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How to Move Forward Once You Achieve a Big Goal

How to Move Forward Once You Achieve a Big Goal
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    What do you do once you achieve your big goal and make it to the top? This can become a big problem if it looks like the only way you can go is down. Professional athletes and aging celebrities all face this issue. The problem can be one of maintaining the position if this is what you want or figuring out where to go next while avoiding a big let down.

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    There are various strategies for maintaining a position once you have achieved a milestone. Steve Rubel recently wrote about Jay Leno’s approach to avoiding complacency and constantly working hard to keep putting out great product – jokes in Leno’s case. So long as Leno is able to maintain the lead, he will be able to retire from the top spot at a time of his choosing – much like Johnny Carson did.

    But what if you don’t want to stay in the same place? Or, what if there is too much competition like there is in professional sports so that retiring at a late age can never become a real option? What if your goal was a one shot thing like completing a marathon? Something much more common is meeting a weight-loss goal. Once a dieter reaches the magic number, he or she feels good about the accomplishment and no longer feels as motivated to work at it. This leads to the stressful and demoralizing yo-yo diet effect where large swings in weight can also lead to serious health consequences.

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    There are some excellent strategies for moving forward while avoiding the slippery downhill slope once you reach a big goal. The most successful strategies are all based on somehow growing as a person. These strategies are as follows:

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    1. Set a new (bigger) goal. This works well in areas where there is room for expansion. It is a popular one for entrepreneurs with many who seem to bet the bank on the next bigger deal. There is always a bigger deal that can be made and the cycle can become endless.
    2. Move the original goalpost further out. Similar to the previous strategy except it is based on expanding the original goal rather than looking for a different bigger deal. For someone who has completed a marathon, the idea would be to work toward completing an overnight ultra-marathon.
    3. Fulfill an Unrelated Childhood Dream. Achievers often focus in an area while neglecting other interests. Once a big milestone has been achieved, why not go out and pursue a childhood passion? One of our colleagues did just that when he took two years out of the industrial equipment business to go and drive Greyhound buses through scenic routes. He would have done it for free since he dreamed of driving a big bus when he was a kid. He got his fill and went back into the industrial business rejuvenated having fulfilled his childhood dream.
    4. Quit. Yes, this might be a good option if you had to go through hell to achieve your goal. Suppose you bought and operated a small coal mine and now have a full bank account along with a bad case of black lung. Let’s say you’ve had a popular blog or program running for a few months or years and met your goals. Or have your third book published and are not super keen on writing a fourth one. It is often better to quit while you are ahead and leave on a high note. A completed goal does not need to automatically need to lead to a new one. Take a break, smell the roses and don’t worry about rushing into a big new adventure right away (if ever again).
    5. Join the Community. Let’s say you completed a marathon or met a weight-loss target. Join or stay with a club you already joined even if you don’t have a current goal. Help others achieve their goals and learn from your experiences. Chances are you’ll stay in shape and maybe set a new goal in the area if it serves your interests.
    6. Become a Sportscaster. Many athletes stay productive after achieving a big goal by getting involved in different activities that are in the area they love. This strategy basically involves staying in the loop.
    7. Don’t Let it Die a Slow Death. If you are finding that your career has peaked, be careful to avoid becoming a casualty of a slow painful death. Keep going, change goals, quit or stay involved in a different capacity but don’t achieve your goal and then let things slowly crumble because it could suck the life out of you in the process. Too many people experience the letdowns associated by passing their peak without having established someplace else to turn.

    These strategies can also work for anyone who has not yet met a big goal or figures out there is no viable way to reach it. Make the necessary adjustments to the goals so they can become achievable. Gene Roddenberry hasn’t been to another planet but he built a Star Trek universe. He turned his dreams into reality in a way that was doable.

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    Our focus here is on those of us who have met one or more big goals. If the goal was a worthwhile one, it likely would have taken a great deal of effort, passion, time and money to complete. Setting and achieving big goals usually involves enormous personal growth. Once the goal has been met, the growth shouldn’t stop. Growth can be in the same area or in new areas. But be careful to avoid the opposite effect – personal shrink.

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    Published on January 28, 2020

    How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

    How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

    As someone who has been in recruiting for over 10 years I can tell you the interview is vitally important to getting that new job you really want. During the interview process, there will most likely be at least 2 interviews, a phone interview and an in person interview. Both are important.

    Companies can of course have different interviewing processes but in general, there is at least one phone interview, also known as a phone screen, and a live, in-person interview. The in-person interview can be with one person or it might be with a variety of people. While they are both important, the live interview is typically the one that will make or break you as a candidate for the position you are interviewing for.

    Many of the interview questions we will review here will more likely come up during the live interview. But it’s a good idea to be prepared for them on the phone interview as well.

    To illustrate how important the live interview is, I’ll tell you about my search that happened a year ago. I’d decided it was time to move on from the role I’d been in for a little over 6 years. As I started researching and looking for a new opportunity, I began down the path with 2 companies. With the one I landed with, I’d had 3 separate phone screens, each one an hour long. They must have thought they went well because I was asked to fly to the city where the corporate office is at and do an in-person interview. — with 8 people.

    Yeah, it was a long day. The good news is I rocked the interviews across the board. I flew home that evening and the following day, I received a call with the job offer. That was less than 24 hours after I’d had the in person interview. This is how important the live interview is.

