In business and in life, momentum is a wonderful thing. Once you have it, there is inertia and a magnetic quality that seems to draw additional opportunities to you.
But it's more than a magical magnetism. Less mysterious than a cosmic tractor beam. And there are ways to feed momentum so that the ball keeps rolling. And good things keep happening to you.
- You have to believe that it will happen. And that you are deserving of it happening. Not that this belief will trigger the world to act on your behalf. But rather that you are able to project confidence. And expecting good things to happen in your job search effort. I know this sounds a bit like believing in secret scrolls, but if it positively affects your psychology, it is a good thing. And it will be painfully obvious to others if your self-confidence is lacking.
- You have to remove any impediments. Things that will physically or mentally slow you down. Or distract you. A good analogy here is going for a run with a dog. I always thought this was a great idea. Me and my dog Casey out for a run on a beautiful Saturday AM. Man and his best friend jogging joyfully in the park. Except it didn't work. Because my dog gets distracted by other dogs, by every tree we pass and the rabbit that crosses on the trail. So we never really get going and I never get a good run in. So these represent impediments or things that get in the way of a good result. And slow your momentum. For job search, these include not having a good elevator pitch, not knowing how to introduce yourself to new people, not having good marketing materials (a one sheet bio and business card for networking).
- You need to build a network that cares about you. A network that has you â€œtop of mindâ€ vs. â€œbottom shelfâ€. You do that through selfless efforts to support the folks you meet, asking great questions to learn what they need/care about, by telling them specifically about your job search objectives, by becoming a person of influence and finally by simply being a good networker. There are a lot of things to be and to do. For help here, read my two part series called The 20 Habits Of Highly Effective Networkers.
- You need to remain visible. People can't help you or remember that you are still in the market if they don't see or hear from you. Get out of the house for a minimum of 4 hours per day. Schedule coffees, attend networking events, get out to events where you can network with employed people (not just the unemployed). Send a regular network update via e-mail that quickly reminds people of your objectives. Tell them in that note the good things that are happening. And that you'd like their help to keep the momentum going!
- You need fresh new leads every week. Fresh new leads are the food of momentum. And the more you have in the hopper, the better. I call it the power of multiple options. It allows you to focus on more than one opportunity with confidence. Because you are not hyper-focused on one job opening. And desperate to convince someone that you are the only one they should be interviewing. Whether at the job offer stage or the phone interview stage, you can now be yourself knowing that everything isn't riding on this one position. You can feel free to ask good, probing questions. To help you understand if the job is really a good fit for you. Fresh new leads come from your network. Especially a network that already has tangible data on your job search objectives. You can get leads from Indeed, Monster and other online job search engines. You can also get them from company websites, networking organizations or churches that have a job search group on Yahoo. You just need a steady flow to keep your spirits up.
How about you? What tricks do you have for creating or maintaining momentum during the job hunt?