Sunday, January 23, 2011

Your Career and You: "The Power of One"

Being snowed in for a couple of days gave me a chance to think about career moves and job searches...basically, I was bored out of my gourd, had solved every available crossword and Sudoku puzzle in the house, and was thinking about writing my "memoirs."

THAT was the proverbial "straw"! First, I don't feel I've accomplished very much thus far. And, second, I feel like there's so much more I need to do!

Started feeling a bit overwhelmed. THEN I recalled conversations I've had with friends/students both at Curry College, where I oversee the undergrad public relations concentration, and at Regis College, where I teach graduate-level communications courses.

Some of these folks were feeling a bit overwhelmed as well. And, as we chatted about everything that they were doing both academically and elsewhere, I understood their feeling of being swamped.

And that led to the thought for this post..."The Power of One."

It's so easy to sit down and draw up ginormous lists of things we have to do in "X" amount of time. The problem with this exercise, though, is that we often wind up feeling discouraged...that we can't possibly accomplish all this and maintain some semblance of sanity.

So here's a thought.

Start off easy. Decide on ONE thing that you are going to accomplish in the coming week as part of your job search.

Maybe it's to schedule an informational interview. Or to revise your resume. Or to attend a networking event.

Whatever you decide...settle on that one thing...and DO it!

Some critics will no doubt say, "You're setting the bar too low, Kirk."

And I will counter with, "A job search is like exercising. You have to limber up first, or you'll wind up hurting yourself and not wanting to continue."

So "warm up" with one job search activity. Then, when that starts feeling comfortable, increase the "reps"...slowly and carefully.

Soon you'll find yourself in a regular pattern of activity...networking, interviews...that will greatly increase your chances of landing that way cool job that you've always wanted.

There you have it. Now put on your mental workout clothes and hit the job search gym with "one" day devoted to finetuning your networking event with business cards in informational interview with resume AND business cards.

You can do's the "Power of One!"

"You cannot conceive the many without the one."
Plato, "Dialogues, Parmenides" [129]


  1. Your résumé is the first step in the process of a strategic career move. The résumé is an essential piece to all types of job searching approaches, as well as playing a crucial role through the interview and selection processes.

    One of the most useful techniques for constructing your résumé is to focus it on a specific target job, and then go through and deconstruct the deliverables of that job from other related job postings. Accomplishing this successfully will generate a résumé that not only opens doors toward future career success, but assists you in preparation for the interview process.

    job tips

  2. Thanks for your input. I emphasize in many of my posts the importance of resumes...and of addressing in written communications the potential employer's wants and needs. Thanks for adding another reader's perspective!

  3. Great advice, once again Kirk! I acutally used a similar analogy with one of my career clients, except I related it to training for a marathon. You have to start out slow with the job search and work your way up. I recommend using a job search log to keep track of all the positions you've applied for and setting up mini-goals for yourself. This way you're holding yourself accountable, but also it provides a sense of accomplishment, which is extremely important for any job seeker.

  4. Thanks, Sara, for validating my thoughts! I love it when the professionals and the professors agree on things! :-)

    Thanks, too, for the tip on the log...that is a very organized and realistic way to track your efforts and progress. It's not all "fun 'n games"; it's WORK, with goals and objectives and progress reports!!

  5. It's so easy to overlook the value of baby steps. This was a much needed reminder. Thanks!

  6. I'm delighted to be a "memory jogger," Whitney. Thanks for the feedback!