Habits are hard to make, and hard to break – and not just the bad ones. You might think the things you do and the way you act are out of your control because it’s just “habitual”. I’m even sure that since New Year’s, you’ve made a resolution to make or break a habit, and haven’t picked up another cigarette, or missed a morning trip to the gym, or made a frivolous purchase – again, I’m sure.
But if you haven’t stuck to that resolution and maybe slipped up a few times, would that make you a failure? Can you still succeed at your goal, or do you have to wait 300 days for a second chance? If you’ve made a resolution to get a job this year, you definitely can’t wait.
The truth is, it’s all in your mind. Your success achieving your goals starts and ends with a choice to take control of your life and make a change. Change your bad habits and replace them with good, and you’ll be on your way to meeting your goals.
Last Monday was “Blue Monday”: the mythological “most depressing day of the year” which happens to fall on the third Monday in January every year. It’s derived from some formula that calculates the most depressing day of the year based on weather, a person’s debt, and among other arbitrary variables, the failure to abide by one’s New Year’s resolution. Some people might look at that Monday and decide to feel sad about the failures or problems in their lives instead of realize that every day, even a Monday, is full of opportunity.
Have you ever heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit? Well, the idea was first introduced by a Dr. Maxwell Maltz, who wrote about it in a book called Psycho-Cybernetics. It’s essentially what it sounds like: if you can sustain a behavior over a 21-day period, it becomes habit. Keeping in mind that I just told you when “Blue Monday” was (the third Monday in January, the 16th this year), and now I’ve introduced the 21-days-to-a-habit concept, you can see a disturbing connection.
People typically quit their New Year’s resolutions 5 days before it would’ve become a habit!
Knowing this, would 5 more days really keep you from achieving something you really wanted? I think it’s fair to say that most people wouldn’t give up at that point. Despite the fact that you may hit bumps along the road to achieving your goals, you haven’t failed unless you let yourself fail. Persevere through the setbacks and take control, instead of becoming another victim of “Blue Monday”.
Job searching is a habit, getting hired is a resolution
Changing your life doesn’t happen all at once; it’s broken down into steps and done one step at a time. If you’re trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, then going to the gym is one part of that. Better diet, taking vitamins, lessening your stress, and getting better sleep are other parts, but at the end of the day, they all add up and before you know it, you’ve changed your life. Make your job search the same. Achieve your goal of landing the perfect job by making tangible goals and forming small habits, and not giving up if you make a few mistakes or encounter some obstacles along the way. Break it up into pieces and conquer it one thing at a time.
Here are a few habits to get into if you’re searching for a job:
- Sign up for a few email newsletters for news in your industry and take a few minutes each day to read the articles. This will keep you informed and up to date with current events and trends in your industry.
- Make weekly goals for the number of jobs to apply to, companies to call, networking events to attend, et cetera. Get in the habit of taking time scheduled time out of your day to do these things.
- Before submitting any materials or sending any emails, make it a habit to proofread what you’ve written. Then proofread it again, out of habit.
- Update your materials frequently. And not only your resume, but all your online profiles as well. It may seem like a lot of work, but if you keep one document of all your information and a list of all your profiles, it’s a matter of copy and paste.
- Don’t just set your goals or make your resolutions once and leave them on the back burner- come back to them to review your progress and adjust them accordingly.
So you can go on having a “case of the Mondays” every January, or you can be the type of person who looks at that day as another chance to keep improving…and I hope you’ll make a habit of it.
Do you have any more habits helpful for your job search? Let us know in the comments below!
You may also like:
- How To Make Job Searching Your Job
- Make Every Day a Holiday, Part 2
- Make Every Day a Holiday!
- What Is Your Job Search Engagement?
- Is Culture Important In Your Job Search?