I just graduated in MBA from one of the top European Business Schools and is in the process of job hunting. Right now, my days are filled with editing and re editing CV’s, the same for cover letter, researching about companies, networking both online and offline and also catching up on your social life and staying connected with my family living halfway across the world.
The next step of my career can go in any direction based on the decisions that I make today. The choices that I am presented with in terms of the geography, position, company, interests are numerous that it will be a huge decision tree if I plot it on a whiteboard. It has come to a point where I want to eliminate my options so that I can focus on what I really want to do. It was one of the reasons why I set to do an MBA.
But, the most difficult hurdle that I need to overcome today is to not give in to the peer pressure. My colleagues all around me have already started working those who did their degree as part of their company sponsorship. And the other part of the crowd has either started working in their family business or getting job offers without having to trip on a visa sponsorship bump.
It becomes easy to just randomly apply to positions that I am least interested in just to prove a point. Then I realise that this is the problem with today’s society. The yearning to fit into a mould, the need to follow a crowd, the fear of being left out. We need to understand that when you are left out, you actually stand out and then it becomes easier to wipe your vision and see more clearly.
Be it following a trend in Instagram or traveling around just so that you can post the pictures and get the validation from people who you don’t care about.
So how do you do that?
The most important factor is consciousness. If I tell you 90% of your daily activities are performed without your active consciousness, you will be surprised. This is essential so that you don’t need to remember to breathe or digest or eat and your mind and body can perform tasks that requires your attention.
But sometimes we go into an autopilot mode where we take decisions without paying attention or thinking about the consequences. Something that I have been following recently which has helped me tremendously is that take 10 seconds break before you set out to do anything. For example, the next time your hand reaches out to your smartphone to check your email, wait for 10 seconds, and then ask yourself is that really important?
Take 10 seconds before you begin any task to retrospect
I have observed that it completely changed the way I use my cellphone. That 10 seconds rule is enough to just break out of that zombie coma and get control of your mind. Similarly, if I see a job opening and I am rushing to apply for it, I take 10 seconds before I click ‘apply’ and think about is it worth spending a day applying for this job? Is this job going to enrich my life? Is this what I set out for? Most of the times I get my answer and it helps me not only to save my time and also to break out from that FOMO.
Try this every day for any task that requires your cognitive skill and you will see a world of difference. You will be surprised that how much time you waste time on inconsequential things by just following the crowd.