We live in the most distracted era of human history. The internet is a double-edged sword. We waste hours every day staring idly at a screen. For many people their attention spans have shrunk to almost nothing. Our willpower has atrophied. We've developed some really bad habits that often require extreme interventions to reverse.
In today’s competitive landscape of businesses and careers, there’s a tough fight for every vacancy. Since coveted jobs are few, it has become imperative to get noted by prospective employers fast. But employability too has overcome its boundaries that were earlier defined just by skills.
Now, your employability includes a bigger vertical involving your behavior, attitude and aptitude. It has become more demanding than ever in terms of being simply qualified since it now tries to reach a better version of YOU.
To be everywhere is to be nowhere. In his book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport differentiates "deep work" from "shallow work." Deep work is using your skills to create something of value. It takes thought, energy, time and concentration. Shallow work is all the administrative and logistical things like email, meetings, calls, expense reports, etc. Most people aren't moving toward their goals because they are distracted by this shallow work.
Today’s employers don’t just look for qualified employees. They look for people who can create a path to the future – a road full of innovative solutions to solve business problems.
Qui-Gon to Anakin, Star Wars Episode I
In my experience, focus is the most important determination of whether you’ll achieve a goal or stick to creating a new habit. Not self-discipline, not rewards, not sheer willpower, not even motivation. If you can maintain your focus on a goal or habit, you will more often than not achieve that goal or create that habit. If you can’t maintain your focus, you won’t achieve the goal, unless it’s such an easy goal that it would have happened anyway. It’s that simple.
Even with only one goal, maintaining focus can be difficult. Here are some ways to keep your focus on yours goals.
⦁ Read about your goal as much as possible, on websites and blogs and in books and magazines. Put reminders on your wall, refrigerator, and computer desktop.
⦁ Send yourself reminders using an online calendar or reminder service.
⦁ Have a time each day to work on the goal, with a reminder in your schedule each day
Even Iron Man, aka Robert Downey, Jr. was not always so successful.
Although his parents were from the film industry and he had a good enough childhood, he still had a very difficult life. Robert was responsible for his own downfall even though he had so much potential. He suffered from major drug addiction and was arrested many times. Finally, in 2004, Robert quit drugs and started taking charge of his life focused on getting back into acting . Eventually, in 2008 he bagged the lead role in the movie Iron Man. Thanks to the Marvel, Downey Jr.'s movies have grossed nearly $6-billion he's worth about $300 million.
Tips to Improve Job Search Focus and Productivity
It might seem like a good idea to scroll through job postings while talking to a hiring manager and answer that email, too. But contrary to popular belief, multitasking isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
In fact, multitasking actually has the opposite effect; it usually slows you down, decreases productivity, and can decrease cognitive brain function. If you want the best results, focus on one thing at a time, such as writing a winning cover letter, redesigning your résumé or learning how to use videoconferencing for that upcoming Skype interview. By spending your time on one task at a time, you’ll do it that much better.
Read Job Descriptions Carefully
If you thought that reading one job description was like reading them all, think again. In order to boost your chances of getting past the applicant tracking system, getting your job application read by a potential boss, and getting called in for an interview, you’ll need to slow down your job search and focus on each job description, reading it carefully and then crafting your resume to match it. If you breeze through the description and send in a generic résumé and cover letter, you’re only producing quantity, not quality.
Take A Break
It’s easy to get stuck in a job search rut. You might even find that you’re answering emails and sending out applications on autopilot. When you take some time to relax, something amazing can happen—you start to think of fresh, new ideas. It could be something as simple as hiring a résumé writer to help you with your problematic resume.
Think of Where Your Job Search Might Be Going Wrong
Having the ability to be objective about your job search can be tricky, but ever-so-important when you’re cranking out what you consider to be good job applications and not hearing back from employers. One way to improve your job search productivity is to be honest with yourself and do some serious job search self-assessment to determine where it is that you’re going wrong. Maybe you get called in for many first-round interviews but no second interviews, which means you need to brush up on your interviewing skills. Maybe you’ve gotten some iffy feedback on the quality of your cover letters. Or perhaps you’re applying for positions that you’re not exactly qualified for. Take a good look at your job search style and figure out where the pain point is. By focusing on what’s going wrong, you can then fix it and make it right.
Sure, job searching can take up a lot of time, feeling like a full-time job in and of itself. But you should still try to stay updated on all of your industry’s latest updates and information. Not only can doing so arm you with the info you might need during a job interview and impress a potential boss with your current knowledge but also it can motivate you to keep job hunting by reminding you of all the things that you love about your field. Set up google alerts to track companies that interest you and look for some industry leaders to follow on social media.
Focus is your friend. By blocking out distractions you be amazed at how much you get done and how productive you can be.