Going From Zero To Breakthrough In Your Career

breakthrough career adviceMore than six million Americans will lose federal unemployment benefits in 2012, with 1.8 million running out in January alone. It's a scary situation to be in, and with rejection letters piling up and unemployment money quickly drying up, frustrated jobseekers are in need of a career breakthrough. As you can imagine, this is one of the hottest topics that people are asking me questions about on my Facebook page and in Twitter conversations. Now it is more important than ever to transform your fear to fuel. Here are some steps for doing it.

Find Your Passion And Create Your Flight Plan

Identifying what your passions are is the best way to find your purpose in life. In fact, it is the only way to get on the launchpad. Some of the most successful people are the ones who are doing what they are passionate about, day in and day out. To them, it's not even work. Everyone has at least one passion in life, if not more. Finding your passion and creating your flight plan are the first steps in making an impact and going from Zero to Breakthrough in your career.

Instead of beating your head against the wall by trying to fit into someone else's box doing something you don't like, choose paths that suit your talents, interests and personality. When you have sheer umph for what you're doing, it will take you a million times further than the person who's just in it for some external reason -- money, fame or family pressure. Think back to when you were a kid and said, "I want to be _______ when I grow up." As a friend of mine, Michelle Villalobos, said, "Absolutely do not worry about the 'how.' Concentrate on what you want; worry about the 'how' after the goal and vision have been created."

Don't Be Average

One of my favorite quotes of all time is, "Do what average people do, you'll have what average people have." What job seekers don't get is how competitive the market is today. They may understand that more people are trying to fill fewer jobs, but they don't do enough to help their chances. Prepare for the competition, because the competition is preparing for you!

Announcing your presence with a high-speed flyover is something every job seeker needs to do. It serves two purposes: First, people come out of the woodwork to help you. How can anyone give you guidance, make introductions or offer advice if they don't know what you're up to? This is also where the "how" starts to take shape. Second, letting your objective be known is a way of holding yourself accountable for results. Don't just say, "I'm looking for a job," but get specific. "I'm an expert recipe developer," or "I make award-winning cocktails," or "I'm planning to use my skills as a photographer and open a portrait studio."

Is there anything you would make an at-any-cost effort for? Can you recall a situation where you said, "I am going to do whatever it takes and nothing will stop me?" That is thinking with a breakthrough mentality, which simply means refusing to settle in the smallest of moments and demanding a breakthrough life. It's this kind of thinking and determination that will bring you that much closer to your next job or anything you've set as a goal or aspiration. You might even decide to be an entrepreneur, and you won't need a job!

Turn Fear Into Fuel

If you're one of the 6 million Americans set to lose your unemployment benefits, you're probably feeling a lot of fear. Turn that fear into fuel to find a job. Have you really showed stick-to-it determination? When the first attempt at something doesn't work, or even the second, third and so on, don't be scared and walk away or give up. Try something else, and if that doesn't work, try again. Keep trying until you find something that does work.

Post-Flight Checks Help Prevent Future Obstacles

It's especially important for pilots who have flown into battle to check for damage to their aircraft and identify the kind of repairs needed, as well as review the mission to see what can be better executed next time. Take a good look at your resume, cover letter and "elevator pitch"-- yes, you should be able to describe what you want in the span of an elevator ride (or the time it takes a plane to take off from the runway) -- and really dissect it with an objective eye. Better yet, gather your crew or ask a "wingman" to provide you with honest feedback. We have plenty of wingmen, including me, in The "Ready Room" (my Facebook page). Review the weaknesses and make improvements for the next time you apply for a job. Remember that failure is not your final destination, so even if you receive one rejection letter after another, keep pushing forward.

Successful Jobseekers Do 4 Things:

  1. Avoid making excuses
  2. Commit to their commitment
  3. Take action no matter how minor it may seem
  4. Review, recharge and re-attack

A breakthrough mentality creates a breakthrough life. There's no such thing as a dream out of reach or a career that's unobtainable. Turn your aspirations into action and create a path that will get you out of your rut. You're not stuck; you're just not moving. Who needs a runway? Take off from where you are.

Next:The 2 Best Ways To Follow Up With An Employer (Without Being A Pest)

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