Job Focus vs. Distractions
Do you relate? It feels like it takes a lot more effort than it should to look for a job description that suits my experience, skills and talents. Once I find one, it feels like it takes a lot more time than it should to put together a cover letter, résumé and list of references that suit that particular job description. Finally it feels like it takes a lot more effort than it should to fill out those on-line applications, attach my documents and click “submit”.
Little things distract me along the way. Do I have spelling errors or grammatical mistakes? Will the person at the other end judge me harshly because I used the same word twice in two consecutive sentences? Any one of these issues is enough to derail my efforts and convince myself that I should take a break and surf the web for a while. Perhaps there are other distractions. Analyze the problem. If you feel like it is more effort than it should be to do the work to actually apply for a position, ask yourself three questions:
- Do you actually want the job you are applying for? Many times I apply for jobs I feel suit my experience and skill set but which I know (perhaps subconsciously) would actually bore me to tears. Perhaps all that distraction is self-sabotage and telling you something important.
- Do you feel unworthy of the position? Many times I apply for positions that I know I would enjoy but feel I don’t necessarily have the right background. In these situations part of me feels like I will be ridiculed for having the audacity to apply for such a position. Perhaps your distraction is protecting you from possible humiliation.
- Do you fear rejection? Sometimes I apply for positions that suit my skills and experience and that I think I would enjoy and I still feel myself being distracted. I have sent off applications feeling giddy only to wait many weeks looking at my in-box and checking my messages in vain. Or perhaps I inexplicably receive a form rejection email leaving me to wonder how they could reject me when I am so perfect for the position. This hurts. It makes me feel unvalued and overlooked as a person. I don’t like that feeling. Perhaps your distraction is a means of protecting yourself from potential hurt.
Implement the solution:
Recognize the following:
- Whatever the reason is for your distraction, it probably comes from a place that seeks to avoid pain. This drive, although it comes from a place of compassion, will not ultimately serve your job search. Consequently
- The next time you feel yourself being distracted when you are applying for a position do not beat yourself up for being lazy but recognize this dynamic and thank your distraction for looking out for you. Then…
- Tell the distraction that you are doing something that needs to be done and you will ultimately be okay.
- Now you are free to finish your application.
- Celebrate small successes.
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