Tag: job search blues

Navigating Through the Hidden or Unadvertised Job Market: 8 Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them So You Can Move Confidently and Purposefully Forward Towards Your Goal

When you are setting up a turnkey job search campaign and trying to tap into the hidden job market, you may happen upon some hurdles that can stop you in your tracks, shake your confidence and cause you to doubt yourself – or tempt you to settle for much less than you know you deserve. Here are 8 common pitfalls and how you can avoid them:

Pitfall #1: Thought Paralysis

Do you find yourself talking your way out of multiple potential opportunities? You may have job search thought paralysis! This can lead to hours of heavy contemplation and internal dialogue concerning each move your make in your job search. Soon hours turn into days and days turn into weeks!

Don’t fall for negative internal dialogue! No one can know what company is hiring internally and you can’t read the minds of potential employers. Countless times my clients have told me that their incredible job opportunity came from the most surprising place or out of the most unique circumstances.

The solution? If in doubt, send your resume anyway.

Pitfall #2: Fear

Bill Briggs was the first man to ski Wyoming’s Grand Tetons. His friends told him it was impossible and he was crazy. On top of that, Bill had a surgically fused hip. He knew he would have to reckon with cliffs thousands of feet high, falling rock and potential avalanches.

Regardless, he took the challenge. Bill stated simply, “If there is no risk, there is no adventure. Adventure is a part of life.”

Your career – and certainly the wild ride of changing jobs – is indeed an adventure, and one that makes demands on your virtues, including your bravery. It is worth giving your job search 100% simply because you are worth the job you want.

How do you get through the fear? By facing it head on. Break the inertia caused by fear with action. Make a list. Do at least one thing right now. Do two more things tomorrow. Three simple steps will get you traction and lead you quickly and positively to more action.

Pitfall #3: Perfection Paralysis

Do you feel like everything has to be perfect before you can move forward? This is a common pitfall that can stop your job search before it even begins. Your goal needs to be progress, not perfection. Although this might not be your motto in other areas of life, when it comes to your job search, the key is implementation.

A client once said to me regarding making follow up phone calls, “I just can’t get it right.” Of course we all need a solid and effective phone script, but the secret isn’t in getting it right as much as it is just getting it done.

The best way to move forward is to make a list regarding whatever project you are working on. Detail each step you need to take. Now make a note of what tasks you can do, what tasks you don’t know how to do, and what tasks you know how to do but don’t want to do. Now you can figure out what you can start on right now, what you need to farm out to someone else, and what you need to hire someone to help you with.

Pitfall #4: Doing Everything Yourself

Not knowing how to do something often acts like quicksand and can stop your whole job search in its tracks. Conducting a job search involves a lot of small parts. One of the reasons why it is so tempting to fall back on job boards is because it has a system. You do A, B, and C and then you’re done. And you feel like you have at least done something.

To avoid this you have to make the things you should be doing manageable. You must create a system so that your job search is turnkey.

There are also the mundane tasks that are associated with a job search. Have you ever figured out how much you make by the hour? If you make around 100k per year at an 8-hour a day / 5-day per week position, you would be making about $48 per hour. So, if you spend hours and hours trying to rewrite your resume yourself, printing out resumes and licking envelopes, you need to ask yourself, “Are these tasks worth $48 an hour?”

Sub this energy draining work out! Hire a resume writer. Go to InstiPrints. Hire a virtual assistant or your own teenager and get them to help you with the administration for a third of the cost of doing it yourself. This way you can concentrate on the big payoff activities that are worth your salary. This will ensure that these important tasks get done and you stay motivated!

Pitfall #5: Not Being Open to Try New Job Search Methods

In this job market you are going to have very little success if all you do is answer a handful of posted jobs. My clients who are having success right now are the ones that are using direct mail programs, learning how to research and use strategies to tap into the hidden job market (actually quite easy), and learning about social networking.

