The Job of Your Life with Karen Schaffer

Get out of your rut and find your passion

Posts Tagged ‘persistence’

Above Average Persistance > Anything Else

Posted by Karen on March 17, 2009

Had an always enlightening and informative meeting with my friend Bruce Sellery today (click on the link for a fabulously cute photograph amongst other helpful stuff).

In the course of our meeting (mainly focused on learning some business-industry related information) he said one of the biggest predictors of success in getting into the television industry (and he should know) is persistence. Basically, someone with average everything – experience, intelligence, creativity etc – who has above average persistence will most likely get a job in television.

And I think that’s true for any career path.

The people who get what they want persist.

And they persist in a number of ways:

1) They persist in knocking on doors. People who succeed knock on more doors, or return to old (slammed shut doors) asking new questions or providing new information and being generally cheery about it all. Once I told a woman she didn’t have enough experience to work with me as a career coach. She said “What do you need to see from me to hire me?” Great question. And leaves the door open for her when she obtains some of the experience I outlined.

2) They persist in looking for other ways to do the thing they love. Okay, so maybe being on air in television isn’t going well. What about writing for television. What about story producing (what you learn behind the scenes is many times it’s the producers that come up wit h the interesting stories…the on air person is just a talking head who doesn’t have much interaction or command of the story direction beyond their 5 minutes on air). Sometimes producers jump to on air. Sometimes on air people become their own producers. There can be more than one way to the goal.

3) They persist in learning more about themselves and how they are perceived. They persist in getting feedback – authentic, truthful feedback. They listen to that feedback as a way to learn more about how to get what they want, not as a judgement on whether or not they can.

4) They persist because they know IT TAKES TIME to get what you really, really want. Longer than you think. And by persisting with that in mind, they see the longer term picture. Beyond this week, next month or even next year.

The people I see in my office who have the best shot of having a great career are motivated to continue, to keep looking for new doors to open, to keep having conversations, to circle back around if those conversations don’t come to anything, to get support, to ask more questions, to keep the focus strong.

What gets in the way of you persisting?

What has been your experience when you have persisted at something you wanted?

How could you re-charge your persistence levels?


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