The Importance of Celebrating Small Victories
Big, audacious goals are important. Most companies put extensive research and strategy into setting annual goals that will guide their workforces throughout the year and serve as the finish line looming on the horizon. And when those goals are achieved, a celebration often follows to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication.
But, just as important as the big celebration at the end of a hard fought battle to achieve a major goal is celebrating the small victories along the way. This is especially true for the job search. Even the most dedicated job searchers can burnout when the going gets tough, so reveling in minor milestones that push the job hunt toward completion helps maintain engagement and gives a motivational boost.
According to research conducted by Harvard Business School featured in the Harvard Business Review:
“Even ordinary, incremental progress can increase people’s engagement in the work and their happiness during the workday. Across all types of events, our participants reported that a notable proportion (28%) of incidents that had a minor impact on the project had a major impact on people’s feelings about it. Because inner work life has such a potent effect on creativity and productivity, and because small but consistent steps forward, shared by many people, can accumulate into excellent execution, progress events that often go unnoticed are critical to the overall performance of organizations.”
So, what are the key benefits of celebrating small victories on the path toward achieving major goals?
- Showing progress: The best set goals outline a clear path toward success with measurable tasks or achievements along the way that show you are progressing in the right direction. It’s easier to avoid job search burnout when there’s always a tangible milestone within reach.
- Building commitment: When working toward finding a job, it’s important to have full commitment from yourself and even other job searchers. If you connect with others in your position, you can congratulate and push each other on the way to a job. Celebrating small victories along the way helps everyone feel united and personally invested in encouraging each other to reach the next stage.
- Allowing opportunities to “fine tune” along the way: Small victories are also beneficial when you don’t achieve them right away. If you find progress has stalled and that next milestone becomes harder and harder to reach, you have an early opportunity to assess the situation and make necessary adjustments to get the job search back on track.
Make it meaningful
Although there is no shortage of ways to celebrate small victories, the most important factor is to ensure the celebration is meaningful. That doesn’t mean you have to roll out the red carpet and strike up the band for every little accomplishment, but you do want to feel the hard work you’ve put in so far is worthwhile. From eating a fun snack or getting together with fellow job searchers to share the accomplishments that you personally consider small victories, the important thing is to truly celebrate what you’ve done. The job search is hard. Each resume sent, each interview had, each networking event attended—they all matter.