Pitfall #6: Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket

I worked with a client once who secured three interviews a week after I sent her final resume copies. She was so excited and I was excited for her. But when I asked her how her job search strategies were going, she said she was just waiting for her immediate interviews to pan out before she did anything else.

Though I encouraged her not to do this, her mind was made up. Six weeks later, all three potential job opportunities fell through and my client was left with an empty basket and the daunting task of starting all over again from scratch. Moral of the story: keep your pipeline full and your job search activities consistent until your first day at your new company.

Pitfall #7: No Strategy

In order to be successful in your job search, you have to have a foundation of basic goals and a clear understanding of your driving motivators. If you don’t, you’re not going to know what to focus on or where to best invest your time and energy.

I have worked with job seekers who, when they first came to me, shared that they had been in “I’ll know it when I see it” job search mode for over a year with nothing to show for it. So, know what industries you are targeting and why, what your salary goals are, your timeframe and your basic game plan before trying to move forward. You’ll be so glad you did!

Pitfall #8: Work/Life Imbalance

You can’t job search 8 hours a day. Well, you can – but if you do, you will probably be feeling drained and burnt out in no time at all. During a job search you will most likely be experiencing more stress than normal, so it’s important that you take better care of yourself and take more time off then perhaps you are accustomed. This isn’t a luxury! It’s actually a vital part of your successful job search.

Eat right, get plenty of rest and do plenty of those things you love to do. This way you will have enough energy for creativity and strategy. You will be rested, clear-headed and enthusiastic in your job interviews, which will make a positive impression.

So if you see yourself in any one of these pitfalls, take heart and use these simple techniques to break through the hurdles so you can stay focused and confident as you move toward the career opportunity you really want.

6 Tips For Avoiding Burnout In Your Job Search


Job Search Got You Down? Take the Day Off!


Today so far has been one of those rare days I look up to the sky and ask “could we just start this day over again please?”


At 5 am today, I was snuggled up with my 7-month-old daughter when I felt something crawling on my neck (cringing already, anyone?).


I jumped and woke up my husband to ask him to flip on the light. Much to my horror (and despite that we are very clean people), there was a big, disgusting cockroach sharing my pillow with me. I let out one of those involuntary shrieks that come from deep, deep inside – which made the baby cry as my husband deadpanned, “Oh, like THAT is going to help…”


Needless to say, the day just went downhill from there for some reason, touching on every hot button I have – more crying baby, financial surprises, investment setbacks and I even hit my knee on the side of my desk so hard I let out yet another involuntary scream.


It was like a marathon of irritating and unfortunate events.


About 10 am, I broke down in tears.


Fortunately, I have a pretty great support system. I called my husband, vented and then asked him to pray for me and I also called my Priest and asked him to pray as well. Then I left my office, had a snack, got in the car with the baby and went for a nice walk along the river.


Ah…much better!


There was a time I would have just pushed on through such a bad morning. But some years ago, I realized that working in a bad mood results in little, if anything, positive.


If you are in a career transition (and especially if you are currently not working), you must be especially careful of “bad days.”


Any transition is daunting. A career transition is at the top of the list of things that make us feel vulnerable because so much is intrinsically tied to a job search such as: your sense of self worth, various components of a job search that push you out of your comfort zone, pressure from family or pressure to take care of your family, the unavoidable feeling of “rejection” that inevitably comes with a career transition, and the list goes on.


It’s because of all these complexities that things like hiring a career coach, having your resume professionally rewritten and having a really clear blueprint of your goals and your plans to get there help so much. It lightens the pressure on you, makes your search manageable, saves you a huge amount of time and boosts your confidence.


I have a business coach for many of the same reasons. It helps me maintain my peak performance, crystallize my goals and balance my time. When I don’t do those things I am less effective with my clients and my husband would probably say I’m not as fun to be around.  


So, if you are having a particularly bad day on the job search, don’t delay. Get up from your desk, get out of the house and get your mind off things, even if it’s just for an hour…but even for a day! The time you invest in your mental and emotional health will pay off abundantly.

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