In the last section I wrote about depression and fear as two common occurrences that prevent people from developing a career plan. Now I will give you a few more to ponder.
Often indecisive when forced to choose between several important options, and now uncertain of the best career choice, you stall out for a rather long period of time. You remain in a job, or series of jobs, that you consider a dead-end. You fail to appreciate that standing still is just a different way of making a wrong move.
Lack of Discipline
You seem insufficiently motivated to acquire the knowledge and/or skills necessary for the kind of job you say you truly want. Is learning difficult in general? Is there an attention problem? Are you angry about having to work hard because in some way it seems unfair?
Unrealistic / Narcissistic
You’ve been out of the workforce for a while, perhaps with caregiving responsibilities. Deep down you wish you didn’t need to work at all. So, your next job needs to tick a lot of boxes. You need a certain salary to make this worthwhile, you also want a 401K plan, you can’t commute too far because it wastes too much of your time, you absolutely cannot work Saturdays or evenings, and in the summers you take a family vacation the first two weeks in July. When you become such a picky eater at the table of employment, something is quite wrong and it’s not about the menu options.
Wake-up Call Required
You believe you are adequately educated and skilled yet your job search is protracted and you are having great difficulty getting interviews. If your résumé is well-written, it’s time to consider that your current skill set and/or your education may not be a match for the job you are seeking. Thoroughly read job listings to see if you meet all the qualifications. This could be your wake-up call to proactively acquire new knowledge and skills to become a competitive candidate.
There is a pattern of leaving jobs for “greener pastures ” and your work history reflects three or more jobs of short duration (less than three years). When you join another employer, the grass turns brown again very quickly. Is it a string of bad luck or are you not planning well enough? And even if you are not concerned about the frequency of your job changes, will potential employers down the road consider you a “job hopper”?
You don’t enjoy the day-in, day-out responsibilities of your job but you take home a nice paycheck. You get all of your work done but you never volunteer to do anything extra and when you are asked to do something additional you feel put upon. Sensing you don’t seem to work very hard, management wonders if someone else could be hired at a lower salary. You don’t see the WARNING LIGHTS FLASHING or the GATES COMING DOWN and your only career “plan” is to ride out this job until the end of your work life. The Universal Law of Career Management has a message for you: Everyone should strive for a job they like, know their marketability in the current employment landscape, and never let a boss have a legitimate reason to replace you.
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