Over the past 5 years, having taught over 20 – 8 week classes on job transition skills, I’ve consistently seen many people resist applying the ideas and techniques I talk about.
Although they nod in agreement in class, they rarely, if ever, change any of their activities throughout the week. They continue doing the same things they’ve always done and expect different results (isn’t that a definition of insanity?).
Why do they do that? And how do you change if that’s been you? Do you know if you have been resisting? How can you tell and what can you do?
Here are some points that can help… In one of my recent classes, one of the participants came had an epiphany about half way through. She said she realized that she had been resisting anything new so strongly that it was certainly hindering her from getting a new job she so desperately needed. For her, it was simply a matter of coming to the realization of how much she was fighting it that finally caused her to decide to apply some of the ideas we had been discussing.
Ask yourself some questions! Examine your attitude and your activities. When you hear or read an idea that might be helpful in your job search, how do you respond? Do you…
- …immediately think it wouldn’t work in your situation?
- …think it’s a good idea, but you don’t do anything with it?
- …immediately judge it to be a dumb, or impractical idea?
- …think it’s interesting but doesn’t fit your “style”?
If those are your responses, you may be resisting. If so, ask yourself “Why?” If you are getting exposed to potentially helpful techniques, why wouldn’t you try them? Examine whether you have fears, anger, bitterness, or stubbornness that are keeping you from stepping outside your box!
Seek out and learn effective techniques! You can’t apply any new ideas if you don’t know what they are. The internet, your local library, state job service office, and local networking groups are full of good ideas, advice, and help. Check them out. Find things that have worked for others. Learn how to apply them in your situation, and practice. The first step in breaking out of your rut, is to learn new ways to do it.
Give it a try! Particularly if you’ve been in a job search for a while, what have you got to lose by trying something new? What you have been doing so far hasn’t worked, so what is likely to be worse by applying a different approach? Don’t try something once and assume it’s not effective because it didn’t produce immediate results. Virtually nothing does. But take a new approach or technique and try it over and over again for a period of time. If it then still doesn’t produce improved results, try something else. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying something new.
Don’t sit still! One of the biggest obstacles to gaining positive results in your job search is inaction! Often, when people don’t make progress in their search it’s because they have mentally or emotionally frozen up. They are frustrated with the lack of progress, and unconsciously decide that nothing works for them so they won’t even try. The best way to overcome the problem is motion! Regardless of your emotions, keep doing things necessary to keep the job search process going. Often, one of the best ways to keep hope alive is to try something new. Keep moving and don’t allow yourself to become stagnant in your daily activities.
A job search, especially in this economy, can be a frustrating and draining activity. The more deliberate you are about keeping it fresh, being flexible and open to new ideas, the more likely you will land in your new job faster.
Don’t be a resistor! Find and apply new ideas throughout your search!
Harry Urschel has over 20 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @eExecutives.