SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 24 July 2020Soft Skills: Why They are Harder Than You Think and How You Can Acquire Them
We always enjoy working with candidates. We have been around long enough to see what has helped candidates find success when job hunting. We have also seen what has negatively affected their experiences and performances. The biggest problem we found when with working with candidates is those who procrastinate had a difficult time finding success.
Everyone has put off certain tasks at some point in their lifetime. Some will say that procrastination is due because of laziness, others will say that procrastination is due to the inability to manage distress. Whatever the reason may be procrastination has been the enemy to us all. We may think that if we put off something, it might just disappear on its own. Or, perhaps we are thinking we will be less stressed if we go watch Netflix for 4 hours and then get to work. The truth is that procrastination will hinder our health, stress, performance, and self-esteem.
Instead of putting off more things, try these few tips to help you get back on track and land your dream job:
1. Focus on the why
Ask yourself, why did you even apply for the position or job? Why is it important to you? When you figure out why it’s important to you, you will want to work hard and do everything you can to get the position. Try writing down a big picture goal. Something you want to be able to accomplish by the end of the project. This is your why. As you work, focus on that.
2. Proactively complete things
If you are someone who gets stressed by many daunting projects, break them down into smaller chunks. This will help you feel less overwhelmed and more empowered. Mary Pharris from Fairygodboss shares her opinion saying:
"A tip that helps is to set daily, realistic and achievable goals that aid in your job search. By breaking it up into a few things to do a day, it can often seem less daunting and help you avoid procrastinating."
One thing that is helpful is to finish the biggest project first that way you can breathe more easily as time goes on rather than trying to cram everything at once before the deadline. Another way to proactively complete things is to have goals and to stick to them. Give your self-deadlines for when you want to accomplish each goal.
When working on a project with ProSky we help you make those goals by creating milestones. These milestones will help you stay on track. If you miss one milestone, it is much harder to catch up, so do all you can to hit those goals.
Get a calendar out and mark when your tasks are due. Google Calendar is a great tool to use because you can connect it to your phone or check the calendar at any computer you are logged in. That way you don’t have to carry a planner wherever you go. But do what works for you!
Writing tasks in a calendar will help you visually see what you must do and how much time you have to complete it. If you find yourself getting distracted easily you might want to try scheduling a time for every task you plan to do that day. Madelyn Mackie, a Chief Career Activator suggests:
"Instead of trying to do everything at once, try categorizing all the activities and then assign each category to a specific day. Try this example:
- Monday: Computer Day -Search job listings at targeted companies and update professional social media platforms.
- Tuesday: Resume Day –Customize and send resumes and cover letters for selected positions, complete online applications.
- Wednesday: Interview Prep Day – Review websites, annual reports and media reports on companies who have scheduled interviews. Prepare an interview outfit.
- Thursday: Network Day –Look for new connections on LinkedIn, ask for virtual introductions, check industry associations event calendars and register for upcoming events of interest. Contact a colleague and schedule a coffee or lunch meeting.
- Friday: Professional Development Day – Take online classes, listen to past webinar recordings, read career blogs and newsletters."
Also, make sure you write in some breaks to walk around or get a drink of water. Once you have accomplished a task or several tasks, reward yourself. This will help you to work harder and be more motivated.
4. Work with a friend or mentor
Find someone that you can be accountable with. It can be a friend, a family member or perhaps a co-worker. When you tell someone your goals and your deadlines, you are more likely to complete the tasks. Procrastination will not be an option. When working with ProSky you will get the chance to work with mentors. They are there to help you with your tasks.
Our advice to you is to get to know your mentors. Many times it is your mentor who will be the say of whether or not you get hired so it's important to make a good impression and to establish a good relationship. Ask your mentor's smart questions that will help you achieve your goals. Don’t expect your mentor to do all the work. You need to do your own research first before you ask questions.
One thing that hindered some of our candidates was that they were not reading the instructions. If you have a question read the instructions or application for the answer and if the answer is not there then please ask your mentor. You might even find yourself looking for mentorship from your teachers or old bosses. Ask them for advice and don't be afraid of criticism.
5. Be self-motivated
It can be difficult to motivate yourself, but when you do you are able to accomplish a lot. Find out what motivates you and keep working hard to stay confident in your self even when you start to feel hopeless. Check out these tips to help you be self-motivated. If you fall short on the project, stay hopeful. It’s not too late. Yes, you will have to work harder to catch up but stay positive with yourself. You will be surprised what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it.
Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Stay motivated to work hard and don’t procrastinate. You will find that if you are willing to work hard, you will find success. There is no doubt about it!