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Using Persistence for Career Development

Planned Happenstance is a career development tool/theory that Krumboltz developed with Mitchell & Levin. The theory is based on how to “capitalize” on every day events to boost our own careers, improve our lives and live a life we love. Let’s do this!

There are five career development skills based on planned happenstance that we can utilize daily they are: curiosity, persistence, flexibility, optimism, and risk taking.

Krumboltz (1999) states that in order to develop in our careers we must use persistence to deal with obstacles.

We ALL face challenges in reaching our goals, the key to overcoming these barriers is persistence.  It doesn’t matter if the challenge is dealing with microaggressions while in the work place like at a Predominately White Institution (PWI) or landing an interview to your dream job.  This is not to minimize a challenge or to compare them but to remind you that a difficulty is just that – an obstacle to overcome. 

Here are few tips and strategies to use persistence when facing an obstacle.

  1. Persistence is defined as “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition”  Read that again and again.  Put that somewhere and remember, that the only way to make any progress to any of your goals is through persistence.  Does this mean keep doing something you hate? No, this means to remember your end goal.  Whatever your end goal is, there will be tedious things you have to do to get there.    So stop whining and get it done!
  2. Have the courage to persist.  There are times that we are afraid to keep doing something because we are afraid of what success will mean.  Again, take time to reflect and journal, what is keeping you from persisting? Is there something you are afraid of?  What would it mean if you met your goal?
  3. Ask yourself – is this the first time I am facing this problem?
    • if no, what did you do before to overcome this?
    • if no, what lesson do I need to learn from this, that it keeps arising?
    • if yes, what do you have control over?
      • How can you overcome this now?
      • Evaluate the situation; research the problem/obstacle and reflect on what the best course of action you should take in your persistence towards your goal

“The key of persistence will open up any door that has been closed by resistance.”  John Di Lemme

Do you need someone to give you an extra push? Schedule a free 15 minute consult with me to push yourself in the right direction. 

Here are some books to help you create habits that will help you be more persistent in reaching your goals:

  • The Power of Habit
  • Atomic Habits
  • High Performance Habits
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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