I have this great book that discusses, among other things, job hunting. It’s got some of the the standard material: resume tips, interview preparation, and so on. But it also has some fantastic paradigm-shifting concepts, including this chart that I found to be quite profound. It’s about how you spend your finite time and energy.
The author argues that when job-hunting, it’s better to focus all your energy into a couple fantastic opportunities than to submit a generic application for hundreds of positions. When I graduated, I spent three months applying to three positions. It certainly worked out for me.
But the concept is bigger than just job-hunting. Smart organizations focus their marketing to get strong brand loyalty in niche markets. Smart students focus their studies to develop strong skills in specific industries. Smart artists focus on a specific medium in order to achieve mastery and create compelling work. Focus, focus, focus!
The simple focusing power of a magnifying glass is all it takes to transform the sun’s indifferent rays into a beam of spontaneous combustion. Do that across all aspects of your life, and see where it takes you.
Is there a downside? Kind of. Focusing yields definitive progress, at the cost of flexibility. But as I’ve said before, flexibility can be overrated, and nobody wants a generalist. If you can focus on what you want and go after it, eventually, you’re going to get there. It’s as simple as that.