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New Grad: Avoid These 5 Saboteurs That Will Derail Your Job Search

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Are you struggling in your job search but your not sure what you're doing wrong?

Much of the information we talk about around new grads finding jobs is often very technical in terms of "how to... " write a resume, prepare for an interview, network, and more.

Let's assume that if you align with a lot of the advice that's out there, you'll be in good shape.

But there's another part of the job search that I think is equally important as any technical skill you leverage.

That is: your mental and emotional mindset; and your approach to and discipline in the job search process. In short, your "focus and inner game."

To ensure a successful job search, be sure to avoid these 5 Saboteurs that will keep you trapped in a mediocre job search effort.

1. Cultivating a negative mindset

Bottom line, you are the thoughts you think all day. If you lead your job search with ideas like "the job market is terrible," "no one will ever hire me," or any kind of "it's not fair" thinking, you won't get far. It's amazing to me when I hear these kinds of comments from people how incredibly draining it is.

Instead, focus on the opportunities, your skills, and the steps you are taking. Put your energy toward moving forward, rather than complaining. Acknowledge the good work you do, share good news with others, and learn from your errors. Then keep moving forward.

2. Fear-based thinking

If you approach your job search from the perspective of fear, you'll be fighting an uphill battle. Sure, there are many things you need to do that will frighten you. Talking to people you don't know. Asking others for help. Asking someone to hire you (what if they say no!!??).

All of these things are part of the process. When you are in fear, simply acknowledge it. Maybe even share it with someone. Sometimes shedding light on fears take some of the power away. Focus on what you want to achieve, rather than what you fear.

You'll be faced with new and unknown situations throughout your career, and your life. Learning to deal with fear now will give you good practice for the future. Consider "conquering fear" a career skill.

3. Wasting time

When you have a clear focus, every step you take will drive you toward the goal. If you don't have a clear goal for your job search, you'll waste a lot of time.

A great example of this is when I see clients spend hours and hours completing online applications on big job boards, searching for "anything." In the amount of time it takes to do that, you could have better, more productive conversations focused on a specific job you want.

4. Not having clear priorities

If you don't have a clear focus, goal and plan, you won't have clear priorities to drive your action each day. It will be very hard to decide what to do. Then you'll end up spinning your wheels. That'll be frustrating and could then trap you into some negative thinking.

You've probably heard me advocate for targeting employers and conducting a strategic job search. That's because it is proven to be the most successful method for finding a job. It also lends itself to creating a clear plan that enables you to suss out what's important, and what's not, in your search. That will allow you to focus on the most important priorities, each and every day.

5. Procrastinating

You might recall your days as a student when you became friends with procrastination. Ever cram all night for an exam? Or start working on a project the day before it was due?

It'll be tempting in your job search as well. But procrastination, avoiding the hard or undesirable work of the job search, will not serve you well. Procrastination is linked with other behaviors: being unorganized, being easily distracted or perfectionist tendenceis. Maybe you simply want to avoid work you fear.

To circumvent this issue, acknowledge that you are struggling with it. Find a fellow job-seeker to hold you accountable. Share your goals and plans and commit to when you will do the tasks you are putting off. Then report in to one another. Social accountability can go a long way to helping you meet your goals.

Yes, your job search is all about good marketing materials, interview prep and networking. And, it's also about have the right mental mindset, attitude and behaviors that will enable you to be success as you go forward.

Now, action for you. Leave a note below and share which of these 5 is the biggest challenge for you. What are you doing to overcome it?

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