Do You Push Too Hard?

December 15, 2010 | blog,Career,career change,job searching,online job search | Written by: admin

Have you given your job search or career change your all yet you’ve still got nothing to show for?

When people come to me and tell me this, it typically comes down to 2 things:

  • They either thought they did all the right things but in reality they lacked a solid strategy. Or any strategy.
  • They pretty much did all the right things – and may have even enlisted the help of a coach or counselor – but their attitude wasn’t right.

I want to talk about the second scenario.

So let me explain “attitude.” Or maybe “intention” is a better word.

When you look at the people who land new jobs, despite a bad economy, the thing they typically have in common is an upbeat outlook. Or at least a non-desperate one.

While this is something that is partially personality-based, you can teach yourself to adopt a more positive perspective on something that can seem very daunting, such as a job search.

Whenever you act based on fear and desperation, you start to rush yourself and you are more prone to making mistakes. Not to mention you’re giving off bad vibes. I don’t want to get all airy-fairy on you, but it’s easy to spot the difference between someone who feels good about him/herself and who has faith in the future vs. the person who feels panicky about securing their next position.

Is this tricky?

Of course it is.

When you’re suddenly out on the streets and you have a family to provide for, “zen” is not the most likely state of mind.

I see a lot of panic in the people that come to me after they’ve lost their jobs. (Again, a great reminder why it’s so vital to be prepared at all times with an updated resume and an active network. And to start a job or career transition when you’re still employed if you know you want to make a change. But that’s food for another article.)

So how do you go from panic to peace?

Sometimes, it’s by realizing what’s “likely” to happen, what the worst case scenario is, and what’s possible. Often, the worst case scenario is highly unlikely or not as bad as you thought. Or it turns out there are other options. For example; if you do stay unemployed and your benefits run out, you could take on any kind of job just to pay the bills, until you find something you truly like.

Some people get there by getting confident about their abilities and their value to employers. This is a great place to start from.

Others focus on their faith in God or the universe to help them in finding what’s right for them.

And sometimes, it takes going through the different stages of “mourning” – disbelief, anger, depression, acceptance. Not necessarily in that order. Can you see anything good coming when carrying out a job search during the phase of disbelief, anger, or depression? But once you hit acceptance, you open yourself up to new possibilities.

The thing is…when you operate from a feeling of hope and faith and positivity, you are also better able to see what’s right for you and make better decisions all along. When you’re in a panic, you’re more likely to make rush decisions that turn out to be not the greatest after all.

Having said all this…what I hope you get from this article is that devising a solid job transition strategy is a must but the great results will come when you combine it with an attitude based on calmness and faith (primarily in yourself but also in things turning out just fine for you).

I’m curious…have you experienced either scenario?


  1. There’s a saying in the bible about birds that always brought me comfort:
    “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
    “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~Matthew 6:25-34

    Philippians 4:6-7 isn’t half bad either!

    Comment by Maureen Sharib — December 16, 2010 @ 8:09 am

  2. Especially when talking to people on info interviews or phone screens, it helps to do a quick meditation to think about a time when you were absolutely on top.

    Comment by Raj Sodhi — December 21, 2010 @ 3:52 am

  3. What a unique, refreshing piece of advice, especially for a topic that can cause such panic and anxiety. I find this to be true in networking and in my own work as a freelancer; people are just repelled by negative forces and negative forces seem to gravitate to themselves anyhow, i.e. commiseration. I’ve sold artwork at conventions when I was 15-21 and one thing I quickly learned was that when you maintain an upbeat attitude, even when people aren’t stopping by and even when people tell me politely, “I’ll come back.”, you attract people and you get more return. I would see so many neighboring artists/vendors who would wear glum, stressed, or anxious expressions, wondering why people weren’t coming by.

    No matter what, your greatest asset is a positive attitude. :) Thanks for sharing this article with us!

    Comment by Havana — January 6, 2011 @ 4:26 am

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