Go back to Job Search Prep Syllabus.
Setting the environment and the establishing objectives is necessary but insufficient for having Quality Events, and the reason for this is simple: life happens.
Situations change, new information becomes available, resources come or go, luck works for us or against us. And that means that we cannot just set our objectives and environment and then turn our backs to them—these things require active management to keep them aligned. In a way, managing your objectives and environment is like sitting on a yoga ball. That’s called “active sitting,” and it is one way to strengthen your core because it requires a constant, slight tension of the mid-section to maintain balance. Slouch on a yoga ball and you’ll fall off. Similarly, if you stop paying attention to your objective and environment, you’ll drift. Quality Events take active management, only here it’s not your stomach muscles that you need to maintain balance, it’s your mindset.
Your mindset is the most most critical element of the Quality Event because it is the glue that holds the three components together. A Quality Event mindset has three elements. These are:
You need to be open to having a Quality Event. Whatever the question, the answer needs to be, “Yes, and…” If you are afraid of looking silly, not measuring up, or stepping into the unknown, then you will not be open and your perspective will prohibit you from succeeding. A negative, fault-finding, or closed mindset will preclude you from experiencing a Quality Event. Too intense a focus on detail will cause you to overlook critical elements. Too broad a focus will inhibit you from seeing the detail. We’re looking for a happy medium. If you’ve ever stared at one of those computer-generated, 3-D images and seen the hidden image, you’ve achieved that happy medium of perspective. You need to think of a potential Quality Event like one of those images. Before you can focus on details, you have to be able to see the hidden opportunity. *Then* you can start working the detail.
There are a number of factors that will sometimes make it difficult for us to hold the “right” perspective. We can be so emotionally attached to our expectations for what should be, that we literally fail to see what “is.” We may feel that we have something to prove. We may be too stressed. We may be afraid. If, as you establish your objectives and environment, you find these things to haunt you, take it as feedback that you need to re-calibrate either your objective or your environment. Make them smaller. More private. Less private. More basic.
Once you’ve got the perspective, you’ve got to be able to hang onto it, mentally speaking. You must continually reinforce it. Perspective has a nasty tendency to slip away unless you stay with it!
Focus is a function of one thing: discipline. This is where you have to work through pain and temptation to stay on course. This is why we have broken this course down into 41 lessons over 21 days. To help you stay focused!
You don’t force Quality Events. You set the stage, and then let them come to you. Enjoy the ride, because after you’re done setting the stage for the Quality Event, it still might not happen. You need to be OK with that. It’s natural to begin to feel a certain amount of pressure after awhile (“Hmmm… it should have happened by now, what’s wrong here?!”), and you need to be able to maintain your calm in spite of that. This is where things get tough: there is no pre-drawn roadmap to success, so you won’t know how long you need to hold your focus. After awhile, you may start asking: “Is this working? Should I continue to do something that yields no results or should I change something?” Patience means having the ability to recognize changes in your environment, and to respond to feedback on your progress toward your objective, without losing focus or changing your perspective. Patience means having faith in your own ability to persevere. The ideal, patient mindset is enthusiastic, open, and willing to take a risk regardless of what happened yesterday.
Commitment doesn’t start with a big life goal, vision, or anything like that. It starts with your attitude. The right attitude can be nurtured by setting yourself up for Quality Events. And Quality Events, as long as they have “correct” objectives, environments, and mindsets, can be as as small as you please.
Start with a small Quality Event and capture the feeling it brings to make sure your head and your heart are both in the right place. Concentrate on integrating life goals later. Remember: before we could land on the moon, we first had to fly 70 feet on a beach in North Carolina.
For those of you who found the first “Quality Event” homework too ambiguous, this homework is for you. For this lesson, I’m giving you parts of an answer—not “the” answer, mind you, but “an” answer, to what a job search plan could look like. Your homework is to read it and compare it to what you came up with the other day. That’s all, just think about it.
Example elements of a job search plan:
Objective: Get the names of 2 hiring managers before 8:30 a.m. each workday for one month
Environment: Quiet; Need pen, paper, live internet connection to access local information about where the company is located (for small talk with receptionist and other gatekeepers); Need headset so I can type and talk; Need Excel spreadsheet to capture information in systematic way.
Mindset: Anticipate 3 hang ups to every successful conversation, and 7 rejections for every name received; for 2 names, expect to make 20 calls. Will review spreadsheet at end of the week to see if these numbers hold true.
Objective: Develop enough of a relationship with these hiring managers that I believe I could call them and they would look forward to my call.
Environment: Set the stage by telling them my situation and asking them what challenges they see with most new hires. “I’m looking for a job, but that’s not why I’m calling. I’m calling you because you’ve got a problem, and that problem impacts me. I know you want the best people, but if a great candidate knocked on your door tomorrow, you’d still hesitate to interview the person, let alone hire them. I need to know why, so that I can make the most of my own job search. It kills me to burn a potential lead to get this information, but it’s just that important. Would you help me? Could you take a few minutes to answer the question?”
Mindset: I’m making a friend, not pursuing a job lead. Friendships take time.
Objective: Blog about great people I meet in my job search.
Mindset: Everyone I meet is inherently good. If I feel someone is “bad,” it’s likely because I misread them. I am going to find the good in people and write about it on a daily basis.
These three activities are not only discrete elements of a job search, but each of them is designed to reinforce the chances of having a Quality Event: the first focuses on objectives; the second, on an environmental factor; and the third, on protecting perspective.
Do you see that?
Create a Quality Event for someone other than yourself today. Shape their environment, cheer them up, and without being explicit, help them achieve something… even if the “objective” is to spend 5 minutes not worrying about the bills!
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