I have been a huge baseball fan all of my life. Every year there are teams that get off to good starts on their season. They play well during the months of April and May and jump out to a lead in the standings against their competition. Then they enter the month of June, and all of a sudden things start happening. Games they won earlier in the year they are now losing because their hitters are not executing as well as before, or their pitchers are not making the same sharp pitches they were earlier in the season. Instead of finding ways to win their games, they begin to lose games with different things going wrong each day. Before you know it the once hot team is in a slump. Some in baseball even refer to it as the team going through “the June swoon.”
It can be that way when you are conducting your job search. You start out with the best of intentions. The process begins with you researching companies, identifying potential networking contacts and updating your resumé. You’re following several leads and you are receiving great feedback from those with whom you speak about your qualifications and prospects for finding employment. Then much like the baseball team you hit a rough patch. Contacts are not returning your calls. You go on an interview or two and you do not meet with success. Everyone tries to give you advice on what you are doing wrong and what you should do differently. Soon the once confident job seeker is like the baseball team in a slump. They’re searching for answers as to what to do next.
It is very rare, no matter what the profession or activity that everything goes well over the course of a long period of time. A baseball season is 162 games long and covers six months. Job searches currently can run significantly longer. There are going to be down patches along the way. However, those with a plan, those who stay true to the steps that got their campaign off on the correct foot in the first place are likely to be the ones who will get through the rough times and continue their journey forward.
When I began practicing as a coach, I remember something taught to me in my coaching classes. The standard curve for most coaching engagements when graphed on an access will usually show a significant upward spike in the early sessions. The client is excited about starting the coaching process and exploring new ideas. They feel liberated by the options open to them. They’re trying approaches they never felt open to them before. As time goes on however, the graph shows a significant dip in the curve, a valley if you will, where the enthusiasm level is even lower than when the coaching engagement started.
In any good coaching relationship the client is committing to working on different items between sessions. Sometimes the activities of their life get in the way, and their attention is diverted from focusing time on the commitments they have made. They hit a stumbling block on one of the steps of the commitment. Simply, the steps committed to are “work” in a sense and do require an effort on the client’s part. Those clients who find their coaching relationships successful are willing to put forth the effort required to meet their commitments. Those not ready to fully engage with a coach are not. Again, this is shown on the graph charting the progress of the coaching relationship. Those who find their coaching relationships successful, again begin a rise in their curve. For those clients not willing to put in the effort, they stay in the valley on the graph, possibly never to climb out if they are not willing to provide the effort and commitment.
Therefore, if you have been at something for quite a long time, (a job search, a set of studies, a project around your house, etc.), and you feel your energy for that project waning, take a step back. Think of a time when the project excited you or you know you had more enthusiasm for it, than you do at present. What was different then? Have you changed your approach in terms of doing the activities required to complete it, and can you get back to doing things as you once did. Do you need to reexamine your approach and come up with a fresh approach that will work for you and help you to reach your goal?
The “June swoon” does not only happen in baseball seasons, nor does it only happen in the month of June. It is likely to happen during any long range worthwhile project or task you undertake. In fact, the longer the project or campaign, the higher the likelihood of a period where you will need to battle through. However, recognizing that period as a regular part of any activity with which you are involved, and having the fortitude to push through it helps separate those who ultimately achieve what they desire and those who are left explaining why they are not able to meet their goals.
Tony Calabrese of Absolute Transitions provides suggestions, approaches and information on how you can find a new job, move up to a new position, or change your career. To get his free report, "Overcoming Obstacles to Change Your Life" visit http://absolutetransitions.com