Career Pathways (June, 2012)
June 1, 2012Constraints and Hurdles to a Successful Job Search
Are you underestimating the job search complexity? Did you really think this process was going to be easy and simple? Did you believe that if you looked for a job while still working, employers would find you more desirable? If so, then you are probably thinking unrealistic, self-defeating thoughts leading to tying your self up in knots, establishing obstacles to jump over and/or building walls to knock down. In other words, you are nearly paralyzed from non-action.
How do you get out of the corner you have gotten yourself into? By figuring out how to prioritize what you are doing and to start with the most important items on your list. To do this, your first step is to identify the constraints, hurdles and barriers that have become a reality for you, reframe them, and decide upon some solutions to your situation.
How do you motivate yourself to change or eliminate unrealistic and negative thinking? Start by identifying and describing:
A. Constraints: Restrictions that you have put on yourself that prevent you from taking needed actions. They can be:
- Beliefs/Mindsets about age or gender discrimination, lack of self-confidence, too old to learn, “stuck” in a rut, lack of control over one’s life pathway, etc.
- Outside Limitations regarding health/medical concerns, minimum salary required, further education/training needed, a move required to make desired change/shift, etc.
- Obstructions focused on giving up comfortable, familiar roles and routines, fear of not getting a job, so why start, the competition is tough, no openings for someone with my qualifications, etc.
- Barriers are the walls that you have built as excuses for not seeking employment that need to be torn down to move toward your goal. They can be: lack the experience to make a wanted change, what if a new job does not work out, can always start my job search campaign tomorrow, etc.
Once you have identified specific constraints and hurdles and described them in 2-3 sentences, then it is necessary to create a plan of action/steps to remedy the situation and become motivated to restart freshly or seriously begin your job search. For example, You may believe that employers will think you are too old and therefore, not adaptable and flexible enough to do the job. One step you can take is to include in your resume achievements/successes that demonstrate these characteristics. In an interview, do not forget to mention these strengths, if necessary, referring to where they are highlighted in your resume.
After having identified, described, and how you plan to eliminate these job search obstacles, you then need to prioritize the order in which and when you are going to deal with them. By developing a proactive timeline for eliminating and/or counterbalancing negativity, you will be on the pathway to a successful job search campaign.
Good luck in your endeavors!
Annabelle Reitman Ed.D., a career management consultant and author has over 30 years experience in career coaching/counseling and is a member of the TTN-Washington DC Chapter. She specializes in clients experiencing transition as they undergo a career change or shift. Her tag line, “Possibilities without Assumptions” summarizes her philosophy and approach to working with people. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-370-6966 or view her profile on www.linkedin.com.