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Maintaining Job Search Momentum: Part 3 of Your Personal/Professional Success Plan

By Phyllis Mufson

Whether you’re going through a job search, changing careers, or working toward any personal or professional goal, at some time in the process you’re going to get stuck. You can count on it.

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Are You Getting Stuck?

Maybe you started out hopeful and full of energy, but then:

  • You try on your interview suit, and it doesn’t fit. You’ve gained weight.
  • An employer schedules a video interview, and you feel very awkward using the webcam.
  • One of your friends is connected on LinkedIn to someone you want to meet. You not sure how to ask for an introduction, so you do nothing.
  • You have all day to work on the project you never had time for, but instead of taking action you play video games.

You procrastinate, and you tell yourself: you’re too old, too fat, too lazy, too broke, or too inexperienced. You tell yourself, I’m not ready, No one will hire me, It’s too risky, too hard, not the right time, and on, and on, and on. Before your know it you’re at an impasse.

Initially you were stymied because you lacked a plan, or knowledge, or a connection, or a resource, or an idea, or perhaps you had too many ideas, or competing ideas. And rather than solving your problem and moving forward you stopped, because change is uncomfortable. Change brings up fears, commonly of looking foolish, of losing a comforting sense of self, and of being rejected as not good enough.

Re-Start Your Momentum

Sometimes you can shake yourself out of your fears. Keeping a daily journal of your progress, exercising, and meditation can all be useful. But many times you need to allow others to help you move ahead.

Before you slide into a cycle of negativity and regret, be kind to yourself. Give yourself the gift of reaching out for structure and support.

In “How to Shave Time Off Your Job Search” I wrote about some of the more popular methods for getting structure and support for your change, working with:

Support and accountability partners
Coaches and counselors
Support groups

I encourage you to read the article and consider your options. Whether you choose a formal arrangement for meetings for structure and support, or to reach out informally to your friends, look for:

  • People who can remind you of your excitement about and commitment to, the wonderful future you are creating for yourself.
  • People who see the best in you and help you see and experience your potential.
  • People who are willing to hold you accountable and expect you to honor your commitments.
  • People who are emotionally invested in your success, who will listen to your fears and help you celebrate your achievements.
  • People who have knowledge and expertise and who will share information and point out potential pitfalls in your plans.
  • People who are great networkers, who will delight in connect with the right people and resources.
  • Problem solvers who can look at your situation with fresh eyes.

With support you will multiply your chances of reaching your goals. Who will you ask for support?

Move into Action

Don’t fool yourself and think that with time your situation will improve or that - at a later time - change will be easier and your fears will fade. Usually that is not true, and, with inaction, your fears grow as well as your regrets for what might have been.

However, if you overcome inertia and take action your fears will begin to decrease. You’ll find that action toward your goals will increase your self-confidence and happiness.

All it takes is the willingness to step out of your comfort zone and experience some discomfort. If you want a future in which you feel fully alive, if you want to experience the joy that comes with overcoming obstacles and reaching your goals you need to move into action and stay in action.  Action creates its own positive spiral.

Bottom Line

Take heart from the third law of thermodynamics - A body at rest tends to remain at rest. A body in motion tends to remain in motion.

Your Personal Professional Success Plan:


About the author...

Phyllis Mufson is a career / business consultant and a certified life coach with over 25 years of experience. She has helped hundreds of clients successfully navigate career transitions. You can learn more about Phyllis and her practice at PhyllisMufson and follow Phyllis on Twitter @PhyllisMufson and Google+.


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Guide to Job Search for Boomers & Those Over 50:

Over 50 / Boomer Job Search Concerns:


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Figuring Out What's Next for Over 50 / Boomers:

Developing Your Personal Success Plan for Over 50 / Boomers:

Making Your Best Impression for Over 50 / Boomers:

Over 50 / Boomer Career Pioneers:

Over 50 / Boomer Career Change:

Additional Resources:


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