The decision to make a job change is fraught with obstacles – real and imagined!

The idea may start with an itch – “I feel like there’s something better out there…” Then the itch may grow into a scream, “I’ve got to get out of here!”

So, you update your resume, you get busy on a job board and put in a few applications. And then, you stall. You start second guessing yourself. Do any of these sound familiar?

It’s really not a good time. There’s so much going on at home…

If only work would let up a little bit, I’d have energy for a serious search, but I’m just too exhausted…

I like my co-workers, I’ve got a good set up here. Maybe I should just be grateful…

And, at some point you realize – oh, wait… I’m still here. Still in this job I swore I would leave. How did this happen? Eventually, something else will tick you off, or make you realize you could be doing more, or earning more. And the cycle repeats itself.

Here’s what it looks like:


If you want to break the cycle, you need to: Recognize it and go in prepared to do battle with the OBSTACLE.

The obstacle can be real. Perhaps there is something off in your approach, or missing in your skill set. Or, the obstacle could be something you’re telling yourself that feels absolutely true, but may in fact not be entirely true. Regardless, the solution is the same.

  • When you start your search, write down all of the reasons why you want a new job. All of them. Nothing is too trivial. Keep this list somewhere you will see it frequently.
  • From the beginning expect the obstacle; be on the lookout for it. Be prepared to recognize it and confront it.
  • As soon as you see you have a negative thought in your mind about the wisdom of your search. Look at your list.
  • If the negative thought persists, attack it with verifiable research. First, ask yourself, “Is this actually entirely true? Do I have evidence of this, or is it just a story I’m telling myself.” Then, ask neutral connections. For example, you could reach out to a former colleague and ask “I’m looking at making a move. You work with people who do that job, am I missing any skills? If you still have your doubts, consult with a professional – a career coach, a mental health worker, or someone from your alma mater’s career services office. They will let you know for sure.
Only then will you have the information to overcome the obstacle.

One thing I can tell you for certain is that this cycle can repeat itself for years if you don’t stand up to the obstacle. I know because it happened to me. It wasn’t until I went to battle with the obstacles – real and imagined – that I was able to make the change I dreamed of. Cheers to Your Career!



Ever wonder how to land the job of your dreams?
Find out how with 10 Habits of Successful Job Candidates!