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Through my experiences in HR and Career Coaching, there are certain mistakes that I see pop up again and again from people whose careers are in transition – little detours people take that put them on a very windy path to career success.

That’s why I’m introducing a series of posts titled “Career Detours”, shining a light on these common missteps so that you can stay on the right path. You can expect one every week or so, starting today!

Detour #1: Not having a plan.

Unemployed job searchers often panic and dive into the job search head first without even looking to see if there’s water in the pool. Employed job searchers often feel that they have all the time they’ll ever need to find a job, which leads to procrastination and low productivity. It’s imperative to prepare a scheduled search plan. I can’t tell you how important structure is. Literally writing out where you’ll do your search from (be it an at-home office or a coffee shop), blocking off hours to pursue opportunities, and finding someone to keep you accountable to your search should be components of everyone’s job finding plan.

If you’d like to learn more about what goes into developing a career plan, check out my book, From Roadkill To Road Map. Also, please share any career detours you’re aware of, whether you’ve experienced it first-hand or have seen someone else fall into a common job searching trap!

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Jennifer H. says:

    Excellent information David!

    You described exactly what I did, jumping in head-first over a panic, not looking to see if water was in the pool! I looked so hard, networked so much and spent hours on-line doing on-line applications that I burnt myself out after 6 months, then slowly drifted from looking at all. I have had some interviews and some went very good … but still haven’t been chosen. The competition must still very steep. I’m now having trouble believing I will get a job. Help!

  • David says:

    Yes that’s the danger of a long search. It eats away at our self esteem! Make sure you evaluate your process. If it’s not yielding fruit you might want to change your method. Remember what is working for one might not work for the other. There are a lot of factors to consider, the market for your discipline, location of that industry, etc.. I’m always open if you want to talk more about this in detail.

    Whatever you do stay on the horse! Giving up most definitely will not get us there.


  • […] week I introduced the first of a series of posts titled “Career Detours.” This week’s detour may not sound like one at first, but trust me, that’s why […]