Having excuses is a seductive way to get out of doing something you want, but are too afraid to act on. If you want to procrastinate, it’s never the right time to start something new—like a job search, asking for a promotion and raise, or getting involved with a gig-economy side hustle. There will always be a convenient reason why now is not a good time.
Most times, the logic supports your hesitance. You can point to the tensions over war, inflation, the stock market cratering and companies starting to slowly downsize. Your family and friends may say, “With everything going on, maybe you should wait a while.”
The problem with this well-intentioned advice is that you say you’ll start looking for a job in the summer, but “it’s notoriously slow, so I might as well enjoy my summer on the beach.” The time goes by and then it’s November. The excuse is now, “No one is hiring during the holidays, it makes sense to wait until the New Year when companies have their budgets and headcounts.”
Find Your Reason Why
It’s time to get motivated. You can’t keep making excuses. You know that you need to take action, but keep putting it off. You blame the economy, high inflation, the state of global affairs and anything else you can point a finger at. But you know the truth—you’re procrastinating.
If you are thinking of starting a new job, seeking out an internal promotion, going back to school to learn a new skill and profession or starting a side hustle, there’s a point in time you need to stop thinking and talking about it and start taking action.
It helps to keep motivated when you have a larger purpose that pushes you to move forward—even when you’re tired and just want to give up. Think of all of the reasons why you want to find a new job above and beyond securing employment. The motivation for obtaining a promotion, starting a business on the side, pivoting to a new career, getting a new job or going back to school to learn new skills is built upon taking care of your family.
By putting in all of the time and effort, you’ll feel it’s worth it, as you will be able to provide a better life for your family. The extra money you earn can be spent on your children’s college tuition, purchasing a home or saving for a comfortable retirement. As you confront obstacles and adversities, having a deeper, meaningful purpose will propel you forward through the rough patches.
Start With A Game Plan
It’s great to have a goal, but you need to put a system into place. For instance, if you want to find a new job, create an action plan. Decide upon the type of job you want, the compensation level and the appropriate corporate title. Do you want a remote, hybrid or in-office work style?
The second step is to get started. If you don’t have a résumé, put one together. Update your LinkedIn profile so that recruiters, human resources and hiring managers can easily find you. Enlist the help of career experts, tap into your network for leads and create a list of target companies you want to work with.
Then, set up a daily schedule. One day may be reserved for searching online for jobs and responding to them. Another for reaching out to your network to solicit leads. Follow the plan throughout the rest of the week, dividing up the tasks so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
You can use this basic outline for seeking a promotion. You just need to tweak it a little. Decide upon what you think is a fair salary increase. Research industry standards of pay for the job you want. Check into how your firm is doing financially, so you know how much you can push for a larger paycheck. Armed with the intelligence and data, ask for a meeting with your manager and share all the well-researched reasons why you deserve a promotion and increase in compensation.
If it’s gig work or a side job, you can follow the same path. Investigate the type of work you need to do. Ask people who are engaged in this sector how they like it, what to expect for pay and what is the upside and downside. Research the tech or app company to ensure they are reputable.
You May Need To Change Your Circle Of Friends
If you’ve been hanging around people who are not career motivated, party too much and are not serious about their futures, they may serve as a distraction from your goals. You don’t have to completely cut off from them. Just take some time away, so you don’t get dragged into their world and veer away from your intended goals.
Find like-minded, career-oriented folks. If there is a person in a job that you want, take the chance to contact them. Tell them that you want to be in a role similar to the one they hold. Politely invite them out for a cup of coffee or lunch to discuss how they got where they are now.
Not everyone will be open-minded. Most will not answer your call or email. Think of it as a numbers game. If you try to reach a large number of people, there will be at least one or two who will take you up on the offer. This is a great way to learn from someone who you want to emulate. Ask about their career journey, the ups and downs. See if they have any openings at their company or can point you in the right direction. Join online networking groups to broaden your network.
Visualization, Positive Self-Talk, Mantras And Affirmations
Practicing visualization, mantras, self-affirmations and manifestations, along with putting in the effort, will help lead to success. Visualization is the practice of seeing yourself reach your intended goal. Visualize yourself in the place where you want to be. It could be sitting in a nice corner office at a cool, new startup. Replace the unrelenting negative self-talk with positive encouraging thoughts. Convince yourself that you will succeed. When things look bleak, don’t despair. Instead, think back to all the times you overcame obstacles in the past. Savor and enjoy each little victory along the journey.
Start using mantras. These are phrases that you focus on and repeat throughout the day. It could be “I will get that new job” or “ I deserve the promotion and raise.” Add to the mix affirmations too. Self-affirmation is the practice of thinking positively about the attributes you possess, such as courage, strength and determination to succeed. They also help block out the negative ruminations that keep popping up in your head and are replaced with positive thoughts.
Manifest your destiny. This entails hyperfocusing your thoughts on the desired outcome, which will turn your desires into reality. It’s not just hoping or wishing something will happen. The mantras rewire your thought process to have an optimistic mindset.
A few changes to how you speak, your body language and your mindset could make the difference between getting the results you desire.
Along the way, ask people for feedback. If you are not getting called back for second interviews or aren’t receiving offers, ask your recruiter for an honest appraisal of how you come across. Most people won’t offer feedback, as they are concerned about hurting your feelings or being accused of some sort of bias. It’s not easy to give less than positive feedback.
Think of major league sports. No matter how great a golfer, baseball or football player is, there are always coaches around to ensure they play their best. The same holds true with interviewing. You may not be aware that you come across as aggressive or are too meek. If you don’t ask for feedback, you will continue doing the same thing and have the same results.