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Episode #71: 3 Tips to Avoid Sabotaging Your Job Search

Welcome back to the Confident Careerist podcast!

My name’s Teena Evert and I’m so glad you’re tuning in to today’s episode. I help budding careerists and ambitious professionals transform their careers into meaningful, satisfying, and prosperous work. I primarily focus on career clarity, confidence building, job search strategies, and strength-based planning and development.

Today, I’m going to share 3 tips to avoid sabotaging your job search.

I chose this topic today because I know so many people who come to me for help are job-seekers who are unknowingly sabotaging their job search. 

Are you one of them? 

There are nine ways you might be sabotaging your success.  Check them out.

  1. Not having a job focus or a plan.
  2. Feeling desperate and applying for every job that remotely matches your skills and experience. 
  3. Spending the majority of your time going after advertised jobs and not diversifying your search. 
  4. Not taking the time to assess the gaps in your network and implement strategies to fill them.
  5. Not getting up-to-date with current job search trends.
  6. Not modernizing and customizing your resume and cover letter for each position you’re targeting.
  7. Not keeping your network informed of your job search.
  8. Not asking for introductions to contacts within your target companies. 

Giving in to negative self-talk and playing small.

There is a lot to do if you want to have an effective job search, and it is a lot of work. It’s a skill that you can learn, and I recommend working with someone who can guide you through it. 

If you wanted to go on a challenging hike, perhaps one that you’ve never been on before or failed the last time you tried, what preparation would you need to ensure your success? 

As a career transformation coach who helps people get clear, gain confidence and build momentum towards creating a powerful, positive, and prosperous career – I compare myself to a guide you might hire to help you get to your final destination. 

I might take you to the trailhead, provide you with a detailed map, and meet you at certain checkpoints along your journey. Or I might be walking alongside you every step of the way, helping you navigate the obstacles, make the best decisions, and ensure that you have everything you need to accomplish the goals you have set for yourself.

Regardless of the level of service that I provide, everyone is at risk for sabotaging their success when giving in to their negative self-talk because it keeps them playing small when they need to play bigger to make their dream a reality. 

So, I want to talk more about negative self-talk because you can educate yourself and learn the right strategies to have a no-fail job search, but if you’re consumed with negative self-talk and stuck playing small, the strategy won’t work.  

A particular trait that most successful people possess enables them to make their dream a reality. That trait is a willingness to stretch outside of your comfort zone and go after what you want. 

Your self-talk influences your mindset, which can positively or negatively impact your success in landing a job and how fast it can happen. 

You’ve probably heard of the two different types of mindset – growth and fixed. Those with a fixed mindset believe intelligence and talent are fixed traits, meaning they were born that way, and it can’t change. They also believe that talent alone creates success without effort. 

Those with a growth mindset believe basic abilities develop through dedication and hard work and that one’s intelligence and talent are just the starting point. 

The people I know who have experienced success and have made their dream a reality have developed a growth mindset and, more specifically, an experiential mindset. It’s something that I have strived to develop myself, and it can be hard at times, especially when we are also trying to manage the stress of a job search during a global pandemic.

When you have an experiential mindset, rather than thinking, “Well, that’s just how it is,” you instead think, “what can I do to make it better?” So, you can develop a mindset that will allow you to see a world of possibility rather than limitations.

The most important thing you can do as a job-seeker to avoid self-sabotage is to develop an experiential mindset. A mindset that welcomes rather than resists change is open to exploring new ideas and excited to try new things. 

Are you ready? 

I have three tips to help you develop an experiential mindset to avoid sabotaging yourself as a job-seeker, and perhaps, even more importantly, so you can boost your confidence and go after what you want and make your dream a reality. 

Tip #1 Change Your Negative Self-Talk

Slipping into negative self-talk is easy to do when you’re being challenged, stretched, and stressed daily. Therefore, it’s essential to notice what messages are playing in your head and what you’re telling yourself as if it’s on repeat. 

If it’s negative and self-defeating, then choose to transform your thoughts so you can change how you respond to a particular situation. In turn, this will increase the likelihood of bolstering your self-confidence and having a positive outcome in your life. 

Here are a few examples of negative self-talk:  

  • I’m discriminated against because of my age. 
  • I don’t want to get on LinkedIn. I’m not a fan of social media. 

Here are a few examples of positive self-talk transformed from the negative:

  • I have a lot of skills and experience to offer an employer. Plus, my appearance looks up-to-date, and I’m up-to-date with technology. 
  • Millions of people are on LinkedIn; if most recruiters seek candidates on LinkedIn, I need to be on LinkedIn. 

Shifting your mindset requires you to experiment by trying new things, thinking differently. 

Tip #2 Overcome Your Resistance

We are resistant to trying out something new for many of us because we’re afraid it will be a failure. We tend to stick with what is familiar even if it isn’t the best option.

To overcome this mental hurdle, tell yourself that you will try the new idea out as an experiment for a limited amount of time. It takes away the fear of something unfamiliar. It will also give you the data you need to make a more informed decision after the experiment.

For example, you might be resisting tooting your own horn because it’s uncomfortable. Tell yourself that you will get uncomfortable by experimenting with sharing with your network- the value you offer as an employee. Commit to reaching out to 20 of your contacts over the next few weeks and see what transforms. 

Tip #3 Stay Motivated

Suppose you are spending a lot of time and effort pursuing advertised jobs and those you don’t meet all or most of the qualifications. In that case, you’re probably feeling frustrated due to receiving rejections. It can be demotivating. 

It’s essential to not put too much pressure on yourself by saying things like, “I need to land a new job in one month.” Setting unrealistic deadlines will only cause stress and demotivation. 

Instead, define success by the activities that you’ve completed, not by landing a job. Doing the “right” activities and doing them in the “right” quantities will yield better results than just “throwing something at the wall and hoping something sticks.” 

No-Fail Job Search Plan
No-Fail Job Search Plan

If you’re having a difficult time sticking to a focused plan, I can help. Check out my No-Fail Job Search Plan, where I show you a strategic map to help you avoid sabotaging your success. 

I hope you view the challenges of a job search as opportunities to experiment. Give yourself the freedom to stretch your thinking and try new things. 

It is your year to transform your life and your career. 

Until next time – Be Confident!

Teena