Leadership Transformation Blog  

008 “Winning the Wait”: A Proven Strategy for Career Resilience

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Leadership Strategy

When you think you’re ready for your next opportunity, but things are not going the way you think they should, what can you do to attract the right kind of attention to your capability and readiness? Not in a desperate panicked state—but in a way that allows you to move forward purposefully and powerfully. 

In other words, what can you do when you believe you’ve prepared as well as you can already?

Consider the experience of the 2020 BYU Women’s Cross Country team who, in 2020, received the disheartening news that the NCAA National Championship meet would be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But while the world came to a screeching halt, the team stayed motivated—doubling down on training and driving toward the vision that they set their sites on achieving. Their coach Diljeet Taylor challenged them to “win the wait,”1 and that’s what they did.

In the 2021 NCAA National Championship they emerged as the winners.

You may find yourself in a similar situation at work—you’ve done everything within your power to seize an opportunity but delays or roadblocks are stopping you from attaining it. 

So what does it mean to “win the wait”?

Developing Career Resilience by “Winning the Wait”

“Winning the wait” is grounded in your consistent intention. Keep your eye on your goal, and you continue your earnest preparation. Demonstrate your career resilience by relating to any form of “no” as “no, not yet,” rather than “no, not ever.” 

Continue to be observant, curious, and steady. Observant in terms of what you might offer to do in the interim; curious about what is obvious to you that is not obvious to the decision makers about your readiness; steady in the sense of your consistency in showing up and making a positive difference.

Focus on What is in Your Control and Extend Your Influence

One of the worst things that can happen to you as you’re waiting for your next win is to become jaded by the delay, whether it’s because you feel overlooked or taken for granted. Any story you create or believe that puts you in a victim mindset can inhibit your future success. If you become judgmental or mistrustful, you tend to repel opportunities.

Instead, career resilience comes as you focus on what you can do, and broaden your vision of where it might be possible for you to offer the service, value, and leadership you want to provide. Deliberately expand your view and your reach. Be curious about what might show up, and don’t allow your fears to block your possibilities.

Your internal stories are within your control, and your personal leadership coach can help you articulate stories that work powerfully for you rather than against you. Owning your stories can accelerate your journey toward becoming who and what you want to be. You can cultivate career resilience that will help you remain steady in your pursuit of an opportunity.

Gain Self Confidence and the Confidence of Others to Empower Future Success

Regularly ask yourself, what does your next opportunity look like on a day-to-day basis? Ask your leader or leadership coach, what skills would you need for that next role? What tasks would you need to be responsible for in the future that you could learn to do now? What relationships and interpersonal skills would be useful at that next level that you could cultivate in your current role? Get a head start on that next opportunity by starting now. 

Stay Motivated and Optimistic Regardless of Your Circumstances

Often, when career opportunities don’t come to you as quickly as you wish (or even, as you feel you deserve), it is easy to become mired in internal stories that work against you. Stories about what is wrong with you, what is wrong with them, or what is wrong with the industry. These stories keep you stuck in unproductive thought patterns that are ultimately untrue. Rather, fostering qualities such as curiosity, proactivity, steadiness, openness, and optimism will allow you to develop insights that will serve you well into the future. 

Life has a way of working out, and your ability to notice what life is offering you and calling for you to do will help you “win the wait” while accelerating your personal and professional growth.

Highlights

  • [00:02:10]: Life has inevitable times of waiting for an ideal opportunity. What kind of perspective will help you to remain resilient in your career?

  • [00:05:11]: What “Winning the Wait” looked like for a team of championship athletes

  • [00:07:37]:  Proven strategies for remaining resilient as you prepare for career opportunities

  • [10:03.43]: The role of curiosity in “Winning the Wait”

Join us as we dive into these topics and more in our latest podcast episode, which you can view or listen to now:

Sources

  1. https://magazine.byu.edu/article/diljeet-taylor-winner-of-hearts/

Next Steps

If you’re looking for actionable strategies for how to navigate your own career growth while providing opportunities for others, you’ve come to the right place. Our leadership development experts provide a range of services designed to accelerate your achievements and leadership success:

  • Attract professional opportunities by crystallizing your experience and quantifying your impact on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Work with our expert career coach by signing up for the Resume and Career Positioning Package at https://peridotcircleconsulting.com/book-your-consult/

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