I read a thought-provoking post by Gretchen Rubin at The Happiness Project, titled Are You Ever Paralyzed Because Two of Your Values Are in Conflict? This conflict “arises from a feeling of ambivalence – I want to do something, but I don’t want to do it; or I want one thing, but I also want something else that conflicts with it.” This can result in a kind of paralysis, where we do nothing because we can’t reconcile our conflicting values.
I believe this happens a lot in the job search. Do any of these examples ring true?
I want to find a job. I’m enjoying having more time to spend with my family.
I should get a job in my previous career field. I want to try a new career.
I should take great satisfaction from my job. I want a job I don’t have to think much about.
I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t want to admit what I really want to do.
I want to follow my passion. I want someone to tell me what I should be doing.
Satisfaction is more important than money or a job title. I want to make a lot of money and have an impressive title.
I wish I had more support in this job search. I don’t want anyone to know I’m struggling in my job search.
I’ll take any job that comes my way. I only want the job I used to have.
I’m excited about finding a new opportunity. I’m terrified at the idea of a new/different job.
I want to take a break from the job search. I can’t take a break until I’ve found a job.
Rubin says she breaks through the lack of clarity – and the resulting paralysis – by making sure that she is very clear on what she expects from herself, and why she’s taking this particular course of action.
How do you break through job search paralysis?