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Focus First, Network Second

Focus First, Network Second

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© 2010, Dr. Thomas J. Denham, Careers In Transition LLC

The number one reason clients work with me is because they lack focus.  A typical client may have been tossing around a few ideas in their head for a while, but are just not sure.  Sometimes, they’ve been on the Internet seeing what’s out there with little or no luck.  Without a sharply defined focus, this process quickly becomes scattered leaving them feeling confused, discouraged and at-risk of giving up any hope for change.  It’s no fun to feel like you don’t know what you are doing.  When you are out of focus, it’s just unsettling.

Too many of my clients are networking, without a clear elevator speech on the specific jobs they want.  When they talk without razor-sharp clarity, it leaves the networking contact feeling somewhat confused and frustrated on how to help.  The job seeker unintentionally conveys the message that they don’t know what they really want.  The networking contact may even respond with, “Well, when you figure it out, come and talk to me because I know a lot of people.”  Without having a focus, it’s a set up for failure.  Don’t let this happen to you.  My advice is to focus first, network second.  This will be your greatest career challenge.

You can demonstrate your emotional maturity by restraining your impulsive thoughts – yes, you can do it!  Stop running in place.  Do things that quiet the mind like prayer, meditation, reading, yoga or nature walks.  Most likely, you will find your focus in silence away from the constant noise and voices of digression.  Here you can get centered.  Block out any internal dialog that threatens to get you sidetracked.  Evict the voices of divergence.  A sharply-defined focus means you concentrate your energy on one thing at a time.  Hold your attention right there and stay fully present.  The times you were the most successful were the times you were the most single-minded in your focus.


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