadline, it is too easy to push-off unpleasant tasks to ‘another’ day. What can help is eliminating Friday from your schedule – plan on completing all your tasks for the week by Thursday and thus ‘rewarding’ yourself with a three-day weekend. Friday is the least productive workday (according to many studies and surveys) and instead of trying to get meetings/calls with employers on a Friday, shorten your work week to end on Thursday to ensure you are engaging people when they are engaged at work.
Get off the couch, turn off the television and good luck with the list and tomorrow morning’s frog. Tackle the item you want to push-off and the rest of the day will be easier.