Skip to content

The Job Search Mistakes You’re Likely Making

Last Modified On: March 25, 2024, Author: Amy Sanchez

Every 2-3 years throughout the first 13 years of my career, I switched jobs.  I had a distinct pattern: the first six months of my new job I was really happy and excited that I had finally found a role I liked. Then, the familiar doubts and disheartening realizations would rear their ugly heads.  I felt stifled, I was stressed, there was a boss/co-worker/agency who was annoying me. Eventually, I would hit the job boards and return to the oh-so-familiar job search. At that time, I didn't realize the job search mistakes I was committing.

This manifested in typing keywords that coincided with the job function I was already in (marketing) and searching for companies or roles that sounded “cool” and “unique.” I searched far and wide on Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, you name it.  When I found a job that looked semi-interesting, I’d drop the resume that outlined the laundry list of things I’d accomplished in my career. After time would pass and I wouldn’t hear back from 98% of the jobs I had applied for, I’d get discouraged and start to network with friends and colleagues… who all happened to be in very similar industries to me.  (Naturally, we tend to build our tribe based on people we met in school/at work).  By the time I started this networking exercise, I was reaching a breaking point and NEEDED to make a switch.  The companies they connected me with who heeded my call all ended up being very similar to the situation I was looking to leave. But hey, it was new so maybe this time, it would be different.  You may have guessed: it never was and my cycle started all over again which when I look at now, makes me realize how big of a job search mistake was making on a regular basis. Although I never faced a situation in which I was getting fired from a job still, I was constantly looking for something more, something that could burn up the fire in me again.

One day, I started to ponder the question:

Could I really continue to do this for the next 20 years?!? 

When I finally gave myself the time and space to explore this question, I came to an answer that wasn’t surprising.  NO: I could not remain in this cycle for the next 20 years.  Something had to change.  I hired a coach/hypnotherapist who took me on a much-needed journey of self-discovery. And that process literally changed my life.

Taking the time and space to explore important questions about your life and career can lead to profound realizations. It's empowering when you come to a clear answer that aligns with your inner truth and reveals that a change is necessary. In your case, realizing that you could not continue in the same cycle for the next 20 years was a significant revelation.

To support your journey of transformation, you made the decision to hire a coach/hypnotherapist. This choice reflects your commitment to personal growth and development. Working with a professional who specializes in guiding individuals through self-discovery can be a transformative experience.

Embarking on a journey of self-discovery with your coach/hypnotherapist allowed you to delve deeper into your inner world, uncovering hidden beliefs, patterns, and desires. Through this process, you gained valuable insights and a deeper understanding of yourself. This newfound self-awareness became a catalyst for change, empowering you to make decisions that would positively impact your life.

It's remarkable how such a process of self-discovery and transformation can have a profound impact on one's life. It opens doors to new possibilities, empowers personal growth, and ignites a sense of purpose and fulfillment. By embracing this journey, you demonstrated the courage and determination to create a life that aligns with your authentic self.

Remember, personal transformation is an ongoing process. It requires self-reflection, continuous learning, and a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone. As you continue on this path of self-discovery, remain open to new experiences, embrace personal growth opportunities, and nurture the positive changes that have already taken place.

By investing in your personal development and embracing the power of self-discovery, you have taken a significant step towards creating a life that is truly aligned with your passions, values, and aspirations. As you move forward, trust in your ability to navigate challenges and embrace the opportunities that come your way. The journey of self-discovery is a lifelong adventure that can bring immense joy, fulfillment, and a profound sense of purpose. When you do this, you automatically save yourself from repeating those same job search mistakes.

Avoid Job Search Mistakes With This Approach To a Job Search That Will Lead to a Fulfilling Role

You must first start by looking inward to define what you really want from your job/career.  Think about all the things you pursue in life and how thought you invest in first defining what you want:

  1. You don’t shop for a car without having your requirements defined (i.e. it must be safe, it must be less than $x, it must be electric, etc.)
  2. You wouldn’t buy a house without first defining your laundry list of must haves.  In fact, this is one of the first things a real estate agent will ask you for
  3. In marketing speak, you wouldn’t design a campaign without first defining your target market and the needs of your avatar

We apply the needs-defining methodology to so many aspects of decision-making in life but when it comes to one of the most important, what do we want to do with the majority of the working hours of our day, we rarely spend time pondering what we really want to do before we jump into job-searching mode.

