Your Job Search: Don't Be Your Own Saboteur

By Desiree Yang

We are all creatures of habit but sometimes when the winds of change blow our way, we are swept up and forced to confront the unfamiliar. Whether you’re a fresh graduate who’s looking for your first job or a veteran in the workforce looking (or forced to look) for a change of environment, it can be an unnerving experience. In any case, here are some common pitfalls that have all too often tripped up eager jobseekers, and which you should of course, steer clear of.

That Voice in Your Head

“I’m not qualified enough.”

More often than not, the little voice that whispers these four venomous words to us in our heads is the one thing that stops us from even applying for the job in the first place. Even if we do apply for the job, this voice will then cause us to fear the possibility of rejection.

These thoughts are known as limiting beliefs and they’re borne out of the rationalisation of unpleasant experiences that we’ve had in the past. Apart from that, limiting beliefs also help us to rid ourselves of all responsibilities regarding the task at hand by providing us with reasons as to why we should not attempt it at all.

“We’re talking about Google, they’re such a massive and successful company. They won’t be interested in someone like me so I shouldn’t even try.”

You have nothing to lose by putting yourself out there. You might have been rejected by other companies in the past but what if it’s different this time around? Are you really going to let the past determine your future? If you do, you are the only thing that’s standing between you and your dream career, and you really are (at the risk of sounding trite) your own worst enemy.

Waiting for the Perfect Job

We all fantasise about our dream jobs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does become a hindrance when we use this ideal as a yardstick with which we measure all the job opportunities that come our way.

In this ideal world of ours, our job would come with a well-fed pay cheque, superb employee benefits and not a dull day in sight. But in the real world, a job can never meet your needs and will often appear lacking in some way.

No, we’re not encouraging you to get yourself stuck in a job that’s going to make you unhappy and to which you have to drag your feet every day. On the flipside, you choosing to hold out for the “perfect job” and rejecting all the offers that come your way might not end well for you either.

However, we do urge you to consider the things that made you happy at your previous job (if you had one), or the personal values that you hold dear. Can these be found in your current job offer? By focusing on what the job can offer you instead of what it lacks, you can better evaluate the worth of this opportunity and make the best out of it out.

Resting on your Past Accomplishments

We’ve already established that we’re all creatures of habit that instinctively shun uncertainty and change. But this is no excuse to rest on our laurels and doing so will just lead to complacency.

Stop looking in the rearview mirror and start concentrating on the road ahead, because you may be missing all the signs that lead you in the right direction. By boldly putting yourself out there, you might just land a promising job opportunity that could turn out to be your dream job, even if it doesn’t appear to be at first glance!

What are some other common pitfalls that you know of? Share with us in the comment box below!

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