As a career coach, I hear a lot of variations on the my-job-search-is-stuck theme:
- the time problem: “How Do I Find The Time?”
- the choice problem or FOMO: “How Do I Decide On A Direction?”
- the decision problem: “Where Do I Start?”
The underlying issue is that the job seeker feels like they are working hard and desperately trying, but still somehow stuck. Much like a victim trapped in quicksand, you pull and thrash at your job search and yet you’re stuck in the mud.
If your job search is stuck, confirm what you want
Do you really want to do a job search at this time? If you’ve been laid off, you may feel financial pressure to look, but that still doesn’t mean you personally want to look. This lack of personal desire and commitment contributes to you feeling stuck.
If you don’t want to conduct a job search and you don’t need to do it out of necessity, drop it. Take up something else that you do want. Come back to your job search in a few months when the reasons why you are looking are clearer and more urgent.
If you insist that you really do want a new job, find the right motivation for you
No, you say — you are sure that you want a new job, but you just need that push! Unfortunately, there is no one magic pill. The push, inspiration, or key insight that becomes the right motivation for you is different for each job seeker. When I coach, I spend a lot of the coaching time, probing and listening to find that key insight. Then I turn the key again and again, every time clients doubt themselves. Doubt occurs often, by the way, because job search has inevitable ups and downs.
Job search is distracting and requires ongoing motivation
Job search takes time and energy. It requires that you put yourself out on a limb to possibly be rejected and ignored. No wonder that people dread it and get stuck in their dread. But there’s nothing physical that you’re stuck to. You always have the power to move on.
When you say you can’t, it’s really because you won’t. You won’t find the time. You won’t make a choice. You won’t get started. A job search is stuck not because you can’t do what it takes, but because you won’t do what it takes. Remember that your job search activity could be done solo or getting help when you need it!
A new job, a new career, a new life is doable
Can you do it? Of course, you can. The question is,: “WILL YOU?”