4 More Habits Of Highly Ineffective Job Seekers

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: December 22, 2008 - 9:19 AM

Last week, I told you about three habits of highly ineffective job seekers.

This week, here’s the final installment: four more bad habits that can wreck your career.

Have a look below to see if you’re practicing any.

If so, drop these habits now, and you may start getting more calls from employers tomorrow …

Habit 1) Say “But” instead of “How”
When highly unsuccessful job seekers are presented with a new idea, the first word out of their mouths is usually: “But ….”

As in: “Hey, Joe, here’s a phone script you can use to call people and generate job leads. You ought to try it!”

Joe, the highly unsuccessful job seeker, replies: “But, I’ve already called everyone in my network.”

Successful job seekers, on the other hand, greet new ideas with this question: “How could I adapt that to my job search?” Then they get busy.

Listen to your self-talk today. Are you saying, “But” a lot more than “How”? If so, the scientific term for your condition is but-head (sic). Sorry, couldn’t resist that.

To stop being a “but-head,” start saying, “How can I make that work for me?” more often in your job search (and in your life).

Habit 2) Fail to tell everyone about their search
Unsuccessful job seekers often equate employment status with self-worth, and are too embarrassed to tell friends and family about their job search.

But … you won’t get paid more for finding a job entirely on your own.

In fact, you may not get a paycheck for many moons unless you enlist the aid of as many people as possible, starting in your own home and on the block where you live.

Today, before your next bathroom break (yes, I want to give you a sense of urgency) make a list of the 20 most-successful, most-connected people you know.

How many of them know about your job search?

When I say, “know,” I mean the following:

  • Do they know the title of the job you seek?
  • The city where you want to work?
  • The type of employer you want to work for (right down to 10-20 company names)?

If not, you won’t find work as fast as you could.

To get hired quickly, tell everyone. Not 10 people. Or 23. Everyone -- every person you meet, every day.

Habit 3) Set no specific goals
I’m firmly convinced that muddled thinking causes more prolonged unemployment than any other factor -- economic, political, or otherwise.

Here’s a how to spot the unclear thinking of an unsuccessful job seeker …

When you ask how many networking calls they’ve made this week, they reply: “I’m moving forward on that.”

When you ask for names of companies they want to work for, they reply: “I can’t answer that, because I want to keep my options open.”

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