Ready-Aim-Fire!!! Job Search Implications

contributed by Dr. Stephen Bangert

Three commands that when strung together project a clear mental picture of hitting a target.  The order of these words and the process are also important whether one is shooting a free throw in basketball, using a bow and arrow to hit a bulls eye or carrying out a project. 

Let’s apply this concept of “Ready, Aim, Fire” to job search.

Ready!
Preparation is a critical step, whether a job search is prompted by a sudden termination or one’s personal desire for a new challenge, greater responsibility and more money.  Preparation forms the foundation for success.  To rush into a job search, to take an interview or to accept a new offer without preparation sets one up for a poor performance and the risk of failure.  A executive coach can help Ready you for a successful job search.
The essential steps to Ready oneself for a job search include:
• Develop a schedule for working toward your goal.
• Identify the value that you bring to another employer.
• Prepare a marketing message that promotes your value.

Aim!
There is a saying: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”  Similarly, if you don’t have a defined goal in your job search, you are creating obstacles for yourself and may find yourself going in circles, delaying progress in your career and even jeopardizing your professional future.  To proceed without aiming is to rely on luck, and is generally a waste of your resources.  Having an objective third party can help you maintain you commitment and honesty to your goal.
To take proper Aim you need to:
• Understand the goal at which you are aiming.
• Concentrate, eliminate distractions and focus on the goal.
• Envision yourself accomplishing your goal.

Fire!
Taking action, pulling the trigger, and following through completes the process.  Firing is your commitment to action.  Both firing too soon or firing too late will result in failure.  This is especially true of a moving target which in many ways describes the dynamic process of a job search.  Naturally, there is emotion involved, and again, this is where the experience and assurance of a coach will prove invaluable.
When Firing, consider:
• Smooth and steady action
• Follow through
• Mental re-play and feedback

With most events of life you take action not fully knowing the outcome.  Generally, the path to one’s target is not straight, or becomes distorted along the way.  But your journey does not stop just because you hit a roadblock.  You READY, you AIM and you FIRE again in pursuit of your goal.  And if feedback tells you that you are not being very efficient or effective, wouldn’t having an executive coach be of great comfort and value?

 When you begin your next job search, let’s talk.  Having successfully coached many hundreds of managers, executives and professionals over the years, I am confident I can help you Ready yourself, take proper Aim, and Fire at your target of success.

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