When it comes to focusing on your job search, there are millions of feeble reasons for not conducting it successfully.
Here are five terrible excuses job seekers give for not being prepared for their next big move, as well as ways to combat them:
Excuse No. 1: I don't have time. In a job search, carving out just 45 minutes each day to draft and execute a plan can make all the difference.
Do you somehow find time to watch your favorite morning TV program while enjoying a cup of coffee and Danish? Then try turning that program off for a few months. Focus on plotting a course, writing a proper resume, crafting a unique LinkedIn profile, researching companies, and getting your networking efforts in order.
Before you know it, after a few weeks or months of this daily and focused effort, your job search will gain the muscle necessary to lift your career to a new level.
Excuse No. 2: I can't do this on my own. You don’t have to! Whether tapping into a myriad of complimentary Web resources, or investing in modestly priced careers books, an abundance of job-search resources exist at your fingertips. Careers blogs and articles with advice on how to build your resume, best prepare for an interview, and network can all be found at your local library or bookstore. And don't forget about the many resume and career coaches that are available for hire. You never need to feel alone in your job search.
Excuse No. 3: Job searching is boring. Doing the same old thing over and over will get boring and net the same old stagnant results (or lack thereof). Stop aimlessly wandering the Internet, posting resumes to job boards, and Tweeting and Facebook-ing your job-search woes.
Instead, un-suction yourself from your computer keyboard and start flexing your muscles—literally.
Find offline activities that get your juices flowing. Join a local LinkedIn group and attend their next get-together. Join the area chapter of an industry association and volunteer to help. Meeting new people in your areas of professional interest will not only spark your creative and intellectual juices, but it will also increase the odds of meeting that one contact who can link you to your next job opportunity.
The added value: You'll enjoy receiving a warm smile, firm handshake, and maybe even a hug or two as you excitedly discuss new goals and initiatives that take you out of your daily routine. Keep experimenting with new motions to move you outside the humdrum of your day and get your juices flowing.
Excuse No. 4: I don't believe in second chances. You've failed so many times in your career that you can't envision it being any different this time, so you just stay where you are, sucking it up and grinding it out at a job you hate. Everyone deserves a second chance and sometimes even a third and fourth. Don't let your past get in the way of your future.
Clear your chi and start with a clean slate. If this means surrounding yourself only with healthy encouraging people who see your positive attributes and want the best for you, then spend time exclusively with them; at least for the short-term while you regain some self-confidence.
Rejuvenate your self-belief and then plow ahead with zeal and vigor. You deserve to control your destiny in a job you love.
Excuse No. 5: I lack self-control. We all lack self-control when we fail to meet our own expectations. Be in charge of yourself, time, and energy. Only you can establish boundaries as to where you invest your conversations, intellectual efforts, and physical activities. Only you can accept or decline that next job offer, filtering your decision through your wants and needs. Using a no-excuses approach in your job search will ensure that time spent in your career transition will be focused, meaningful, and positive. By retraining the way you think, your job-search momentum will increase. And more favorable results will follow.
Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, chief career writer and partner with CareerTrend, and is one of only 28 Master Resume Writers (MRW) globally. Jacqui and her husband, "Sailor Rob," host a lively careers-focused blog at http://careertrend.net/blog. Jacqui is a power Twitter user (@ValueIntoWords), listed on several “Best People to Follow” lists for job seekers.