When I wrote my first blog post for JibberJobber, back in 2006, my thought was “I’m a super writer. Number one, in the bag.”
A few years later, after writing almost every day, I went back to that first post to see what it was about, and what my style was. I was appalled that the post was so bad.
I spoke in Minneapolis on my first tour there, and knocked it out of the park. I had multiple engagements and lots of people talked to me after each presentation. I knew I did a super job, and left the area proud of my accomplishments.
About three years (and maybe a hundred presentations) later, I was back in the Twin Cities. After one presentation, someone came up and said “that was really, really great. I was here three years ago and you are way better than back then!”
I thought that this presentation was as good as that presentation… I hadn’t realized I had improved, but the thing that stuck out was that if I was “way better” then I must have really stunk three years earlier!
In both stories I looked at how bad I was when I thought I was really great. I was a bit discouraged, and concerned that I didn’t have the self-awareness to recognize I had a long way to go to improve. That is one way of looking at it.
The other way to look at it is that I did improve, measurably and markedly. I did not do this overnight. Rather, it happened because I continued to practice my crafts.
This will happen for you, too, as you continue to do certain tasks.
The more emails you write the better you (should) get.
The more calls you make the better you sound, and the more comfortable you are.
The more interviews you go to the better you come across to the interviewer.
The more you do your thing, the better you get. You may not see it, and you may not recognize the growth you experience, but others will. Keep practicing, keep doing, and reap the benefits of continual improvement. This applies to every aspect of the job search… especially the ones you don’t like to do!