Kobe Bryant is arguably one of the most gifted players the NBA has ever seen. But what elevates him above other great players is his mental toughness combined with his ability to focus. You can be great at many things but if you lack focus it can hinder you from producing the best results. Let’s look at Charles Rogers, former NFL and star receiver at Michigan State University. Rogers was gifted with blazing speed and athleticism, height, and was excellent at making great catches. However his time in the NFL was very short due to his lack of focus. Instead of focusing on getting better at his craft, Charles Rogers chose to use drugs even though it went against the NFL policies and procedures. Relying on talent alone to deliver is not a good idea, you must focus on the task at hand and getting better, lack of focus cost Rogers his NFL career.
We can relate the topic of mental focus to our careers as well. We are all gifted with various talents that we utilize on our jobs. I know professionals who are very talented and have great jobs who have experienced this lack of focus at some point in their careers. Maybe they were experiencing a difficult time in their life, or in the process of looking for another job. While these tough times will be difficult to deal with, you must maintain a level of professionalism and focus. The best thing for these people to do during these hard situations was to just take a few days off to regain their focus.
I have been in the situation where I was not satisfied with the position I was in and was in the process of looking for another job. I can attest that it is a difficult time to focus. My interest were divided between doing a great job and focusing on the client’s that I was to serve, and devoting time to conducting an active job search. In an interview when asked about how he maintains mental focus Kobe Bryant said
“Almost anyone can be in great physical condition, but it’s the ability to maintain focus and discipline with the game on the line and under duress that separates the good players from the great ones. Knowing how to maintain focus in sports can elevate your play from decent to your highest potential”.
Here are a few tips to help you keep focus when conducting an active job search while still employed:
1. Remember Why You Took The Job
Chances are if you are working in your field of choice, you are passionate about the position you are in. You may be dissatisfied with the company or various aspects of your actual position, but the commitment to doing a good job should remain the same. When I would get in a state where I was frustrated with certain things, I always would spend time just talking to the clients I was charged to serve. Seeing how their day was going, how things were going in their lives, finding out the commitment they had to coming to the organization, and it made me remember what I was there for. If you can see the benefit of you producing your best work has on clients it will motivate you to work hard for them. You owe it to the people you are charged to serve to do a good job while you are still there.
2. Don’t Burn Brides
If you lack focus it will show up in your work. You may have been a star employee but if you are not producing the same excellent work, your employer will notice. You really don’t want to give the impression that you are no longer interested in doing a good job and are more interested in finding employment elsewhere. This can leave bad blood between you and the organization even if you do find another job. You never know when you may need a reference or recommendation.
3. Balance Both Equally
It can feel like a circus act at first, but balancing an active job search and upholding your current commitments to your current place of employment is totally doable. The key is to make sure you are still performing your duties effectively. The best time to look for a job is while you are employed, since it cuts down on the stress of actually finding a job. You may have to devote most of your job search time after work. Discretion is a must when searching for new opportunities while still employed. Don’t go telling all your co-workers that you are actively seeking employment since they can tell other people. If you do happen to find employment alert your hiring manager as early as possible to give them time to replace you.