3 Ways to Beat Job Search Procrastination

June 17th, 2014 | Resume | No Comments »

Job Search Procrastination2

Let’s face the music. You’re in a job that isn’t right for you. Maybe there’s some disconnect between your core values and the company culture. Maybe you feel that your talents are squandered. Whatever the reason, you’re stuck knee-deep in the molasses of job search procrastination. What’s with the delay?

Is it just you?

Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but some have a debilitating habit. Joseph R Ferrari, a Ph.D. in experimental psychology at DePaul University, researched procrastination and found that 20 percent of the population always operates in procrastination mode.

No matter the task, no matter the consequences, these habitual procrastinators put things off until the guillotine blade is hanging over their heads. And applying for a new job is no exception. That task remains stowed away on the back burner until unemployment or extreme job burnout force their hands.

Dismissing your bad attitude

One of the worst parts of job search procrastination is that the procrastinator isn’t blind to the problem. It’s as clear as daylight, yet still he or she puts off the job search. Often, there is guilt closely tied to procrastination, which only further sends people down the chute. That’s why the first step is always to reframe your outlook.

It may sound hokey, but a bad emotional state can sabotage everything from motivation to time management. Procrastination can only be dismissed if you believe your effort isn’t a waste.

Optimism has kept entrepreneurs from Benjamin Franklin to Richard Branson on the right track and given successful writers the courage to move beyond rejection letters. Albert Einstein was right on the money when he said “weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”

Breaking down boulders

Searching, applying, researching, interviewing, and following up on job opportunities can be imposing. When the entire job search process appears like a boulder in the road, it may seem too difficult to budge. However, if you break it down into installments, the burden becomes bearable.

Divide your job search into manageable goals. Limit the amount of time spent on each task and give yourself a scheduled break. Better yet, move up less desirable (yet important) projects to the top of your agenda. That way, you face the problems stalling you heads on.

Be mindful of when your procrastination is becoming an issue. Identify which environments, factors, and times of day make job search procrastination the easy choice. Then, schedule your day to avoid the wrong stimuli. There’s no need to make yourself fight an uphill battle.

Ignore the voice of doubt

If you’ve been a long time procrastinator, the fix is not as simple as flipping a productivity switch. Your first failure will threaten to derail you. You’ll doubt whether the effort is worth it or you’ll try to shame yourself into being productive. Ultimately, it’s okay to acknowledge your failure, but don’t let it beat you.

Winston Churchill famously said, “success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” It’s that mentality that will keep you going, helping you to move from a job that isn’t right for you into one that perfectly fits your ideal.

by James Walsh

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