This morning as I was pondering my day, this thought popped into my head: Begin with the end in mind. I recognized that this pithy and perfectly formed mandate was unlikely to have come from my brain first. In fact, I was sure it had come from one of my standard go-to books, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People yet a quick review of Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book proved me wrong. Google gently reminded me that it is one of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits. Number two in fact.
In transitions, beginning with the end in mind can have a profound effect. As a filter, a planning tool and a driver of everything you need to do.
Here are some thought questions to identify the end you have in mind, or to consider while determining just what that end should be:
- What am I known for?/What do I want to be known for?
- What do I know about what I’m looking for?
- Can I articulate what I’m looking for in 30 seconds or less? (think: positioning statement, value proposition, brand articulation)
- Do I have the time and resources to hold out for my ideal or do I need a two-pronged strategy?
Don’t fret too much if you don’t have all the answers. If you start to worry, take a suggestion from my friend Dale: Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health and hope.
A job search can be overwhelming particularly in economically challenging times. And in times when the need to be searching has come as a surprise and catches you unaware and unprepared it can feel like a crippling blow. Forgo the personal recriminations and shoulda’s-coulda’s-woulda’s. If that’s just not in your composition let yourself wallow for a day or two and then be done with it.
Start a virtuous cycle. Pick three things to do today that will help you feel good about yourself and about your day. Start with some easy stuff—making it to the gym, eating healthy (or healthier), updating your LinkedIn profile or connecting with a long lost former colleague. Write them down. At the end of the day, check them off your list and acknowledge yourself for doing so.
You know the drill: lather, rinse, repeat…tomorrow, pick three more.