#AskJUGS: 3 Reasons You’re Procrastinating on Your Job Search and What To Do About It
Wanting a new job and preparing and launching a job search are two totally different things. And one is way easier than the other!
Many clients come to me after wanting a new job for weeks, months, and yes, even years! Feeling burned out, experiencing confusion over the direction of their career and feeling unprepared to take the next steps can all make it pretty easy to procrastinate on your job search.
These obstacles are common, but thankfully, they don’t need to derail your career.
Here are some of the most common reasons that people procrastinate - or just get stuck in their job search - along with easy-to-implement action steps that you can take to keep moving forward.
You’re afraid to quit your job.
This is one of the most common obstacles job seekers face. Whether you’re leaving a job that you’ve loved or you can’t wait to walk out the door for the last time, actually giving your notice requires a serious and potentially challenging conversation.
Career transitions are totally normal and while it’s rarely easy to give your notice, it will get easier as you continue to grow and evolve in your career. If you need a little bit of confidence to prepare for that giving notice conversation with your boss, check out this post here.
If you’re afraid to quit because your next job may be worse, spend some time journaling and visualizing what your next job would look like. Who would you work with? What would your day look like? As you move along in your job search, be sure to look for job postings that resonate with your vision and ask about the pieces of your vision that are most important!
You’re not sure what you want to do next.
You may be relieved to hear that you don’t need to wait for total clarity before you start your job search.
Activities like revamping your resume, updating your LinkedIn summary, and even interviewing for new roles are also career exploration activities. More than clarity, curiosity will serve you well so give yourself permission to explore your options instead of feeling stuck with what you’ve got!
Spend a few weeks collecting job postings that inspire or excite you. For now, don’t worry about qualifications, but focus on common themes, interests or skills you feel excited to pursue and develop. Bonus points for reaching out to people in your network who may have similar roles and learning even more. I also have some journal prompts that you can check out here to help you identify and connect to your strengths.
You don’t feel ready for a big promotion.
Making a lateral career move can be stressful, but if your next role could be making you the boss or involves taking on more responsibility, getting ready to take that leap is a big deal!
A helpful reminder: You don’t need to feel ready before taking on these responsibilities. You can enthusiastically accept a challenge while continuing to develop your own skill set, seeking mentorship and feedback, and being a total boss.
Consider reaching out to colleagues and mentors and asking them to provide insight on what it’s like to work with you. These people are likely to recognize strengths and provide insight that isn’t even on your radar. While you are acclimating to your new boss role, you can intentionally leverage your strengths while working to develop your managerial skill set.
Truthfully, you don’t need to be totally clear or totally confident to take your next steps.
Instead, being curious, allowing yourself to explore some possibilities, and giving yourself permission to continue growing and learning will all help to keep you moving in the job search process.
Jenn Walker Wall writes a monthly career advice column called #AskJUGs for JustUsGalsBos.com and is the founder of Work Wonders Coaching + Consulting. You can follow her on Twitter: @JennWalkerWall. Ask your career questions here.