Great news! You’re getting some success in your job search – great networking meetings, opportunities to do consulting or free-lance work in your desired field, phone interviews, in-person interviews, reference checks.

Uh-oh! Now that things are moving well with your job search, it can be easy to either

  • Get freaked out and self-sabotage, or
  • Get disappointed when the pace slows or the results don’t come fast enough. That disappointment may cause you to want to give up or stop taking action.

For both conditions, I find it really important/valuable to take just one step after another.

Self-sabotage usually results from fear of successfully reaching my goal. My fear of achieving the goal is based on my fear that I won’t be able to handle it when I reach my goal.  It will be too much for me, I’ll be in over my head, I’m really an impostor and will be found out…the list goes on.

I’ve been there! In fact, I created a personal meaning for FEAR as an acronym: FaithlessEgo Anticipates Ruin. I project into the future and usually I project disaster.

To reduce fear, stay in the present and do the next thing in front of you. And when you take each step as it comes, you can handle it. I find I can handle the work at hand, even if I fear arriving at my destination.  So stop thinking that you are already at the end of the process. You still have work to do!

Disappointment and demoralization stem largely from unrealistic expectations about how long, how involved, and how challenging it will be to reach my goal.  I think I SHOULD get to my goal faster, more easily, with fewer steps.  And when I don’t, I can think that there’s something wrong with me, or that I’ve tackled something I’m not able to do, or I don’t have what it takes…you get the picture.

Again, I find the answer is in focusing on what’s in the present/in the now, and doing the next thing without expecting a specific result.  Goals are great, as long as we’re not attached to HOW they come about and WHEN they come about. So stop “shoulding on yourself!” There is no specific time frame for finding a job. While there are guidelines to job search success (I tell you about them in this blog and on Twitter!), there is no formula to follow that will guarantee results in a prescribed way.

When you start being successful with your job search, stick with it. It’s still one step at a time. Taking it step by step, the results will take care of themselves. You will land your “right fit” job for sure.