Navigating Your Job Search: Are You Driving with the Brakes On?

You have your list of job requirements. You know what you want and you’re using your best networking and follow-up strategies. At least, you’re trying to. You’re working hard. And time passing without new developments or success has you working even harder to keep frustration from getting the better of you.

Navigating a job search when you are unemployed, can be one of the greatest challenges people experience in the course of their career. Successful job search requires your best focus, confidence, clarity and strategies. If all of these are not aligned, feeding your energy and enthusiasm, your search can feel like drudgery. The efforts you are putting into your search are slowed down and you are moving towards success as if you are driving with the brakes on. And when this happens, you are. Make no mistake about it. You are creating your own resistance and moving at a slow pace with starts and stops the whole way.

If you’re not feeling energized and focused, clear and confident about your plan and goals; it’s a safe bet that you are not having your best interviews, taking your best actions, or connecting with people with confidence and follow-through. However, recognizing the brakes are on is a great first step to shifting into “drive” and keeping your foot on the gas pedal! Below are some signs to help you notice whether or not you have the brakes on in your search process.

Seven Signs That You’re Navigating Your Job Search With The Brakes On

  1. You’re feeling discouraged and are concerned that this may be coming through in your job search and/or networking conversations. Your lack of confidence could absolutely be coming through. After all, it’s often what we don’t say that is most communicated. And whether or not your discouragement is actually being communicated, anytime your energy and thoughts about your process are not feeling good, you are not in “full forward” mode. And so you’re not giving your best to your search.
  2. You are dreading an interview question about a previous job you quit, or where you were “down-sized.” Job loss that was beyond your control, can leave you with a sense of loss and frustration. Your feelings, though real and justified, may now be dragging you down and so dragging down your job search process.
  3. You notice your tool set or abilities are not as current as they used to be. On the positive side, information about new tools or technologies can guide your skill development and stimulate new interest in your work. On the not so positive side, hearing about new tools and technology can turn your attention to what you lack rather than your strengths. So beware. Feeling a lack of confidence in your abilities can cause you to transfer your foot to the brake pedal.
  4. You find yourself thinking about mistakes you made on that last interview, at your last job, etc. Thoughts about what didn’t work or changes you would make if you had the opportunity for a “do over” can be constructive if you simply learn from them. However, when this learning feels like regret and loss, it’s not only wasting your time and energy, it takes away from your enthusiasm and confidence in your search process.
  5. Reading your resume does not inspire your confidence. Your resume is your professional self on paper. If you feel it’s not clear, not strong or wonder about whether it really addresses the particular job you are seeking, your resume is causing you to put your foot on that brake pedal.
  6. You’re avoiding opportunities to network. Using the networking strategies that are right for you is important. Finding that you don’t have the energy or desire to connect with people to discuss your work, may be a sign that you are not in your job search flow but rather in resistance mode.
  7. More and more, you are doubting whether or not you will find a job. This can undo great strategies and so is a major “caution” light. Thoughts and beliefs about you, the job market, your industry, etc. can slow your search down to a stop.

At a time when you need to connect with people and confidently market your skills and abilities, a positive perspective and enthusiasm are important ingredients to your success. Notice if you’ve been putting on the brakes in your job search. As is typically the case, your awareness is the first step to shifting into success.

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