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February 15, 2010

Job Search habits to break in 2010

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Job Search habits to break in 2010

By Kim Thompson, Career Rescue

Here's the challenge: Are the things you're doing to find a job the right things? Are your activities not producing good results? Are you getting little in return for your efforts?

It's not that you set out to develop job search habits that don't work. Often, these habits develop over time, until they're barriers, not productive tools.

Habits really can make or break your job hunting efforts. Some habits are easier to identify than others. If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it's time to update your search methods and upgrade your approach! There are many great tips and tools online to help organize your search efforts and increase your chances of landing a new job in 2010.

Job search habits can be deceptive

Think about what happens to a job seeker who has spent weeks searching by only sitting behind a computer screen. If they rely solely on this method, they probably will get frustrated waiting for the ideal job. The habit in question is not searching for a job online; it's the "amount of time" devoted to only one job search method.

Applying for positions online is a vital part of a job search -- it's only when you start examining how much time you are spending on one search method that you see the habit.

Here are some habits job candidates have said kept them from moving ahead with their search.

1. Thinking like a Lone Ranger. Trying to job search on your own is a long process. Be sure to develop and use your job search network.

2. Focusing on what others think. In reality, most people are not thinking about your career or what happened.

3. Obsessing about your job search. If you wake up thinking about your job search and go to bed thinking about your job search, you may be obsessing.

4. Avoiding risk-taking by guessing about the end results before you began implementing a new job search activity. Pick the most effective job search methods and follow them to their end, no matter what that is.

5. Staying in a place of grief about your job loss rather than working your way through the process of letting go and moving ahead.

6. Being negative. Negativity is contagious, and negative company thrives on negativity.

7. Not establishing a routine. Without a daily routine, it's easy to lose track of time and feel unproductive.

8. Living with procrastination. It goes something like this, "I'll call them tomorrow and just wait, because I plan to finish organizing the garage..."

9. Striving to be perfect. This can be counterproductive. It can result in feeling that your resume always needs to be stronger instead of just getting it out there for employers to see.

10. Letting fear be in the driver's seat. Fear is one of strongest habits known to job seekers. It can dominate an entire job search.

If you can identify with some of these habits, it might time to re-examine your job search and change habits that are not helping you land the job of your dreams.

The good news about habits -- if they aren't working for you, you can break them and replace them with habits that are more productive.

Kimberly Thompson has spent more than two decades helping people with career changes and job searches. She is a National Board Certified counselor, a member of the American Counseling Association, the Christian Counseling Association, the National Career Development Association and the Career Planning and Adult Development Network.

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