    So how to ace an interview? We can dive right in to helping you nail the 10 most tricky interview questions:

    1. What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

    This is a personal favorite of mine. The primary reason for this question is not to actually find out what your biggest weakness is. Unless of course, you say something like “showing up to work on a regular basis,” then it’s probably going to get you kicked out of consideration for the role.

    The main reason for someone asking you this question is to see if you are self-aware. That is if you know your weaknesses and are smart enough to account for them.

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    The smart play here is to answer in a modest way. You want to be able to show that your biggest weakness actually has an upside. For instance, I usually say that mine is impatience. Which is true, I like to get things done. But what I ensure what I point out is that even though I am impatient, it’s because I like to crank and get a lot of work done.

    2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

    Interestingly enough, a lot of people don’t have an answer to this question. It’s designed to find out if you’ve actually done research on the company and if you are excited about this position.

    When I ask this question, many people have told me something like “because it looks like a good opportunity”. I mean, can you be any more generic?

    The key to answering this is to show you’ve done research on the company and that you are enthusiastic about the actual position. Companies want people that are excited to work there, not just someone that shows up for a paycheck.

    3. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

    Employers are asking you this question to see if you have somewhat of a plan for your career. It doesn’t have to be completely mapped out in a step by step manner but, a general overall plan is good to see. It means you are goal oriented and are working towards something.

    Don’t worry about answering in a way that states you are planning on sticking with the company until you retire. Rather, focus more on how it’s important to you to continue to learn and get better and better at what you do. Companies like to hire self-motivated people.

    4. Tell Me About a Time You Messed Up

    Or tell me about a time something didn’t work out the way you planned. Similar in concept. The key here is to show that you take accountability for your actions and how you react to things going wrong.

    Companies like to see that you are willing to accept responsibility for the things you oversee and own up when you are wrong. People that always find a way to blame their missteps on other people or circumstances typically don’t make good team mates.

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    The other component here is things don’t always go as planned, how good are you at adapting and thinking on your feet.

    5. Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?

    This may seem like a place to launch into all the things you don’t like about your current job. Or to talk about what a terrible person your boss is. Don’t do it. That’s the path you do not want to go down. And that’s really what this question tends to prod out of many people.

    If I am interviewing you and ask this question and you tell me all the ways your boss doesn’t appreciate you and your company has terrible leadership, I’m thinking what you’re going to be saying about me in a year when you are interviewing somewhere else.

    Make sure you are framing your answer in a way that doesn’t shed bad light on your current or most recent employer. You want to focus on things like you’ve enjoyed working for the company but your growth options are limited there so you are exploring outside opportunities.

    6. How Would Your Current Manager Describe You?

    This question gives you the opportunity to show off your strengths and what your boss appreciates about what you bring to the table. You want to focus on the positive traits that your boss likes and how it helps you in your role.

    What you do not want to do is sprinkle in the things your boss doesn’t think as highly of. Don’t say something like my boss would describe me as a focused worker, at least on the days I make it into the office.

    7. Tell Me About a Time You Overcame an Obstacle

    Another one of my favorite questions. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are able to deal with roadblocks.

    Things don’t always go smoothly, so having people on the team who are able to solve problems has huge upside.

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    Being able to overcome obstacles is a great trait to have. Make sure you have a few stories about how something didn’t go as planned that caused a challenge and how you were involved in solving the problem. It’s a way of turning a bad situation into a good one.

    8. Why Should We Hire You?

    If you are at the point of a live interview, you should be highly interested in the position.

    By this point, you should have a pretty clear picture of what the role is and how your skills and experience will help you succeed. The reason this question is being asked is to see if you are the right candidate for this role.

    This gives you a great opportunity to tell your interviewer how your expertise will positively impact the role. Right now, you are in the spotlight to clearly show that your experience is the perfect fit for the position and why. Shine on!

    9. What’s Your Greatest Achievement?

    Employers tend to ask this question to gain an understanding of what your big wins were. What are the really impactful things that have happened during your career and how you were the reason why they happened.

    This is another great opportunity for you to toot your own horn. What you want to be conscious of is how you tell the story about your biggest achievement. You want to make sure you say why it was such a big achievement.

    If possible, it’s always good to include your team as part of the big win. Employers love to hire people who can make things happen but, it’s also important they understand the importance of team work.

    10. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

    You might be asking yourself why this is a tricky question. Honestly, it’s not a tricky question if you are prepared for it.

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    What the interviewer is looking for here is how interested and excited you are for the position. You’d be surprised at how many people answer this question with a blank stare or have no questions prepared.

    Again, if you are at a live interview, you should be highly interested in a position and the company. You will convey how interested you are in the opportunity with some well thought out questions to ask.

    You don’t want to just ask one question like “How often is payday”? Have at least 4 to 5 questions prepared but don’t overwhelm your interviewer with dozens and dozens of questions. Show that you’ve given some serious thought to this position by coming prepared with solid questions to ask.

    The Bottom Line

    There you go, insight to nailing the 10 most tricky questions during the interview process. There are, of course, many other questions you might get asked during the interview process but, these tend to be the ones that trip most people up.

    Remember to take your time and thoroughly prepare for the interview. You don’t have to memorize your answers or anything but having a good idea of how you’d answer these questions will help you ace the next interview.

    Here’s to being career advancement ready!

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    Featured photo credit: Romain V via unsplash.com

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