"Bring Your 'A' Game" is a common expression in athletics which means to arrive with your top attitude and ability because with today's competition we're going to need it. In life, every day is game day. You simply can achieve your goals with B- effort. I am amazed at how many positive and important words for the job search begin with the letter "A." Here is my top ten list of the ones I think are the most appropriate to help you transition.
1. Attitude - This is the very first step in the process because attitude is everything. If you don't change your attitude you simply can't achieve success. In my book, attitude determines altitude. Think about it: Where you go in life is up to you. It's important that you tell yourself positive affirmations each day. Without them, your thoughts tend to run wild down the road of negativity. Approach your job search with enthusiasm and energy. Let go of any anger you may have and accept that your new job is to find a job. Put into it exactly what you hope to get out of it.
2. Assessment - It's imperative to take stock of your situation. Who are you? What are your aptitudes? Where are you now? Where are you going? Who will help you? How will you get there? What are you hoping to attain? I know you want a job, but a job doing what? This is your time to inventory where you are educationally, spiritually, financially as well as what you are doing for fun, the quality of your relationships, your health and fitness. Why? Because they are all interrelated. Deficiencies in one or more areas can have a negative impact on the others.
3. Ambition - This is your time to really go for it! Be achievement-oriented not only in the short-term, but in the long-term. You will really need to step it up. Think about how it is going to feel when you accept your new job offer.
4. Attempt - The thought of finding a job can often be overwhelming. The most important thing is that you try. Try to do at least two things for your job search each day. Ask yourself: What micro-goals could I accomplish today? Just take the first step. Sometimes you have to send out way more resumes than you expected. If you are debating whether or not you should send one, then send it. When you don't attempt, you are really telling yourself "No!"
5. Action-Oriented - You have to be an active participant in your own rescue. Each week write down the five to ten activity items that you will implement. If your search is taking much longer than anticipated, what daily or weekly tasks can you accelerate? Is this the time to get more aggressive with your search?
6. Administer - What is your plan and approach toward your job search? Staying organized in your search is critical. Do you have a system for accurately recording the number of resumes you send out each week and to what organizations? Are you attentive to all the details of the search? Are you following through?
7. Announce - This is no time to isolate yourself on the Internet. Make yourself available for as many networking one-on-one meetings as possible each and every week. If someone is within three feet of you, please tell them about what you are seeking. You will need to deputize your job search agents and going public is one way to do it.
8. Advisors - Doing your job search alone is a very bad approach. It's important to assemble a dream team of upwards of ten advisors that you will ask for assistance. Who will be the positive influences during this time that you will align with? Arrange for regular meetings with them and keep them apprised of your progress. You receive when you ask. But when you ask, be specific about what you are asking for. Don't just say, "I am looking for a job." Instead, articulate what your three target jobs are and ask if they know anyone you could speak to that might be helpful. This dream team can give you validation and approval especially when you hit road blocks and obstacles along the way. When your search is over you can show your gratitude and acknowledge their assistance.
9. Adapt - Evaluate your progress each week? What's working? What's not working? What do I need to start doing? What do I need to stop doing? What do I need to do more of? What do I need to do less of? What do I need to do differently? Do I need to realign my job targets based on the reality of the market?
10. Avoid - Stay away from the following: analysis paralysis, anxiety and apathy. These do not serve you. Focus on your strengths and how this will be a new beginning for you. If you control your thoughts, you can control your destiny.