When it comes getting the career or job we want whether we’re straight out of university, are looking for our next job or are considering changing careers the first thing we do is scour every single job board we can find from LinkedIn, Monster Jobs, Total Jobs, Indeed, Reed, Prospects, Milkround, Third Sector, Charity Jobs…the list goes on.
In doing so, we search and hope to find a role that sounds interesting to us with a company, who shares our values and we are likely to enjoy working at. The last thing we may ever think to do is carry out the one most powerful exercise of asking ourselves and writing down exactly what it is we want in the role we’re looking for, how it would feel to have exactly what it is we wanted and believing that the exact role we’re looking to find is out there for us and will find its way to us.
I know this sounds too good to be true but according to this article by Forbes ‘Neuroscience explains why you need to write down your goals if you actually want to achieve them’ there is proof that writing down your goals in detail like this powerful exercise, does work. An example of when I implemented this strategy and it worked for me was when looking for a role in HR straight after completing my master’s degree a couple of years ago.
Firstly, I wrote down exactly what it was I was looking for….
I wrote down things like:
- I want a job in HR
- I want a job that will pay for my learning and development (since I already took out a loan to pay for my masters)
- I want a work-life balance
- I want supportive and friendly colleagues
- I want an organisation I could add value to
- I want the exact salary I wanted
Secondly, I wrote how it would feel if I had what I wanted….
I wrote feelings like ‘excited’, ‘happy’, ‘grateful’, ‘proud’, ‘confident’.
The third and final step was turning this into a daily practice…
Finally, I wrote out from scratch every single day what it is I wanted in my next role and how I would feel if I had it. Sometimes it was the same as what I wrote the day before and other times it wasn’t, I would add more detail but by simply doing this exercise I could further imagine how I would feel if I had what it is I wanted and I couldn’t help but feel all the things I wanted to feel if I had the job I wanted. It also helped my brain to start thinking about what action I could take to get what I want rather than only thinking about it.
Whilst I didn’t immediately get what I wanted and I didn’t get the salary I wanted to begin with, with a little patience and perseverance I eventually got everything I wanted in a role. Supportive and friendly colleagues, an organisation that paid for my HR apprenticeship, the salary I wanted and an organisation that gives me a work-life balance.
There is, however, a caveat to this and that is self-doubt and lack of belief that this exercise works or could work for you because only by believing will you commit to giving this exercise a go and turning it into daily practice.
Why not give this exercise a go for 6 months to a year, although you may get the job/career you want sooner, experiment and if it works for you why not submit your stories to email@example.com with the subject line ‘A powerful exercise to get the career or job you want’.
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