Just do it - avoiding job seeking procrastination

There are many reasons why people remain unemployed for long periods – some people have disabilities, some stay at home to raise their families, some lack adequate education or experience and some people even choose to remain unemployed. Then there are those who want to be employed, but put it off because they feel they’re not yet ready to go through the job seeking process. Some people even end up going years without attempting to apply for jobs!

If you happen to be a job seeking procrastinator, – or you know someone that is – here are a few of the most common excuses, along with solutions to ensure you’ll be back in the game in no time at all:

PROBLEM = Inertia – Many people get stuck in a rut that they feel they can’t get out of. If a person has a working partner, is on welfare benefits or similar, they can feel as though there’s no real incentive to find a job straight away. Sure, they realise that a job will increase their income and improve their lifestyle, but it can often feel like too much effort to go through the trials of multiple job applications when they are currently ‘doing alright’ on what they have.

SOLUTION = Just do it! – Gain some perspective and tell yourself that you DO deserve a good job and income and that you CAN achieve both. There’s no easy way to get yourself out of this type of rut, but by taking those first few steps, you’ll become more motivated to continue. By gaining employment, your life and that of your family will dramatically improve, so find the respect in yourself to get up and do it! Even if it takes a long time. If you need a bit of motivation, there are plenty of job network agencies that can help you search for jobs, create your resume and other aspects of the job seeking process.

PROBLEM = Lack of qualifications – If you lack qualifications or experience, looking for work can seem daunting and worthless.

SOLUTION = Educate yourself – By taking on an online course – like one offered by us – you will gain the qualifications you want in a time and place that suits you. The act of completing a course will improve your confidence and motivate you to take advantage of all the hard work you’ve done by finding a job where you can use your new skills.

PROBLEM = Feeling overwhelmed – Similar to the above excuse, so many jobseekers don’t start the process of finding work because they simply don’t know where to start! If you assume that seeking a job is a monumental task, then you’re less likely to do it.

SOLUTION = Create a job seeking plan – research the steps you’ll need to go through in your job search, such as how to create a resume, how to act during an interview etc. Seek help from a job search network if needed. Then, grab a calendar or diary and make a one or two week plan, marking in one step at a time. Here’s a general guideline to help you out:

  • Days 1 and 2: Collate your information and create your resume. There are plenty of places online that can help you do this with templates and examples. Just Google ‘How to create a winning resume’ to find them. Similarly, write out a template cover letter that can be modified for individual job applications.
  • Days 3 and 4: Consider your current skills and determine which companies you’d like to work for. Collect their details and check their websites to see if they are currently listing any positions vacant. Then, browse job search sites and collect information of at least ten jobs that you’d like to apply for using the job search sites and company sites.
  • Days 5 to 7: One at a time, create cover letters and personalise your resume for each job. Send one in or submit online and then move on to the next job application until all are sent off. Then, it’s just a waiting game.
  • The following week: While you’re waiting to hear back about your applications, familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of interviews and practice these. It’s also worth sending around five more applications each week until you win the job of your dreams!

PROBLEM = Hitting a barrier – Many people decide to give up when they encounter a barrier to job seeking. They may not instantly find a job vacancy they’d like, may get a few rejection letters or they may get to the interview stage but not make it past that.

SOLUTION = Call in the professionals and keep looking – This is where a job network agency can really help you out. If you are being rejected at the written application stage or during interviews, a career counsellor can help you pinpoint what you’re doing wrong. If you are delaying simply because you can’t find a job listing that suits you, try contacting companies directly, ask around on social media or be patient but don’t stop looking. Also, you may just be aiming too high. Sure, we’d all like that six-figure job straight out of high school, but that’s just not how it works. You aren’t sacrificing anything by going for a job that you usually wouldn’t consider – if you are unemployed, almost any job is better than nothing. Once you have a less ambitious job, then aim higher with promotions or by applying for other jobs.

PROBLEM = Irrational fears – If you justify not looking for work because you have irrational fears, such as not wanting to give up your social life, not wanting to break your daily habits, or just believing you shouldn’t try because you just know you won’t be successful, it’s time to make a change.

SOLUTION = Face them – You need to keep telling yourself that these fears are unjustified. If you’re worrying that work will impact your life, think about how much better things would be if you had extra money to spend on the things you love doing. If you still have worries, aim for jobs that fit with your lifestyle, such as part time or work from home jobs. If you feel you’ll be unsuccessful no matter what, you need to understand that this is extremely unlikely. Also, you’ll never win if you don’t try, so what have you got to lose?



The CFS Team
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