If you don't like reading about yourself, don't proceed;)
1. Lack of clarity
2. Misalignment between what you believe in and what you pursue
3. Lack of commitment
4. No confidence
5. Blaming the circumstances
Lack of Clarity
You don’t know what you don’t know. There is much confusion related to what people believe in while searching for a new career. First, you need to figure out WHAT it is that you would like to pursue. Lack of clarity in terms of what you are good at, what culture/environment/company’s vision resonates with you, or what lifestyle you would like to be living doesn’t help at all.
See a few examples below:
If you are a rebel or creative mind who loves questioning the status quo - don’t go for a traditional/established company where things have been done in the same way for decades. You might not last long or feel exhausted about battling the system (done that/been there).
On the other hand, if uncertainty scares you to death, you need a lot of guidance and encouragement to do your tasks or come up with new ways of doing things - a startup environment might not be the best match for you.
If you want to start freelancing or running your own business and you can not embrace an idea of not making any money at the very beginning or not receiving a paycheck on the 1st of the month - please do not do it to yourself.
Get to know yourself first, then go on the job hunt.
Misalignment between what you believe in and what you pursue
Take a look at some of the real quotes of individuals seeking a career change and reflect on whether there is anything off in this way of thinking:
‘I work for a winery in the marketing department, but I don’t drink wine at all’
‘I do photoshoots for a fashion brand, and at the same time I believe that the industry is wasteful and snobby’
‘I design brand strategy for startups I don’t believe in’
‘I am not excited about working as a real estate agent, but I guess one can make money this way, right?’
You can fake many things: pretend to be someone else on your social media, embellish about your previous experience or preferences at a job interview, you name it. What you can’t fake is being genuinely engaged in what you do at least 8 hours per day.
Think twice before you accept an opportunity you dislike from the very beginning.
Lack of commitment
Searching for a new job is a project (or a job itself, if you wish). You need to do the research, pick strategies you want to pursue, plan all the activities, and finally execute them. People fail as they believe that all it takes is sending a few applications here and there, and a flood of recruiters will surge. Nope, unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way in the majority of the cases.
Commit to your job search and design a plan for each position/industry you are interested in.
US market is very competitive, which I am sure you know already, and nowadays it’s no longer about what you know, but also how you can package and sell it to your potential employer.
You need to be confident about you being THE BEST person to fill the position or THE BEST person to join a company and bring a MASSIVE VALUE to it without fulfilling 100% of the requirements. There is no need to be perfect, but you need to believe that you can be useful, committed, proactive, and continue to overdeliver.
If you lack confidence and belief in who you are, what your value is, and how you could be a game-changer for the company, don’t expect others to see it in your resume or believe in you at your interview. Everything starts within you.
Blaming the circumstances
The feeling of not being able to change the situation or not having any influence on the results you achieve is the biggest and most common blockage professionals who search for their next big opportunity face. You are in charge of your career and life. If you believe that there are no opportunities in your field in the market, I am 100% sure you haven’t evaluated all the options, or you have been doing something wrong.
‘It must be my resume - I don’t know how to write it so that it pops’
Potential solution (one of many): Talk to a professional and have it reviewed and corrected for you.
‘I don’t have the required experience or knowledge’
Potential fix (one of the hundreds): Get trained. Accept an entry position in the industry. Go back to school/get certified.
‘I don’t know anyone who could make introductions for me…’
This is my favorite one...:) Yes, some people get jobs because of their connections ( no need to cry over it, it’s better to embrace it), but as an immigrant who arrived in the US with literally zero contacts, let me tell you one thing. If you want to get a job or a new client, you will make it happen, although your uncle doesn’t work for Apple, Disney, Versace, or New York Times. Some people see problems; others search for solutions. Be the one who sees solutions and people who can connect you with your next big opportunity EVERYWHERE.
Option number 2. is to start networking. You don't know people? Go out of your shell (and comfort zone) and start making the necessary connections.
‘Something is not working, and I don’t know how to get unstuck’
Potential remedy (especially if you have tried doing it yourself for weeks or months): Get helped. Invest in yourself. Work with someone who knows the drill - no need to reinvent the wheel.
Don’t wait for favorable circumstances. Create them. Don't have the money to pay for professional services? Make it. Borrow it. Save it. Propose a barter, if possible. Get creative, and don't be a stinge when it comes to your future or well being.
PS. Leave the comment below, share, like (or dislike?), tell me if you disagree. Stop caving - I’d love to hear your thoughts!