If you’ve attended university, chances are you met with a career counselor at some point.  And you may have taken some sort of personality assessment and then been handed a long list of jobs that suited people with your personality.  But that is just a small fraction of the equation.  That’s like preparing for an international trip and packing a bag but forgetting your passport, any shots you may need, and neglecting to book a hotel. You get the idea- traditional approaches to help us answer the question of what we want to do with our career still lead many, many people to end up on career paths that they want to leave by the time they reach their 30’s and 40’s.

Comparing it to packing for an international trip without considering essential documents, vaccinations, or accommodations is an apt analogy. There are numerous other factors that come into play when determining a fulfilling career path, such as personal values, interests, skills, and aspirations.

Traditional approaches tend to overlook the importance of aligning one's career choices with their values and passions and that is one of the biggest job search mistakes you will find people committing. Many people find themselves on career paths that no longer resonate with them as they enter their 30s and 40s. This dissatisfaction often stems from not having fully explored and understood themselves before making career decisions.

To avoid ending up on a career path that leaves you unfulfilled, it's important to go beyond the surface-level assessments. Engage in self-reflection and consider what truly brings you joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose. Explore your passions, interests, and values to gain a deeper understanding of what you want from your career.

Additionally, seeking guidance from career coaches or mentors who specialize in a holistic approach to career development can be invaluable. These professionals can help you navigate the complexities of self-discovery, assist in identifying your strengths and values, and guide you towards career paths that align with your authentic self.

So Where Should You Start with the Job Search?

Our whole lives, we’ve been taught that if we want a change, we should jump into action mode and make it happen.  I’m going to tell you something shocking: don’t move into action, move into inaction.  At this juncture, the best thing you can do for yourself is slow down, get out of your head, and tap into your heart and your soul. How relaxing does that sound?

In a world that emphasizes constant action and movement, it may seem counterintuitive to suggest embracing inaction. However, there are moments in life when slowing down and tapping into our inner selves can be incredibly beneficial.

When faced with the need for change, it's natural to have an urge to immediately jump into action. However, taking a step back and allowing yourself to pause and reflect can provide clarity and a deeper understanding of what truly matters to you. This is where moving into inaction can be surprisingly powerful. Ignore this job search mistake and you will see the results yourself.

By slowing down, quieting the mind, and connecting with your heart and soul, you create space for introspection and self-discovery. This relaxation technique allows you to tune into your deepest desires, values, and passions without the distractions and pressures of external influences. It's an opportunity to reconnect with your authentic self and gain a sense of inner guidance.

Moving into inaction doesn't mean stagnation or passivity. Instead, it's a deliberate choice to temporarily suspend the rush towards action in order to gain clarity and insight. It's about creating a calm and receptive state that allows you to access your intuition and make decisions that are aligned with your truest self.

Imagine the peace and tranquility that comes from disconnecting from the noise of the external world and immersing yourself in a moment of stillness. By embracing inaction, you grant yourself the space to listen to your inner voice, discover your true desires, and gain a renewed sense of purpose.

So, take a deep breath, relax, and allow yourself to slow down. Find solace in the silence and let your heart and soul speak. It is within this state of inaction that you may find the clarity and inspiration needed to embark on a meaningful and fulfilling path.

In a world that glorifies constant action, remember the power of inaction. Embrace the relaxation and peace that come from connecting with your inner self. From this place of calm, you can move forward with a renewed sense of purpose and authenticity, making choices that align with the deepest desires of your heart and soul.

High level, there are some really basic questions that you should ponder:

  1. What tasks fill me with energy?
  2. What are my strengths?
  3. What does an ideal day at work look like?
  4. What are the top values that I want to honor in my life?
  5. What type of flexibility do I need to have?
  6. And, of course, economic requirements that I need to meet (salary, benefits, etc.)?

This is the tip of the iceberg.  But answering these questions will give you a good start into diving into defining your job requirements.

By starting with this step, I ended up defining where I wanted to go and obtaining training to become an executive career and leadership coach.  I absolutely love what I do now and I have seen a positive domino effect across all parts of my life.  And I’ve been fortunate enough to take several clients on their own journey of career self-discovery and witnessed some remarkable transformations.  But when they came to me, many of them were stuck surfing the web looking for the answer to their career unhappiness.  Don’t fall into that same trap.  You’re destined for something great in your career- let your internal wisdom help you define what that is and get out of the trap of job search mistakes that others keep on falling for.

About The Author

Leadership Consultant and Coach Amy Sanchez

Amy Sanchez is a certified executive and career coach located in the Bay Area who specializes in helping mid- to senior-level executives achieve their full potential and build the lives they want.

She has an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business and 13 years of corporate experience.

She is a skilled coach and neutral partner who provides clients with tangible tools and effective guidance to successfully navigate the waters of this fast-paced, hyper-connected, high-stakes job market.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap