The Problem with Overpreparing

Overpreparing isn’t always a good thing and it’s something which is seen a lot within recruitment in general. Whether it’s overpreparing for an interview which can in turn lead to overcomplicating things, or feeling in general you are unprepared to take that next career step. Meredith Bell the author of the below blog makes some extremely good points on the issue.

Some people jump right in with both feet when they’re presented with an opportunity. They say YES and don’t worry about how they’re going to do it. They’ll figure it out later. Sometimes however, you may find yourself “over-preparing”.
Once you take on a new project, you can get caught up in “over-preparing,” trying to make sure you get things just right first, before getting started. Have you ever done that?
Maybe you think you need to do more research. There’s data you don’t have. Or you want to benchmark what others have done. Or you don’t feel confident or qualified, and you believe you’ve got to learn more before you’re ready.
It’s easy to convince yourself of the importance of being prepared. But sometimes it becomes a rationalization that keeps you from taking action and developing momentum.
Underlying your attitude and behaviour is likely one or more fears: fear of failure, fear of looking foolish, fear of criticism, or fear of rejection. You’re so focused on the potential negative consequences of your actions that you convince yourself it’s not yet time to begin.
And so you don’t.
You allow your self-doubts and fears to dominate your thoughts and keep you stuck…even though you’re busy explaining your lack of action to yourself and others as a necessary part of “getting ready.”

How do you move past these excuses then?
1. Make a decision. That’s right. You first must decide that you’re going to take the action you need to take, no matter what.
2. Take the first step.Just get started. You may make mistakes. In fact, your first attempt may be a total failure. But it’s not the end of the world. With each additional step, you can learn and make corrections or improvements.
3. After each action, reflect.You will accelerate your learning – and your results – if you take time to think about what happened after you complete each step. Answer these five questions to help you analyse your actions and make the most of the experience:

1) What happened and how do I feel about it?
2) Why did it happen that way?
3) What were the consequences?
4) How would you handle a similar situation in the future?
5) What will you do to implement this learning in your life?
We hope you found this blog useful. If you can get past the need to over-prepare, and you’ll experience a much more productive, proactive self you never may have thought you had! That new role may just be a phone call away.

About the Author
Meredith Bell is co-founder and President of Performance Support Systems (PSS), a global software company that publishes award-winning assessment and development products. Their Strong for Performance online system for personal and professional development combines a 3-step process for creating new work habits with a network of support coaches.