As we soon embark on a new year, you probably have some new career goals on your mind. Author Stephen Covey’s wildly successful book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” sheds light on many important tenets of the job search process. As a growing professional, understanding some of the principles outlined in this book can make your job search a more positive and productive experience. Here’s an outline of the seven habits highlighted in the book and their key takeaways:
While there are parts of the job search that are out of your control, there are many things you can do to shape your search and make a strong impression in front of employers. A lot of this has to do with how you approach your career and professional goals. Being mindful of the narrative you tell yourself daily can significantly impact how you feel about things like your credentials, ability to land a new position, and interview performance. For example, reframing a negative thought like “There’s nothing I can do,” to “There are steps I can take to connect with this employer,” is key to putting yourself in the driver’s seat when it comes to your job search progress.
“Begin with the end in mind.”
As you embark on your job search, it’s imperative to have an end goal in mind. Understanding what you’re hoping to achieve in terms of your intended type of job, employer and industry, is essential to strategizing your job search and setting yourself up for success. Rather than getting caught up in the motions of applying to jobs, it’s important to take time to think about each opportunity and reflect on what truly aligns with your long-term goals and interests. This heavily involves a sense of self-awareness about where you want to be in terms of your career and professional endeavors. For example, what type of title do you wish to obtain? What is your desired salary? What type of work environment will help you thrive? Identifying your values and vision is integral to this part of the process.
“Put first things first.”
Rather than being solely focused on simply accomplishing a long list of tasks, it’s important to prioritize your day-to-day actions based on what’s most urgent for your job search. Prioritizing how you spend your time will allow you to live in a way that’s in alignment with your values while getting one step closer to your ultimate career goals. This also means being able to say “no” to things that take your time and attention away from what’s most important, and reject things that waste your energy and detract from your vision. Instead of engaging in instant self-gratification, this requires a sustained effort to practice willpower and exhibit self-control.
The “win-win” concept when it comes to professional development means identifying situations that provide benefits to both you and other parties involved in your job search. Even in seemingly negative circumstances, there are usually “win-win” situations in which you can create opportunities and advance yourself. For instance, even if you are rejected by an employer for a job, there may be an opportunity to stay in touch with the hiring manager and be considered for future positions. With this situation, you can expand your network and feel more confident pursuing other job opportunities in the future with this employer. As you experience the highs and lows of the job search, think about your various interactions and encounters. Considering how you can leverage your new contacts to forge positive long-term relationships may have a major impact on your future endeavors.
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Engaging in emotional intelligence is often instrumental to achieving any level of professional success. Understanding your role in communicating with other parties, including how to conduct yourself during interviews, will be key to effectively engaging with others in the job search process. By researching employers and being authentic about your interest allows you to demonstrate to the employer that you genuinely care about the opportunity and how you can contribute to the company.
A great deal of success has to do with aligning yourself with others around you and adapting to your environment. During interviews, you should aim to achieve a flow with the hiring manager and find opportunities to make connections during the conversation. For example, you may draw from your experience or job history to provide more context or support for an interview answer. Identifying synergies between yourself and the interviewer is one of the best ways to spark a positive exchange and create a lasting impression.
“Sharpen the saw.”
Making a point to regularly put into practice these habits will make you a pro at excelling at the job search process. While you’ll certainly make some mistakes along the way, fine-tuning your abilities and regularly reflecting on how you’re doing can make all the difference.
Drawing from these seven habits will not only improve your job search outcomes, but elevate every aspect of your professional life – from your networking abilities to your performance in the workplace. Over time, practicing these habits can have a monumental effect on your career growth and life at large.
Have you been struggling to find a new job or launch a new career? Contact HH Staffing, a Florida-based staffing firm, and learn how we can connect you with many exciting employment opportunities across the U.S.
Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO, and Chief Servant
Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings a fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high-performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.