How Badly Do You Want It?

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A client of mine recently landed a big job at a very big organization.  I had the pleasure of coaching him from start to finish.  We constructed a new personal brand for him.  Refreshed and leveraged his network.  Built a new resume, new cover letter, new LinkedIn page and re-branded them.  As interviews came, we prepared for each step like crazy, in fact being the staunch believer in preparation that I am, it’s fair to say we over prepared.  We were researched, practiced, articulated and fully ready for each step as it came. 
 
What was unique was the interview gauntlet he was put through as well as the amount of time it took from first interview to job offer – over 5 months.  As part of it all, he had two separate full days of interviews, each day starting at 8am and ending at 5pm.  He had multiple panel interviews on those days, interviewing with 18-20 people each day, literally.  There were no lunch breaks, as even those were consumed with additional panel interviews. 
 
As much as I worked with my client on this ridiculously lengthy process and as much as I would love to say it was my own lightning bolts of coaching brilliance that got him the job, reflecting back on it now I know exactly how he ended up with the job offer.  And it was something I couldn’t give him as a career coach…. It was his persistence.

The hiring organization moved at a glacial pace and did a really poor job of communicating with him regularly.  Despite his best efforts, there were literally weeks of silence between interview steps when they left him in the dark.  This job itself was a perfect fit and next step for his career, he wanted it badly and he simply was not going to give up.  It would have been really easy to call it quits.  What I really admire is how he just wouldn’t take his teeth out of the ankles of this opportunity.  It was going to be his.

What about you?  How badly do you want what you’re currently pursuing?  Are you giving it your unbridled persistence or thinking of giving up?

Here are some of the things that persistent people do that keeps them going long after most people have thrown in the towel:

*Start With The Right Expectation – Don’t underestimate the amount of time required to reach your goal.  Persistent people expect a hard way, not an easy one and are mentally prepared to encounter setbacks.  The size of their commitment is proportional to the size of their desire.

*The Goal Is All-Consuming – For persistent people it’s the goal itself that drives them.  They focus on it constantly with immense energy.  Reaching this goal becomes the focal point of their life.   They devote a major portion of their time and thinking to it.  

*Confidence – People who overcome the odds are confident in what they want and are seldom swayed.  They aren’t effected by what others think of them.  Their confidence gets challenged but it never gets destroyed.  They tell themselves it’s OK to be discouraged but it’s not OK to quit. 

*Capability To Adjust And AdaptPersistent people don’t stubbornly continue in the face of evidence that their current plan isn’t working.  Instead they look for better ways that will increase their odds of success.  They expect a series of dead ends, detours and adjustments but have complete faith they will reach their final goal.  They are quick to admit when something isn’t working.

*They Have Guides, Coaches And Mentors – Most persistent people have a carefully chosen group of people around them.  These are people they admire, emulate and get counsel from.  These can be people who are actually involved in their lives such as mentors and confidants or they can be figures that they have read up on and who have deeply impacted them. 

So here’s the net, net.  Persistence is steel determination.  It’s the ability to maintain action regardless of your feelings.  And when the struggle is real, a huge measurement of your own greatness is how many times you pick yourself up and keep at it.

So press on!

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