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Published: Tuesday, 2/27/2007

Shift a Job Search into Drive

In the middle of a long job search? Is it difficult to get out of bed in the morning to pound the pavement?

Motivation can be hard to come by at any point in the employment hunt. Here are three motivating measures to get you back to work faster:

Find the Right Why

If I offer you $5 to shave off all of your hair, would you do it? Probably not. Five bucks is hardly reason enough to lose your locks. But what if your hair was tangled in a bear trap and a blizzard was coming and you had to chop it off so you could escape to safety? Would you do it? Yes, probably.

Different actions stem from different reasons why.

If a job search is floundering, take a moment to ask, Why am I doing this? Why do I need a job?

For example: Do you need a job to feed your family? If so, tape a picture of your spouse and children to your cell phone or PDA so you can see your reason why throughout the day.

Or do you want a more fulfilling job, one where you can use your greatest talents to make a difference in the world? Then tape a picture of someone you admire or who does the work you aspire to do to the bathroom mirror where you can see it each day.

Follow the advice of Friedrich Nietzsche: He who has a why can endure any how. If you give yourself the right why today, you can stay motivated and endure all the hows along the way and find that job you seek.

Give Yourself a Deadline

Here s another nifty quote. According to journalist Aki Soga: If man could live forever, he d still be a fish. Why would he evolve? He could always do it later.

If your search for work hasn t yet evolved into a rewarding job, it may be because your subconscious mind thinks you can always make that networking call tomorrow or set up that informational interview later.

Why not motivate yourself with a deadline? This is how great projects are accomplished.

Take Steve Jobs for example. He didn t tell his engineers to invent an iPhone pretty soon or in a few months. He told them to finish it before he walked onstage to introduce it at MacWorld on January 9, 2007. He set a deadline and look what he got done.

So why not treat your job search like the incredibly important project it truly is? Give yourself a deadline to find work. You may be surprised at how quickly you get hired.

The worst-case scenario? You miss the deadline. No big deal. Do a quick post-mortem to figure out what to do differently and learn from it. Set a new deadline and continue.

Write Search Goals Daily

In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins. 1998), psychologist Robert Cialdini describes how the power of written goals can change attitudes and actions.

Take the Amway Corp. for example; it encourages its members to set individual sales goals in writing. There might be something to this as Amway sales have totaled as much as $7 billion per year.

Another example: Ever wonder why companies like Procter & Gamble run those 100 words or less testimonial contests, in which entrants mail in personal statements about why they like a certain product? One reason is to get you to go on record, in writing, as liking their product, because it makes you more likely to buy it later.

According to Cialdini, one reason written commitments are so powerful is that, they require more work than verbal ones. The evidence is clear that the more effort that goes into a commitment, the greater its ability to influence the attitudes of the person who made it, he says.

Why not adopt this tactic to your job search?

If you write down your employment goal first thing every morning, including job title, desired salary and deadline for getting hired, you are guaranteed to start your day off right. And that can make all the difference.

Try it and the rest of these job search motivators for the next 30 days and prove them yourself.

Kevin Donlin, owner of Edina, Minn.-based Guaranteed Resume, frequently writes about best practices in job hunting.

Copyright CTW Features

By Kevin Donlin

CTW Features



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