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Emotional Job Search: Who is supporting you?

Who is on your job search team? Who is sabotaging your effort? Learn the difference, gather support, and avoid the toxic ones.

Who is on your job search team? Who is sabotaging your effort? Learn the difference, gather support, and avoid the toxic ones.

People are the most complicated things about a job and a job search. Do you have the support you need? Is there someone who is sabotaging your career mobility?

Toxic people

A bullying boss can be the reason you’re searching in the first place. In case you’re wondering, you don’t need any more reason than that. Toxic people must be avoided or confronted by a strong group that includes senior management. You alone are unlikely to succeed at changing the behavior of a bully. If you work for a bully, you need to know that 75% of people who are the target of bullying end up leaving their job. It’s sad, but it’s a fact to face. Unless you can rally your co-workers and the bully’s boss to encourage them to change or leave, it will be you who leaves.

In a job search, a bully is likely to be someone close to you or even – surprise! – yourself. For example, your spouse may be more invested in a salary uptick, prestige of a new title, or a move to a new city. If they are using manipulative and heavy-handed tactics to get you to see their way, your job search has just been bullied.

If you’re driving yourself day and night to keep up with your current responsibilities AND a vigorous job search, you might be bullying yourself. Reconsider your timeline so that you remain resilient enough to interview well and enjoy the process.

Protective people

Well-meaning parents or friends want to protect you from pain and failure. Under the guise of loving you and wanting the best for you, they may however unintentionally hold you back from the very thing you want and need to do.

If you react strongly, you can alienate these potential sources of support. Instead, see things from their perspective and reassure them of your resiliency and strength. Show them your confidence, and it will be contagious. Once they are more comfortable, ask for their support in specific ways.

Fearful people

If your family isn’t 100% behind your career move, it’s not going to be pretty. Your spouse may not want to leave his or her job. Your teenagers may not want to move away from their friends. Your little ones may not want to be far from Grandma and Grandpa.

Rather than “telling it like it is” or presenting the facts of the case, you might try addressing their fears. Ask them what they worry about. Brainstorm approaches that can help them feel better and maintain your goals.

Supportive people

Identify those people in your circle who are capable of encouraging and supporting you in your career change. Ask them if they are willing to play a bigger role, and if they agree, call on them when you make a decision, need feedback, or have a crisis of confidence.

You can choose several people with “specialties.” For example, if your friend is an accountant, she may be a good choice to talk to about budgetary concerns during your career transition. Your pastor may be able to listen to concerns of a spiritual nature. Your brother-in-law the elementary teacher may shed some light on your children’s stances on the changes they will face.

If the time investment is substantial, offer to compensate your supporters monetarily, with favors such as dinners or tickets, or with a trade for a service you can provide.

If your job search is getting the best of you, contact me today to talk about taming that monster. I provide resume and other document creation as well as coaching in career exploration, job search strategies, interview preparation, and salary negotiation.



Image courtesy hin255 via freedigitalphotos.net.

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