What to do When You Hit the Wall

by Vincent, Mary Jeanne Thursday, August 13, 2009
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You have been job hunting for what seems like an eternity. You are tired, cranky, and feeling stuck. You’ve hit the wall! What can you do? Implement these ideas to re-energize your stalled job search.

1. Consider the wall as a temporary stopping place. Use it to catch your breath and re-evaluate your approach.

2. Reframe the situation. Ask, "How else can I look at this?"

3. Focus on what is working and why. Stop reading now and list three things that are going well in your life or job search.

4. Remove the cement shoes! Take a small step in a different direction. It doesn’t have to be the right step; what is most important is that you shift out of the rut in which you find yourself. Your can always adjust your course later.

5. Enlist the support of a good career coach. At one time or another we all need someone who is willing to ask the tough questions and patiently wait for our answer. This could be your time!

6. Seek out new people. Ask different questions. Maybe you are not talking to the people who can make a difference. Or, maybe you aren’t asking the right questions.

7. Brainstorm ideas with a colleague. They’ve seen you in action. What are their suggestions? Quick jot down the name of two people with whom you can brainstorm.

8. Ask yourself what the payoff is for being stuck. How much is the inaction, mental fatigue, or stress costing you? Probably too much. Find a way to pay yourself for moving forward.

9. Re-visit your job search strategy, lead generation activities, and method for following up on opportunities. If one or more of these aren’t working – change what you are doing! Don’t get in the rut of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!

10. List five things for which you are grateful. Do this every night before you go to sleep. It's easy to focus on the negative and take what you have for granted. Remember to count your blessings!

11. Develop an identity outside of that of a job seeker. Find another arena that affords you a measure of success. Use that to maintain your momentum, regain balance, and offset the inevitable dark and discouraging days that are part of the job search landscape.

12. Change your vocabulary. Keep a list of powerful words posted nearby and refer to it often. Notice the difference between get to and have to, make a choice versus have no option, anticipate or dread, opportunity and problem, and success and failure.

Copywrite. Mary Jeanne Vincent