The Importance of Persevering Toward Your Goals

Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter, April 2020

Many people are understandably anxious about the impact of COVID-19 on their health and also the economy. In last month’s newsletter I discussed clients who were thinking of abandoning their job searches because “no companies are hiring.”

Recently another theme has emerged: discouragement. This is also completely understandable. At some organizations, hiring has been put on hold. Job seekers who have been looking for several months before the virus erupted feel that they are back to “square one.” Other people have been laid off or had their work hours cut dramatically.

It is especially important in times like these to persevere toward goals. This means to continue taking action, even when there are obstacles, setbacks and uncertainty. Here are some tips to help you to persevere despite challenges:

Set goals that are personally meaningful as it helps to sustain motivation. Write down the ways that your life will be better once you achieve your objective. Make it a habit to review this information daily.

Choose goals that are realistic and achievable. After his lay off, Sam set a goal of being hired within one week. When we examined the likelihood of this happening, he revised it to two months.

Establish benchmarks to track progress. This allows you to see what is working, and do more of it, and also to stop putting effort into activities that are not getting results.

Be realistic in expectations of yourself. It is important to push yourself to take consistent action toward a goal. However trying to push yourself beyond limitations is counter-productive. Sarah knew that a crowded, noisy job fair would be overwhelming. She opted instead to arrange one-on-one networking meetings.

Be sure not to confuse persevering with perseverating, which is becoming fixated on a thought or action. This is problematic if the ideas or behaviors are interfering with achieving a goal. Examples include applying to jobs that one is not qualified to perform; continuing to accept work in a certain field, despite repeated job losses; arguing against a decision that has already been made.

Remember, employers are filling job openings, and COVID-19 will end at some point. Rather than allow yourself to become paralyzed with negative thinking, focus on the future and challenge yourself to do at least three things every day to reach your goal.

Copyright 2020, Barbara Bissonnette, Forward Motion Coaching