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Practice the 3 P's: Be Patient, Persistent, & Proactive

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Updated By: Erin Hermansen on Mon, Oct 13, 2014

You’re trying to land a new account, you’ve just applied for your dream job, you’re trying to advance at your current job… what is your process in getting where you want to be?

How about trying this:

Be Proactive. Be Persistent. Be Patient.

This can apply to any aspect in our lives. We’ve always been taught that when you want something you need to “go for it” or “give it your all”, but in many cases we seem to fall short. We worry we are giving too much or too little, that we aren’t qualified, or we are going to ruin our chances if we try too hard, or the worst one: become “annoying”. In my personal opinion: I think that’s all BS.

So how do we find a balance? Here’s an idea: practice the 3 P’s and position them to fit in wherever you need them. (Work related, client related, personal life etc.) 

Be Proactive

Proactive (adjective): creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.

Here’s a scenario: you apply for a job you are really excited about, but the instructions say something along the lines of: “if your resume and experience fits our needs, someone will contact you directly”. Most of us will follow the directions exactly – craft a kick-ass cover letter, align your resume to fit the desired job, send it off, and wait.


Here’s another scenario: You just started a new job – whether as an intern, part-time or full-time employee, and you want to make sure you become an asset to the company and help them succeed. You work diligently every day, fulfilling tasks and getting your work done on time, but it stops there.

How about adding a little something more to the mix? Take that extra step in the project you’re working on – whether it ends up being right or wrong, this is a time to be learning.

Speak up in meetings and offer to work on things to ease the workload of your co-workers. Most of the time they are happy to take 15 minutes to show you how to do something so you’re available in the future. Check out this article from the Houston Chronicle- it gives an easy step-by-step guide into being more proactive in the workplace.

For that dream job: find out who works in Human Resources and send them a message on LinkedIn or follow up via email a few weeks after submitting your resume and cover letter.

Find a solution before the problem finds you. You never know what could come of it.


Be Persistent

Persistent (adjective): continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

This one is tricky; I even have trouble with at times. How much is too much? How many emails or phone calls can you make before you totally piss a person off?

Dont_Ignore_Opportunities_QuoteSo, you want to snag that awesome job? Great, well so do about 50+ others. The hiring manager is not only busy looking for a new team member, but also dealing with their daily workload. Most of the time your email is going to get lost in the mix, so following up with the company a few times is never a bad thing.

I am a firm believer in that if you want something, you better show how bad you want it. A few emails or meeting requests a month to a prospective client isn’t going to chase them away, it shows that you are interested in working with them, and determined to get them to talk with you.

Now, on the other hand, we have all experienced that one sales person that has emailed and called you so many times, you are ready to disconnect your phone and block all of their emails. Don’t be that person – you could potentially lose the lead forever.  

Read this HubSpot article outlining this trait in more detail.  

I can say from personal experience that being persistent is never a bad thing- if done correctly, that is. It’s appreciated when done the right way, and should be encouraged across all platforms.


Be Patient

Patient (adjective): able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

This may be the hardest of the three. In our fast-moving, digital world where everything is available almostKCBP instantly, it’s hard to sit back and just wait.

In the workplace: Patience can sometimes be a challenge to hone. You are waiting to get client approval on a project, or you’re prospecting a potential new business to work with, it can be difficult to find a balance in this regard. But try and keep this in mind when you’re put into these situations: life keeps moving. Unless you are dealing with an absolute emergency or crisis, you can exert patience and wait it out (but not without following up appropriately, of course!)

During your job search: If you are still waiting for a week or more to hear back after an interview you had – don’t automatically think you didn’t get the job. No news doesn’t necessarily mean bad news; there can be a variety of factors that go into a lengthy response from a potential employer.

A good insight on patience comes from the online publication The Nest:Being patient reduces stress, improves the decision-making process and gives you more empathy for others.”


Practice, Practice, Practice!

After you have established how you are going to utilize the 3 P’s, practice! Think back to times where you didn’t quite exert being proactive, persistent or patient – what could you have done differently to change it? Use this as a stepping stone throughout your job search or career; it will help you go a long way.


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Erin Hermansen

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