Career Mentor Series:
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|Career & Work Life Matters
Vol 3, no. 03
|How do you know if you are making the best choices for your career change? Are you doing the things that are most likely to get you where you want to go in your job search? Many times there are no easy answers to these essential questions. Read this post to discover a simple tool to support your success.
Learned Beliefs & Success
Last time we talked about the relevance of “internal stories” to career change and job search. This issue takes a more specific look at beliefs, in particular how learned beliefs influence success.
What do you really expect?
How do you feel about your job search and career change? To be successful in today’s job market you need to make strategic choices about where to focus your efforts. You also need to be persistent. But what if you feel frustrated and disheartened by your results so far?
One thing you can do is to take a step back and review what you are doing. A few months ago I wrote about how allocating your search time effectively can help. But what else can you do?
Self-efficacy & Success
How do you feel about your search overall? What do you really believe? For many years social psychologist, Albert Bandura, (now Emeritus professor at Stanford University) studied human agency and the factors that predict success. It turns out that how we perceive our capability affects how we function in many areas of work and life.
Individuals who perceive themselves as capable and expect to be successful in a specific behavior are more likely to succeed. This belief is known as self-efficacy. There are many behaviors that you need to master to be successful in your job search. How might you increase your self-efficacy?
Increasing your Self-Efficacy
The good news is that your beliefs are not fixed. Research provides insight into how to positively influence self-efficacy. There are 4 important sources of influence on your beliefs about your capacity to achieve successful outcomes for a particular goal.
- performance accomplishments
- vicarious learning
- anxiety levels
Let’s begin with performance accomplishments, and consider what you can do to leverage this sources of influence for your job search.
Performance Accomplishments and Self-efficacy
Knowing that the experience of success is important, how might you apply this to your job search? You may think that setting challenging goals will motivate you to achieve more. But this research suggests that you also need to work on your career change and job search in a way to allows you to achieve success on a regular basis. This may mean revising your working definition of success.
One simple step you can take is to break down your job search goals into small manageable tasks that you know you will accomplish.
How to Create Success Goals
Take a look at your job search goals. How are you defining success? Of course the end goal is to get the position that you want. But what interim goals can you set for yourself? If it takes 6 months or more to find your position, how can you measure your success in the meantime? Maybe it’s a number of contacts, phone calls, etc. What makes sense for you at this phase of your search? Brainstorm all the activities that are part of a successful job search.
Begin by breaking your overall goal down into subgoals. What can you accomplish in the coming week? What can you accomplish today? It’s easy to dismiss the small actions that build on each other to move you forward in your job search. Taking time to identify small goals not only helps you to stay focused, but will also enable you to experience the success that builds your self-efficacy, and thus your future success.
Next time, we will look at the other factors that are know to influence self-efficacy and consider what they mean for your job search.
I invite you to share your comments below.
What goals did you accomplish this week?