I had a “Eureka!” moment that may relate to your 2014 New Year’s resolution to land a new or better job.

I realized many job seekers go about their job search like I go about getting fit.

If you feel stuck in your unemployment like I do in my excess pounds, please learn from my bad example!

1. I want to be thin, but right now, I want a cookie.

Likewise, you may truly want a job, but instead of really trying, are you sabotaging your efforts by focusing on more appealing activities?

What should we do?

You and I both know we need to remove the “cookies” that are distracting us from our goal and become strategic about accomplishing what we really want.

Resources to get focused:

  • Career action plan
  • Focused job search
  • Organizing your job search

2. I start strong and then fade.

Each day, I eat a healthy breakfast and each evening, I vow I will resist food temptations starting the next day … and in between, well … more often than not, my eating habits just aren’t good enough to drive change.

Are you functioning the same way in your job search? Do you plan to make difficult post-interview phone calls or gain the knowledge needed to qualify for a good job … but fizzle before you’re finished?

What should we do?

Of course the answer is to really work your plan, whether your goal is get fit or get hired.

Tips to help you follow through:

  • Re-energize your job search
  • Gain knowledge on your own

3. I try to lose weight all by myself.

I know, I know, there are tons of programs for people who want to get fit, but I can make excuses all day long about why I don’t want to join them … they are too expensive, they are too time consuming, people will judge me, I don’t like the food options, etc. But statistics show that people who get help from reputable sources have a higher success rate losing weight than do-it-yourselfers. It’s the same for job seekers — those who get help are more likely to get hired.

What should we do?

If going it alone isn’t working, get help. For you, that could mean hiring a career coach or resume writer, asking your network for help, listening to free job help webinars on Ilostmyjob.com, or enlisting a friend to hold you accountable when you slack off.

One thing you can do is reach out to me. Unemployed and miserably employed people hire me to revamp their resume and LinkedIn profile, coach them through their job search, or prep them for upcoming interviews.

Available resources and ways to get help:

  • Job Tips by Topic
  • Why people aren’t helping you
  • Networking basics
  • Informational interviews

4. I stick with the same methods … and they don’t work.

You know Einstein’s adage, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”? Well, do I ever need to learn that lesson in my fitness regimen! I’ve been diligently doing the same exercises every night for years and they don’t help enough.

Are you repeatedly doing the same, ineffective things in your job search and getting nowhere?

What should we do?

If what you’re doing is not working, it’s time to try something new. It’s also time to review what you’re doing now. Read over your resume with a discerning eye. If you haven’t looked at it in a while, you might be horrified to discover typos and outdated information, or even worse, no compelling reason whatsoever for why you are the best candidate for a particular job. If your resume is not right, fix it to reflect your best attributes or get help to make it right.

Ways to review and new techniques to try:

  • Use power words and quantifiable results
  • Cover letter tips
  • Proof your job materials
  • Proving you are the best candidate

5. Every day’s a holiday or sick day (if I let it be)

I can come up with a million reasons why now is a bad time to exercise:

  • It’s a holiday! Boxing Day … Arbor Day … Groundhogs Day, etc.
  • It’s too cold
  • It’s too hot
  • It’s too beautiful (let’s not waste the day!)
  • I have a hangnail … sore toe … pink eye, etc.
  • I’m too busy … I’m too tired, my favorite show is on, etc.

You get my drift. Every day … every moment … can seem the wrong time to stick to your program. It’s human nature to procrastinate and to choose the easy over the hard.

What should we do?

We need to focus on our goal THROUGHOUT the process. Visualize EXACTLY what you want. Imagine your dream job then determine what you need to do to win that position. Chart your course. Track your progress. And consider a visual reminder to push you forward. For me that visual aid could be a picture of myself at my optimal weight taped to my refrigerator.

6. Perhaps my greatest obstacle to losing weight is I convince myself I can’t do it.

I’ve tried so long and hard to be thinner, I’ve started to believe it’s impossible to achieve. Maybe you feel the same way in your job search. Facing disappointment day after day can crush your spirit and sap your energy.

What should we do?

While there are no easy answers to overcome the turmoil and self doubt you may feel while unemployed or miserably employed, keep in mind the ancient Chinese proverb: “A journey of thousands miles begins with a single step.”

You CAN step forward … and then keep on walking toward your goal of being employed or more happily employed in 2014. Progress will give you confidence … and confidence will help you … Get a Job!

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