We all know that it’s easy to cocoon yourself during the long, dark and cold winter. It’s nice to get under the covers, order pizza and ice cream and binge-watch Netflix late into the night—all snug and warm. What’s expedient is not necessarily the best course of action. Consider what you’ve been doing the last four months. Have you been actively engaged with finding a new job or busy rationalizing your inertia with excuses? Does this sound familiar? First, it was that “companies don’t hire in the time period before the holidays.” Then, you’ll tell your family and friends that “it’s the holiday season; no one is around and they’re not hiring.” Before you realize, we’re in March and you’re complaining that “it’s not worth looking for a new job until bonuses are paid out and companies know their budgets and headcounts for 2019.”
There is validity to these claims; however, these are also excuses. There is a stark difference in types of people: the ones who find excuses not to do something—and others who work hard to find ways to make things happen. I recognize that my perspective may sound cold and callous. Given the large numbers of people that I’ve seen do amazingly well with a positive mindset, I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t share the following with you.
If you want to advance your career or find a new job, consider changing yourself first. In our current culture, it’s a commonly accepted practice to blame our failings on others. I didn’t go to a prestigious university, my parents pressured me into a career that I hate, my major in college doesn’t lend itself to a job that pays well, I’m from a disadvantaged group that’s discriminated against, recruiters won’t call me back, human resources doesn’t respond to my rèsumès and the hiring managers are jerks. This may be true, but adopting this victim mindset and helpless mentality won’t help matters. It is a harmful perspective, as you will view trying to succeed as pointless since the world is conspiring against you. Conversely, if you see impediments as hurdles to jump over, you will develop the confidence to overcome adversity and triumph.
Before you can accomplish anything in life, you need to become confident, assertive, bold and responsible. You must take charge of your own destiny. Don’t blame the weather for not going to the interview, buy an umbrella. The people who tend to fall behind always have excuses. The ones who succeed have goals, make plans to achieve and execute them each and every day. Savor every little victory and forget the petty annoyances. Ignore the negative people you encounter and use them to fuel your desire to prove everyone wrong. Every “no, thank you” is one step closer to a “yes” as long as you keep trying. Keep in mind, you only have one fleeting life and it’s worth the effort to take charge, live it on your own terms and achieve the success you deserve.