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VOL. 35 | NO. 27 | Friday, July 8, 2011

Don’t let excuses get in the way of your job search

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What’s easier, doing all the things necessary to find a new job or making excuses?

People become their own worst enemy without knowing it, setting barriers before and during a job search. They have no time to write or thoroughly proofread a good resume, to include a cover letter, to network or call potential contacts. The list is endless, but the result is the same.

Failing to overcome excuses can mean settling for a lesser position than you are qualified to hold or a prolonged job search. At the worst they can mean no job at all.

One of the hardest things to do is recognize that you are actually using excuses since they are typically habits you have developed during your lifetime. It is easier to see others use them in their daily life rather than to see your own.

Take the time to recognize your use of these barriers to success and work to overcome them. Not using excuses can greatly affect not only your search for employment, but also your total quality of life.

When you develop your approach and strategies of action, consider whether there are activities you have left out. And once you have determined your approach to find employment, watch to see if you are procrastinating in performing a certain task or tasks.

At the end of each day during your search ask yourself if there something you are putting off and not accomplishing?

If you are using excuses and can recognize it, you may be able to discover behavior patterns that will help you uncover those you are prone to use.

There are generally patterns of excuses involving eight topics people use that can affect the progression and outcome of their job search. They are:

Not wanting to write or spend adequate time preparing a resume

Not wanting to write or spend adequate time preparing a cover letter

Not wanting to perform research

Not wanting to ask others for assistance

Not wanting to meet new people

Not wanting to talk on the telephone

Not wanting to travel

Not wanting to spend money to find a job

Of course, there are as many excuses as there are people on the planet. However, these are the most common and are real barriers in achieving the goal of finding quality employment.

The underlying reasons might be based on depression, fear or outright laziness, but that they exist in day-to-day behavior needs to be recognized.

Once you have found your excuses, work on overcoming them. If you are avoiding the telephone, for example, call people you know (not just your close friends) and talk to them about your job search and ask for their opinion.

Or, if you don’t like to meet new people, start going to social gatherings and introduce yourself to others and talk about your search. Set aside 15 minutes every day to do a little research. The only way to overcome your behavior is to tackle it head on.

Many people who use excuses will argue about their right to use them, often very emotionally. They are only fooling themselves.

Only you can determine your priorities in life and how you conduct your day to day activities. Getting a good job is hard enough without you hindering yourself. Stop using excuses and get ahead.

M.B. Owens is a Nashville-based columnist and journalist with a decade of experience writing on employment topics and business. He can be reached at mariusowens@aol.com.

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