Career Strategist and Performance Coach
Matching Talents to Opportunities

The Number One Reason Your Job Search Sucks

Spinning Leaves You Cross-Eyed

Today in my networking group, Career Connect Coffee Club, we discussed the six top reasons your job search is failing. This topic came from a great blog on

The blogger urged job seekers to stop blaming the economy and determine if one of the following is causing your extended sabbatical:

  1. Your resume is lacking
  2. You don’t know how to network
  3. Your online presence is non-existent or vulgar
  4. You ’re afraid to ask for advice
  5. You have a negative attitude or lack confidence
  6. You’re looking in all the wrong places (major job boards instead of niche boards)

Even though many group members identified with at least two of these hazards, I realized the main cause for a non-effective search is one that is left out here:


So many clients come to me frustrated by their “spinning” which comes from considering way too many options- maybe this, maybe that... or then again maybe “I’ll start my own business.” Or their target is way too wide, like “operations” or “a position where I can work with people”.

What all this paralysis is really saying is, “I’m immobilized by fear so I’ll work really hard at this search, applying for everything that has any appeal to me at all, and then I’ll get really frustrated and stay safely stuck.”

Or it also could be saying, “I’m still burnt out by my last exhausting corporate experience and I’m terrified to jump back into the fire.” Maybe it’s just saying “I’m really enjoying my flexible schedule which allows me to work out during the day, hike during the week and take a few classes in between sending out resumes for random jobs."

Stop the insanity!

Own what’s really going on and deal with the emotions and causes behind your spinning. If you’re enjoying what one client called “farting around”, then just be in it and learn to live on less money. If you’re still feeling defeated by your last job experience, get some help to process them so you can move on. Many, many people have come through this downturn wounded by abusive bosses or at the very least, overworked with zero work-life balance. just avoiding your negative feelings will keep you stuck and if you ever do fall into an interview, there’s a good chance you’ll self-sabotage.

Finally, if none of the above applies to you and you really are open to many different options, get over it NOW! Unless you can be very specific with your networking contacts about what you’re looking for, you’re essentially missing potential leads every time you open your mouth.

For example, instead of saying you are looking for a job in operations or project management or possibly as a manager of a team, talk about your specific passions for managing IT projects using Agile and define the companies you are targeting.

Pay attention to what part of your pitch sticks or doesn’t and tweak your focus accordingly. Say it out loud, and know that you can redefine your focus on a weekly basis… just don’t be vague.

And if you’re spinning, get some help with what’s behind your immobilization.

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