Don’t get me wrong.
I’m a huge proponent of chasing one’s dreams. As someone who is constantly coming up with big new ideas, it’s fun to see whether they will pan out or not. You’ve got to dream big to make big things happen.
But at some point, an unrealistic job search if you are looking for work (big ideas or not) is going to set you down the wrong path and the one guaranteed, sure thing you will walk away with is a giant slice of disappointment pie.
Many times, I will work with clients and find myself in the awkward position of pulling a yellow card on their job search, along with a heaping serving of reality.
If there is possibly any way we can move the candidate from Point A to Point B, I will do everything I can to make it happen during our interactions.
But sometimes, the leap is too significant and the gap too wide that any employer who sees this person’s résumé is going to wonder what planet this person is from that they think they are qualified for the job.
There are a myriad of factors to consider when assessing whether the gap is indeed one that can be bridged.
But at the heart of the matter is an honest review of your own credentials, and making the important distinction between what you would LIKE to do and what you are ABLE to do.
That’s where the dreams play a big role. And can be immensely distracting from the truth.
Sometimes, an unrealistic job search is based on a blurring of the lines between what you really want to do and the actual skill set you bring to the table.
Being able to separate the two is a critical skill.
Another think to consider abut unrealistic job searches is the amount of time you estimate you need to invest into your efforts.
Someone once told me that in order to look for a job, it needs to be a full-time job.
What that sage advice boils down to is that you get out of it what you put into it.
A recent client indicated that they had a full docket of personal commitments that seemingly were interfering with this person’s time that could be devoted towards job searching.
What I heard was that there were some legitimate things this person needed to do, but there was also an underlying unrealistic job search expectation that very minimal effort would need to be put in because the job market has improved drastically, and therefore, talent is in great demand.
Never mind the fact that this client has some very serious job search obstacles already in play.
To stay grounded and avoid unrealistic job search traps, remember to be focused on what is actually attainable, and be willing to commit the time, energy, effort, and mental engagement which will help build momentum towards your next career destination.