3 Ways to End Job Search Procrastination

November 18th, 2013 | Articles, Job Search | No Comments »


In most cases, you’ll know when you need to leave your current job. Maybe you’re at the point where every moment spent in your cubicle leaves you feeling like in Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, constant rehashing uninspiring, near-identical projects. Maybe your work atmosphere has become as toxic as the air surrounding Hong Kong or Ahwaz, Iran. Whatever the reason, you know you need to get out but you can’t bring yourself to take the plunge and start your job search. It’s time to cut down your excuses. Try one of these simple techniques and finally put an end to your job search procrastination.

Find the Right Place

Before you do anything, identify a physical space where distractions will be at a minimum. The vacuum of job search procrastination is easy to get sucked back into when there are hundreds of life obligations, social diversions, and online click-bate articles within your sphere of awareness. Instead of trying to deny each distraction as it arises, just remove them from the equation altogether.

Find a quiet room in your home where you can work without interruption. Step away from the television, shut down your phone, and close out any social websites that will encourage your mind to wander. If you have free range pets or children vying for your attention, it may behoove you to find a sitter and escape the house for a few hours. Then, find a library, a coffee shop, or any place where you can successfully weaken your wall of procrastination.

Breaking Up Tasks

One of the largest excuses behind job search procrastination is that the job search itself is too daunting. When procrastinators imagine fitting every aspect of the job search (researching opportunities, writing applications, networking, and scheduling interviews) into a contained pocket of time, they often get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what needs to be done. What they forget is that a new job isn’t going to come together in the span of a day. It’s a process that’s made up of countless small victories along the way.

Make a conscious effort to break up the job search process. Schedule a few hours each day to getting a new job and limit what you do for that day. Some successful job seekers dedicate a specific task to a specific day (i.e. Mondays are for finding new positions, Tuesdays are for applying, Wednesdays are for networking, etc.). Others break up tasks within each individual day (i.e. 30 minutes for the job search, an hour for the application, and 30 minutes at the end for networking). Do whatever is most effective for you. Just make a schedule and stick to it.

Bring Others into Your Search

According to a study performed by psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, writing down your goals, sharing them with others, and giving those people regular updates increases your likelihood of success by 33 percent. This applies to beating job search procrastination as much as anything else. Writing down your goals helps you to visualize them, making them less ephemeral and thus, harder to shoo off to the side.

Additionally, making yourself accountable to someone else goes a long way towards reiterating the importance of a given task. As social creatures, most of us value the opinions our friends and loved ones have toward us and we’re none too eager to lose face in their eyes. Pick someone who will take an active interest in your search and push you to achieve your goals.

By James Walsh

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