As 2017 comes to an end, many of us think about what we didn’t accomplish this year and want to achieve next year. It seems January 1st brings more hope, marks a brand new beginning, and symbolizes another chance to improve our lives.
In actuality, success has nothing to do with the time of year. As we all know, we can’t do more of the same and expect different results. Different results will come from doing things differently.
Do you often ask yourself what you can do better? Has it made a difference? Are your efforts paying off?
1. Looking for problems to fix
Your desire to improve your resume, cover letter, interview techniques, choice of words, body language, outfit, and so on, may lead you to research everything you can find on the internet. You read what every expert has to say, only to discover they don’t all agree and now you are even less sure about what to do differently. Or perhaps an expert convinced you to implement their strategies even though they feel inauthentic. You’re lost. The more you try to fix problems, the more problems you create. You now have to deal with self-doubt and confusion, which lowers your confidence and reduces your chance of getting your dream job.
2. Obsessing over problems to prevent
Current or past workplace situations showed you what you don’t want to experience in the future. As you look at job openings and new institutions, instead of feeling invigorated by the possibilities, you are overwhelmed by fear. Your mind asks disempowering questions such as “How can I make sure it’s not a toxic environment?”, “What if they hide severe issues and once I get the job I can’t be successful?”, or “How can I avoid working for a horrible boss?” Here again, your focus creates paralyzing fear and you sabotage your own efforts.
3. Focusing on negative aspects
You might look at your situation and be hyper-focused on what is not ideal instead of seeing the whole picture. For example, you may think you’ve changed jobs too often or you’ve stayed at one too long. You worry your past choices won’t be understood and you will be judged. You fear not having a doctorate will hold you back, or perhaps you think you have too much education and not enough leadership experience. Perhaps you feel discouraged thinking you may have to take a pay cut if you leave your institution, or you may have a longer commute, or a less prestigious title. You see nothing but obstacles and feel defeated.
4. Seeking certainty where it can’t be found
To address many of the fears I mentioned above, you decide to do your own detective work and ask everyone you know to tell you what they know about the institutions you are considering. Your goal is to be 100% certain you will not apply for a job somewhere you wouldn’t be happy. If you dig deep enough and indulge in conversations with people who are also driven by fear, you will hear rumors, biased perceptions, and horror stories. No matter what you look for, you will find it. Every institution has some unhappy employees but it doesn’t mean that their experience will determine yours.
5. Choosing a rigid timeline
You like to plan and feel in control so you create expectations as to when you should start your new job. You may be so attached to a particular start date, that if there is no indication you’ll be offered your ideal job at the perfect time, you start considering underwhelming alternatives and lose sight of what you really want. Every week that passes makes you feel powerless and adds crushing pressure. Instead of realizing you’re the one who created the pressure you feel and everything is ok, you feel like a failure.
What to do about it
In every example, the problem comes from your focus and mindset. Please understand that the most important thing you can do to have a successful job search is to acknowledge your worth and believe in yourself.
1. Instead of looking for problems to fix, do your best and believe in yourself. You are enough.
2. Instead of obsessing over problems to prevent, listen to your intuition and trust that you will know what situations to avoid.
3. Instead of focusing on negative aspects, think about what you want and about all the reasons you will be a tremendous asset to your future institution.
4. Instead of seeking certainty where it can’t be found, realize that your safety comes from yourself, not your environment. If you don’t like your environment, you can always leave. Refuse to be a victim and you won’t become one.
5. Instead of choosing a rigid timeline, be flexible and remember that it is more important to find a position you enjoy on a campus you love than controlling the timeline.
If any of the examples in this article rang true to you, I invite you to click here to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation with me. While becoming aware of what is holding you back is a huge step, it is not enough to remove fears and blocks. Let me show you how to develop an empowered mindset, build confidence in yourself, trust in your success, and get the job you so richly want and deserve.
About the author: Dr. Audrey Reille has empowered thousands of professionals through one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking engagements, online courses, and interviews on international telesummits. Audrey is the go-to coach for leaders in higher education administration. She empowers them to thrive by reducing stress, optimizing strategies, improving professional relationships, and developing a strong and empowered mindset.