Five Ways To Avoid Self Sabotage In Your Job Search

by: Joanne Meehl

Here are 5 ways of sabotaging your job search, and antidotes to each:
Self-sabotage #1: Don't change anything in your search!

Don't change your approach. Don't change your resume. Just do it like you've always looked for a job. Heck, it worked before (even though that was 5 or 10 years ago)! Don't take chances, don't listen to the career counselors or coaches (who are only in it for the money).

Antidote: Understand that as much as you don't like it, things change, including job search. Why? The only constant is change. So people change, society changes, technology changes. And even good change is scary. But step forward anyway, and do some things to catch up: connect with others in your field to learn what they're working on and how they landed their jobs. Or compare the curriculum at your college today to the one you took years ago (different, isn't it?!). Career coaches get paid today because they usually shorten your search and make it less frustrating. Get a new hairstyle, a new pair of glasses. Be part of the future: it's already here.

Self-sabotage #2: Give up control of what you CAN control, and try to control what you can't.

Blame your age, blame India, the government, the economy, the times: they are making you stay home and watch TV instead of going to work. Don't network, don't do research on companies, don't try to meet new people, don't join a buddy group, don't stop talking about "I'll probably just end up working at McDonald's."

Antidote: Turn off the news. Then, looking just at the week ahead, set realistic goals for networking, support group meetings, connecting with people on LinkedIn. Have a reward waiting for you if you meet that week's goals. Take it a week at a time. After only a month, you will have done far more to get that new job than ever before, and you'll have rewards to show for it, and prepare for it. And by the end of that month, you will have established positive habits around things you CAN do something about in your job hunt.

Self-sabotage #3: Take it all personally.

This has never happened to you before so you are humiliated, you worked so hard for your last company and here you are out of work, these other companies aren't getting back to you on purpose, etc. etc.

Antidote: We are living in one of the most profoundly changing times in our country's -- and the world's -- economic history. Just about everyone has been affected, and in many countries around the world. So this is not about YOU. It's about many people. The smart people, however, don't wait for a rescue; instead, they dig in and they learn what they can to change their own situation. They realize it won't be easy or smooth, but they know that their own activity is key to landing a new job. They have faith that they will land a new job and they keep their eyes on that horizon.

Self-sabotage #4: Don't take care of yourself.

Hey, you say, I deserve to eat whatever I want, after being laid off and all. I don't have time to exercise. I NEED that chocolate/cigarette/drink.
Antidote: Now you HAVE the time to walk, go to the gym, take that smoking cessation class, join the weight-loss support group. Take the frustration from losing your job and turn that into a positive energy that you apply to yourself in a good way, not a negative energy where you damage yourself. That way, you can look back and say "If I hadn't lost my job, I might still not be taking care of myself. Sometimes what seems bad at first turns out good."

Self-sabotage #5: Waste time.

Don't plan your day/week, don't worry about going to networking events, it's OK to watch The Weather Channel all day (educational), you deserve to play XBox all afternoon (takes your mind off being depressed), now's the time to paint the house and do all those things I couldn't get to when I was working, I'll play golf until the money runs out.

Antidote: Inactivity and procrastination breed hopelessness. The smart job hunter knows that it's good to take breaks BUT they know activity is the best way to fend off depression, smart activity. And they know that putting off "the work" of the job search only makes a person feel MORE desperate when they finally do get around to looking for a job.

Use these antidotes and you won't get poisoned by self-sabotage.


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