Career Tip 1: Take Control – Possibility Thinking

Possibility Thinking.

Begin your job search by taking control. Stop thinking about what may be impossible and start thinking about what is possible.

The Job Dog’s first Tip encourages you to identify counterproductive thoughts and actions, which are in your control that you need to stop. That’s right, knowingly or unknowingly, you could be the person sabotaging your job search.

A search is challenging enough without your own self-defeating thoughts and actions blindsiding you. Not good! But what is good is that those self-defeating behaviors can be addressed instantly. Think about it – you do not have much control over the economy, when an organization will be hiring, or the number of qualified candidates competing for the same job. What you can control is how you manage your mind.

Self-awareness of counterproductive behaviors and thoughts is essential to beginning a successful job search or career transition.

Self-awareness of counterproductive behaviors and thoughts is essential to beginning a successful job search or career transition.

Not surprisingly, The Job Dog team often coaches clients who are undermining their own success. When we point out counterproductive thoughts and behaviors, clients always respond with new self-awareness. Once we identify those negatives, we monitor and replace them with positive thoughts and actions. That is when the impossible becomes possible.

This Tip asks you to take a few moments to identify a list of your own self-imposed obstacles. Ask yourself, “What am I doing or thinking that is counterproductive to my success?” “What am I fearful of or uncomfortable with, which, if I could overcome, would help me find that next opportunity?”

Are you trying to move ahead with your brakes on?

Are you trying to move ahead with your brakes on?

Consider this story about a client named Dan who needed to stop thinking unproductive thoughts that were undermining his progress. As soon as Dan heard he was laid off, he began spending days, then weeks, searching job postings online. When others asked how they could help, Dan told them he was looking for something similar to what he had been doing. However, after more than a year of a non-productive job search, he came to The Job Dog for help.

As he became increasingly honest with himself and The Job Dog, Dan admitted that he never found much success or fulfillment in his line of work.

Working with The Job Dog, Dan identified his list of “I need to stop” items:

  • I need to stop looking for the same type of job.
  • I need to stop thinking that I don’t need to update my computer skills.
  • I need to stop believing things will never work out. My attitude most likely shows it.
  • I need to stop making decisions based upon my fears.
  • I need to stop thinking that having a completed resume is a comprehensive career transition strategy.
  • I need to stop exclusively counting on the Internet for job leads.
  • I need to stop thinking I can do this on my own – I need help.

That last bullet above is why The Job Dog developed this website; everyone can benefit from a good companion during a job search and guidance from an experienced “job dog.”

Typically, our clients will hesitate when asked to identify the negative thoughts and actions they need to stop. In reality, each one of us knows – deep down – how we are applying our own brakes while trying to move ahead.

If you want to identify who will change your life, look in the mirror. After you have finished reading this Tip, click on the next Tip. The Job Dog “nose” how to point you to career transition success.

Career Transition Readiness Assessment.

Are you ready to begin?  Take our Career Transition Readiness Assessment and get started on your career transition success!

Recommended Reading or Listening

An inspirational account of how changing your thinking can change your life.

–The Job Dog

How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

Mark Cuban: ‘The One Thing I Would Have Done Differently’

Words and Phrases That Undermine Your Authority


With Which of These Examples do You Identify?

  • Stop underestimating myself – I don’t really believe I can make enough money to move out on my own.
  • Stop believing my college education is irrelevant.
  • Stop dressing in public as if I don’t care; I am a professional, and grungy is not okay. Many people in this town know me and could refer me to a job if I look the part. See Tip 9.
  • Stop thinking my friends can’t point me to solid career leads; I don’t know all the people they know. See Tip 24.
  • Stop overlooking the fact that I’m too comfortable in my current job; I am also bored, miserable, and going nowhere.
  • Stop thinking a job is just going to come to me.
  • Stop working on my job search only periodically.
  • Stop thinking I am the only person struggling to find my purpose in life – I can’t be the only one who wants his work to be meaningful.
  • Stop trying to compete with all my friends’ careers.
  • Stop allowing my parents to tell me what I need to do – they may not understand how to conduct a job search in today’s world.
  • Stop going to the bar for distraction; I know it is only procrastination.
  • Stop neglecting to take care of myself physically and emotionally.
  • Stop working so much overtime that I do not have time for a job search.
  • Stop focusing only on customer service jobs – I should consider a wider range of possibilities.
  • Stop letting my current boss treat me like a loser – I need to learn how to handle difficult people so that bad treatment does not affect my self-esteem.
  • Stop using words that undermine me; for example, “I am just a . . .” See Tip 7.
  • Stop letting my husband dominate my career goals; I know I do not want to go in the direction he wants me to go.
  • Stop being so afraid of failure that it prevents me from even trying.
  • Stop thinking that the word “risk” is synonymous with “bad.”
  • Stop saying I am too old.
  • Stop regretting past decisions I have made.
  • Stop thinking I do not need to update my computer skills.
  • Stop thinking that the best has already come and gone.
  • Stop floating through the day; I need the routine and discipline of a schedule.
  • Stop watching the stock market daily; in reality, it only wastes time.
  • Stop wasting my time on every recruiter who wants me to be a financial adviser or an insurance agent – I should learn to sort through these calls in five minutes or less.
  • Stop rewriting my résumé based upon what every friend and so-called “expert” tells me to write. See Tips 10, 11, and 12.
  • Stop blaming management for the situation I am in at work.
  • Stop examining the things others do best and measuring myself against that standard.
  • Stop breaking eye contact when I get a compliment or criticism or when I stop to think.
  • Stop thinking people in key positions at work are smarter than I am.
  • Stop being so disorganized.
  • Stop analyzing everything to death and just act – I need to let “good” be “good enough”; “perfect” is eating up all my time.
  • Stop thinking that my initial thoughts are crazy, invalid, or irrelevant.
  • Stop entertaining myself or dwelling on unnecessary distractions (e.g., Internet surfing).
  • Stop being afraid of a full 100% commitment to my career transition.
  • Stop being negative and complaining – it is getting me nowhere but depressed.
  • Stop believing that I am stuck at my company or stuck in sales.
  • Stop having preconceived notions about companies.
  • Stop feeling responsible for how everyone at home is feeling; their fears are continuously undermining my efforts.
  • Stop being overly suspicious of others’ motives.
  • Stop underestimating the value of continued education.

More Tips to Get You Started

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