By Kristin Hiemstra A shameless believer of human potential, Kristin is as dynamic and energetic about career issues as a nice person can be. She combines real world knowledge from her many years of hiring experience in Washington, DC with a decade of college admissions experience.

4 Steps to Self-Leadership and Managing Career Changes

By Kristin Hiemstra Posted June 29, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Leadership is a buzz word among every institution world wide including in the military and business communities. However, few people talk about how to lead one’s self which is the most important skill a person can have to reach their potential. Here are 4 steps to great self-leadership:
 
1. Manage your emotions. Great leaders teach people how to participate in the world as it is. They do not operate under illusions nor do get paralyzed by fear, instead they teach people how to create with the opportunities available to them. Managing one’s emotions requires the ability to CHOOSE a thought pattern that leads to success. For example, during a recessive economy there are fewer jobs available. That is ONE reality. Another reality is that even in a recession people are getting jobs. Another reality is that there are millions of people who live in countries where there are no opportunities for work and your worst day would be one of their best.  
 
As a job seeker you get to decide which reality you want to focus on. The reality you choose will determine your emotions and it will define you entire job search and ultimately overall life experience.   
 
2. Manage your actions. Great leaders have a goal. Franklin Covey did a study on goal setting and found that if a person has one goal they have an 80% chance of reaching it. If they had 2 goals each goal dropped to 64% and three goals was a measly 30%. You can be anything you want in life but you cannot be everything. Self-leadership means intentionally and actively developing job search skills that will allow you to shape your destiny and ultimately, to live your potential. This knowledge allows you to pursue the jobs you want, and leave behind the one’s you do not.
 
3. Believe in your Mission. Great leaders know where they are going and why it is important they get there. For the career seeker, this is referred to as “answering a call” and it is one of the most important keys to finding fulfilling and meaningful work. Discovering your personal call requires some serious introspection, an open mind and the ability to decode meaningful life events. Internally, once you understand how to listen to your intuition you will have a better idea of how you are supposed to participate in life and understand why it is so important to our society that you realize your potential. Externally, as a job seeker you must be able to articulate your value in a way that is meaningful to an employer.
 
4. Persevere. Great leaders persevere regardless of the obstacle. In terms of self-leadership, no life mission can be accomplished without the ability to overcome setbacks. As a job seeker you will undoubtedly encounter a roller coaster of emotions. Regardless of how you feel, you must keep at it. If he can write one of the most beautiful songs in history deaf, there is no excuse big enough for you not to have the job you love!

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