Infographic: The Intention-Action Gap

The Intention-Action Gap represents the disconnect between what we want to do and what actually ends up happening. For example, we might create a plan for healthy eating but not follow it. While it’s a common challenge in the job search, it can cause our job hunt to grind to a halt.

“This week, I will connect with five ‘second-degree’ connections to learn more about my target role.”

Infographic on the Intention-Action Gap. Details of infographic listed below.

The Intention-Action Gap

The Intention-Action Gap is the disconnect between our intentions and actions.

Why Does it Happen?

Our behavioural biases and procrastination can trigger this gap. Whether we intend to or not, we often select the path of least resistance over long-term positive outcomes.

How to Eliminate it in the Job Search

Implementation Intentions

A decision you make for how, when and where you plan on doing something:

"This week, I'll spend at least 60 minutes researching my top 5 target companies on Thursday at 9:00 AM in Analog Coffee on 17th Ave."

Implementation Intentions let the circumstance dictate your actions, not your motivation.

Communicating Commitment

Sharing your intentions to do something with someone is a great way to be held accountable for achieving them. Communicating our commitment pushes us and motivates us to achieve our goals.

Mental Contrasting

Mental Contrasting is a technique where we imagine the future we desire and contrast it with our current life- thinking about our potential barriers to plan for them.

By combining this technique with ‘Implementation Intentions,’ we can create an effective plan for achieving our goals:

“This week, I will connect with five ‘second-degree’ connections to learn more about my target role.”

Potential obstacles:

  • I reach out and get no response
  • I reach out and get rejected
  • The process discourages me

If-then Statement:

“If I reach out and get no response, I'll remind myself not to take it personally. Now might not be a great time for them, so I’ll schedule a follow-up in 3 weeks and look for a warm introduction from a 1st-degree connection.”

Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download free Cognitive Restructuring Worksheet (PDF)

Worksheet on slipboard

We share evidence-backed insights, tools, and the latest developments in applying behavioural insights to employment coaching and advocacy.

Skip to content