Today’s guest post comes from Logan Strain

If you are amongst the people who really know what kind of career you want to be in, count your blessings.

Many people struggle to even make it to that point. But now that you have a firm idea of what position would really take advantage of your skills and interests, you’re probably facing the next big challenge: actually getting the job.

Making that leap won’t happen overnight, and will probably take a lot of networking, job prospecting, and resume sending before you land that coveted position. However, there is one big thing that you can do today that will make all of that focus and effort a whole lot easier: start.

There is a psychological phenomenon called the Zeigarnik Effect which is massively useful to job seekers who know how to use it. It observes that when you start a task, that task firmly sticks your mind until it is completed. Just knowing that there is unfinished business puts your brain to work. Since people think about the incomplete task so often, they become more motivated to see it through and are able to find more creative solutions.

So if you wanted to harness the motivation you need to pursue your career change until it happens, it would be a smart idea to take a small — but meaningful — step towards what you ultimately want to accomplish.

Here are four ways you can harness the Zeigarnik Effect to focus your brain towards accomplishing  a successful career jump.

Adjust Your Resume to Highlight Your Relevant Skills

If the job you want is different than any job you’ve had before (and considering you want to switch, it is), then you need to create a new resume that highlights your potential aptitude.

Try and think about what sort of skills a hiring manager wanting to fill your dream job is looking for, and then craft a resume that showcases those skills. Tweaking your resume for your new career will take you less than an hour, but it will be a big and important first step.

Buy Business Cards With Your Goal Job Title

Carrying around business cards with the job you eventually want to be doing is a potent motivator.

All of a sudden your next job, and your new life, isn’t just an idea you have in your head.

It is something that is part of the real world and made permanent with ink and paper. Keeping the card in your wallet will remind you of your goal every time you pay for something.

Get a Library Book

Pursuing a new career means that you have a lot of learning to do.

What sorts of decisions will you have to make when you get your new job? What is the industry like? What are the different strategies and tactics people use?  What are the biggest success stories? What are some of the most notorious failures?

There is absolutely no reason to wait until you get an offer letter from you dream job until you start educating yourself. Go down to your local library and borrow at least one book that covers the kind of information that a person with your perfect career wants to know.

This will put you down the path towards making your career change a reality, plus you will be much better equipped to handle the challenges once you actually get your new job.

Subscribe to An Industry MagazineBlog

Since every industry is always changing, every career is always changing as well.

Make it a point to stay abreast of the newest information coming out of the sector that you want to work in by subscribing to an industry magazine or prominent blog. Every time you read more hot-off-the-press information about your desired career path, you will feel more confident that you can make the leap.

Obviously, none of the above actions will help you get into your new job by themselves.  Your personal switch will only happen after you can successfully present your unique experience, skills, and abilities to the right people.

But taking these sorts of small steps towards what you want to achieve will give you the mindset you need to take on such a big challenge.

Now Your Turn

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so fire away.

Tell me: What’s the single thing you’ve done that’s helped spur you towards your dream career?
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