Career Stalled? 5 Changes You May Need to Make Right Now

change-flickr-david-reeceYou just know you’ve done everything right in your job search. You’ve applied for every job you found online, but you haven’t received a single call back. As your anxiety increases, you try to think of a reason why you’re not getting job interviews.

It must be because of the job market. That was your problem all along! Right?

Wrong.

If the start to your career has stalled, here are 5 changes you may need to make… right now:

1. You Barely Prepare for Interviews

Have you ever found yourself kicking back and taking it easy before a big interview, hardly prepping at all for what’s to come? Afterall, we all have other responsibilities to manage. How did that interview go for you? The majority of people can’t excel in an interview without spending hours practicing answers, thinking of questions to ask, and working on building confidence. Pulling off a solid interview without preparing is very tough. And most employers have questions specifically designed to test your level of preparation.

Next time you get an interview, try prepping for at least two hours and notice the difference  in your demeanor. And if you’re still in school, take advantage of mock interviews offered at your Career Center that let you practice without putting anything on the line.

2. You’re Surrounding Yourself With Lazy People

Studies show that a good chunk of your personality stems from the people you spend a lot of time with. Therefore, if the majority of your friends are lazy, chances are you picked up a few habits from them.

Now we’re not saying you have to cut them out of your life completely – just spend more time with people who motivate you to accomplish your goals. Admitting that your friends are holding you back is tough to admit, but in some cases it’s necessary if you want to move on successfully in your job search.

3. You’re Interested in Finding Any Job (Not the Right Job)

Looking for the right career and looking for any job are totally separate. Remember, recruiters review resumes and interview people every day. They can distinguish candidates who just want any job from the people who know exactly what they want and will stop at nothing to achieve it. If you’re focused on only getting job offers without thinking about the long-term, you could end up taking the first offer that comes your way.

Making this mistake doesn’t seem bad – you did find a job and all – but if you put in a little more effort and realized your potential, you could have found a career that had great managers, an awesome culture, and solid pay. Taking the first offer that comes your way is a risky bet that could lead to you becoming miserable.

4. You Cozy Up to Generic Cover Letters

In many cases, the cover letter is what gets a hiring managers attention. It lets them know how you think, what’s important to you, and whether or not you fit their culture.

That’s why using generic cover letter templates don’t work — it’s the lazy way to get out of doing something that could lead to a promising career. A solid cover letter should be written to fit the culture of each company you apply to, and should explain why you’d excel at that specific position, not just any position.

5. You Apply Only to Jobs You Find Online

People get hired every day from online job postings, so why isn’t this a good way to find a job?

If applying online is the only medium you use to hunt down jobs, then you’ll be up against a very competitive group of people who are in the exact position as you. The chances of being selected from that group for an interview are slim, especially if you just barely meet the qualifications.

To combat this, try using other channels to apply for jobs, the biggest one being networking. By expanding and utilizing your network, you can find influential people for careers at companies you didn’t even know were hiring. These days it’s more about who you know than what you know, but knowing both will propel you from your couch to a desk in no time.

When you realize that finding that first job has become stalled, look to yourself first. And  make the changes necessary to regain momentum, and get that gig!

 

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For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at ComeRecommended!

 

 

About the Author: Alex Macksoud is a senior at Central Michigan University studying advertising with a minor in marketing. Aside from being a content creator trainee, Alex is also a social media trainee at Come Recommended. He has heaps of experience in advertising, social media, public relations, content creation, SEO, and marketing – mainly from internships and leadership roles in student organizations.

 

 

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