Week 2. How’s it going? Perhaps a few months ago you decided that you wanted to ditch your job and get a career, and here you are 2 weeks in to achieving that goal.
As you progress through your career training reality begins to set in: homework, exams, time crunch! It’s easy to lose sight of WHY you are doing what you’re doing. Thinking to yourself “I want to change my life” and ACTUALLY changing your life are two very different things. You don’t get a position in a medical office choosing primetime television over reading the chapter assigned for pharmacology. So how do you sustain your willpower from orientation to the job search?
Set Small Goals Along the Way
If your only goal walking into class the first day is “finish the program!” you might find yourself lacking motivation sooner than later. Try setting some smaller goals that you can achieve along the way. “I want to do all my reading by Thursday night this week” or “I want 100% attendance this module” are examples of goals that can get you up and going, and tasks that you can accomplish in a shorter amount of time.
When you achieve one of your goals (Get through midterms without having to pull an all-nighter! Find a math tutor!) CELEBRATE your success! Plan an afternoon nap or get dinner at your favorite restaurant. Go to a movie or head out on a long bike ride. Do something you love just for you. Recharging your batteries will ensure you’re ready to tackle your next goal.
Choose a Visual Reminder of Your Goal
Even though these smaller goals are essential for your success, graduation and job placement remain the ULTIMATE goal. Find a picture of your ideal work environment or buy an outfit for your job interviews and put it somewhere you can see it daily. When you don’t want to write a paper, it’ll be there to remind you of your priorities.
Surround yourself with family members and friends that make room for the new demands on your time. You might not be able to hang out as much as before, but make sure they know what their support means to you. Also ensure that you gather your academic resources as well. Seek out your academic advisor or the student services coordinator or the Office of Academic Support and Advising (the list could go on...). Forming partnerships with the faculty and staff before you hit a speed bump will help you power through when and if things become difficult.
What are you doing to keep yourself motivated and working hard?