As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted a blog in quite a while. Sometime at the end of January I began getting overwhelmed with work. Everyday the hours would quickly pass because I had so much to do. Hours turned to days, days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months. Before I knew it, it was April, and I hadn’t posted a blog in two months!!
Some of you know this feeling. It may not be work related, but life has a way of sneaking up on us. The last thing you knew, it was January and you resolved to make this a better year for yourself. Then kids get sick, the car breaks down, you have a fight with a spouse…and all of a sudden it’s April—and you haven’t even started on your own goals.
Procrastination hurts your job search.
Procrastination is putting off something requiring immediate attention. For jobseekers, this means putting off the very goal you have in mind: finding a job.
This type of procrastination is especially harmful because it means you don’t have the resources (i.e. money) to sustain your lifestyle while prolonging your job search.
Figure out why you procrastinate.
Everyone procrastinates for a different reason. The most important part to overcoming procrastination is to figure out why you do it.
- Is your job search difficult? Do you prefer to do other activities that are easier to accomplish and that bring immediate pleasure?
- Are you anxious? Sometimes being out of work for a while makes you anxious about calling prospective employers or going to interviews.
- Do you have low self-esteem? Are you afraid that you don’t have the qualifications for the job you want? Are you afraid of disappointing the employer?
Don’t rationalize your procrastination.
Rationalization is just another form of procrastination.
Don’t tell yourself that you will look for a job after you go back to school, or your kids get a little older, or after you find the perfect job. Don’t convince yourself that you will somehow be “ready” for a job search once event X, Y, or Z takes place. If you don’t feel ready now, it is unlikely that you will be “ready to go” once a certain event happens.
Motivate yourself, and jump right in!!
You know what you want, so make it happen!
Get an attitude change! If you know you are holding yourself back by procrastinating, change your focus. Rather than thinking about all of things that you “think” are holding you back, focus on all of the ways that you can achieve your goal.
Ask for help! If you are afraid of the whole job search process, ask a friend to help you. Practice doing mock interviews and telephone calls to build your self-esteem. Most of the time, the most difficult part of the job search is mentally preparing yourself.
Write out a list of goals and achievements. Maybe you applied for a job but didn’t get a call back. That’s okay! Keep a list of all the places you have applied, and think of them as stepping stones to where you want to be. Try to add something positive to your list each day as a reminder that you are actively pursuing your goals. Do something everyday to further your job search, and keep yourself motivated!
How do you procrastinate? Or have you overcome procrastination? Leave your tips and stories in the comments!