Building a long-term mindset with the right goals
Whether you’ve listened to my podcast for the last three years, or you’ve been connected with me on LinkedIn for the last week, you’ll know that building a strong mindset and being goal-orientated is something I talk about regularly.
Although I no longer actively recruit, the concepts surrounding a positive mindset and setting targets was introduced to me when I was a recruiter, and it’s stuck with me ever since.
Over the years, it’s been incredible to see that so many recruiters and recruitment business owners are openly talking about the importance of having a long-term mindset, rather than purely being motivated by the “here and now” of recruitment.
However, there are still a lot of recruiters (whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for years) who struggle with goal-setting and building a long-term mindset.
In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why recruitment has such high staff turnover, as a lot of “old school” methods are still being used to try and motivate the next generation of recruiters.
In this newsletter I’m going to talk about how you can build a long-term mindset that is personalised to your personal and professional goals, so without further ado, let’s get into it!
Step 1: Get organised
Whether it’s a digital note-taking system such as Evernote, or a physical notebook/planner, have a centralised system where you can physically make a note of your goals and thought processes.
This allows you to hold yourself accountable, and create a system that enables you to see your personal and professional progression.
If you enjoy organisation, I recommend investing in a bullet journal or a circle planner. Bullet journals are excellent for personalised goal-setting systems, and there are a ton of tutorials on YouTube showing you how to create a personalised journal.
Step 2: Set short, medium, and long-term goals (professional)
Please note that these goals aren’t “set in stone” and should be used as a starting point. I recommend working your way back, so writing a goal you want to achieve after 12 months, 6 months, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily.
These could be as big as “achieve my year to date target” or as small as “bill X this month” OR “onboard X number of clients this quarter”. This is a great way to track your business development efforts, as well as billings and overall performance. When it comes to professional goal setting, try to think of a mixture of quantitative and qualitative goals.
Simply put, think of goals that are numbers-driven (such as recruitment metrics and KPIs) and goals that are based on performance and attitude (such as a promotion, attending a lunch club, or being recognised for good recruitment practice).
I like to keep things simple with bullet points, but you can have colour-coded or tick-box systems, just make sure it works for you.
Step 3: Set short, medium and long-term goals (personal)
Just like professional goals, these are a starting point and don’t have to be set in stone. So, it could be “save £10,000 towards a mortgage” or “go on two holidays” or “pay off credit card debt”.
Tip: It’s important to set goals that are more than just monetary. Although earning well is an excellent goal to achieve, it will come naturally if you set a mixture of personal and professional goals that are rooted in lifestyle improvement rather than just materialistic things.
Even if you’re motivated by buying a Rolex or upgrading your car, it’s important to invest in your overall lifestyle. This naturally enables you to have a long-term mindset as you’re focussing on what consistent goal-hitting can give you over time. So, you’ll be thinking more about the future and what else you are yet to gain, rather than just “I need a watch” or “I need a handbag”. Personalised goals are crucial to developing a long-term mindset.
If you are motivated by money, then ensure you make time to understand what that actually means. £10K may not make you feel anything, but, being able to take your parents/partner to their dream destination because of the £10k would make you feel entirely different
Just because the person sitting next to you wants to bill 500k, doesn’t mean that you have to aim for the same thing. Ultimately, recruitment should fulfil your agenda as well as generating money for the company you work for or own.
Step 4: Have meetings (with yourself) about your goals
Just like a 1-2-1 with a manager or team member, it’s crucial to have meetings with yourself to review your goals, either changing them or updating your progress.
This allows you not only to build a healthy habit of staying present with what you want to achieve, but also enables you to build a long-term mindset as you’re consistently reminded of what your long-term goals are!
Personally, I review my goals on a weekly basis, and take around 15-20 minutes to check in with myself and track where I’m currently at. This for me is a non-negotiable, and it should be the same for you, too. Set up a recurring meeting on a specific day and use it as a retrospective session to review what is going well, what isn’t, and what you need to focus on the following week to get you closer to your goals.
Step 5: Prioritise your mental health
Recruitment is a challenging job, and if you aren’t kind to yourself, it can be easy to become demotivated by your goals on the days when you don’t feel great.
Whether it’s personal news, or feeling drained from a tough week – your mental health should always be prioritised when working in a high-pressure job such as recruitment.
If you are consistently missing your daily, weekly, and monthly goals, it’s important to review and reset your goals, so you can have a healthy relationship with your mind (and feel motivated and empowered to smash your goals, too).
Try to not feel guilt (and unlearn those feelings) when you take a break or reset. Ultimately, you need to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to feel good mentally, as that will impact all areas of your personal and professional life.
Step 6: Celebrate your wins
Whether it’s a small win like booking a meeting with a new client, or it’s a huge win like securing your dream house, make sure you celebrate the goals you achieve.
This process is about “peeling back the onion” on your personal and professional “why” and purpose.
If you make the time to be curious about why you’re doing things and how it’s making you feel, it will pay dividends in the future. Time and time again, the best recruiters tap into this as an anchor point when things get tough.
If you’re still looking for some inspiration, I recommend checking out this Ted Talk: Why the secret to success is setting the right goals
Another great resource is “start with why” by Simon Sinek. You can find variations of this on YouTube as well as a podcast.