For job seekers, landing a new job is the ultimate reward; days, weeks or months of searching deserve a happy ending, after all! However, celebrating the little victories (and even the failures) along the way is just as important as reaching the end goal of your search.
A transitional time, whether professional or personal, requires concentration on goal setting, self-reflection and continual improvement. By only focusing on the prize at the end of the road, you may be missing opportunities to grow as a candidate, and as a person.
If you’re starting a new search, or have been at it for some time, consider creating your very own reward system in order to better track your progress and maintain momentum on the job hunt.
Here are some tips for planning pats on the back along the job search journey:
Create a Reward System
Your eyes might be on the prize waiting for you, but a good reward system begins with a sturdy foundation of goal setting. Take some time to create benchmarks along your job search to help you gauge your progress, then schedule these checkpoints on your calendar. For example, set the goal of, “update education section of resume” for Tuesday, or “apply for five jobs by the end of March.” Once you have created small, tangible goals to strive for along the way, you can create a reasonable time frame for progress to be made.
If you want to start rewarding yourself, find what motivates you and embrace it! Whether it’s a sweet treat, some well-deserved TV time or a quiet moment with a good book, take your favorite things and tie them to your goals. There are countless ways to reward yourself, so find what works for you!
For example, you can create a surprise reward bowl by filling out small rewards on sheets of paper, then folding them up and dropping them into a fishbowl. Whenever you hit a goal, it’s time to pull out a prize! Regardless of the methods, the most important thing is that you find a way to recognize yourself for each accomplishment.
Stick to It
Even more important than creating a reward system is sticking to it! The reason why so many New Year’s resolutions fade by February is a lack of reasonable goals and a focus on failure. If you’re only focusing on one big accomplishment, you’re setting yourself up for a major letdown. By keeping goals attainable and remembering to celebrate small accomplishments, you’re more likely to stick to your plan and achieve success.
A great idea for maintaining your goal/reward system is to find buddy to keep you accountable. This friend, peer or mentor should be aware of your goals and process, and you can even send them regular updates to help stay on track. Meeting at scheduled times throughout your search can provide valuable check-in’s to boost your motivation as well.
Setting out on the search for a new job can be daunting, especially if you’re only focused on the big goal at the end of the road. Break down your journey into smaller goals, and reward yourself for a job well done.
Do you have any tips and tricks for rewarding yourself on the job hunt? Please share ideas below!