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September 17, 2019

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Virtual Job Club Day 2: No more YES, BUT!

Yesterday I asked you to embrace the beauty of a blank slate. When you’re out of work, you can truly plot a plan to do anything you want.

Many of you answered that challenge with some smart thinking — BRAVO! Very impressive — yet more than 100 participants emailed me to say they couldn’t post their response online. Why not? Because they were full of excuses: I’m too old. The economy is a killer. Nobody returns my calls. And so on.

While all of that is likely true, none of those are things you can control. That makes it easy to shrug your shoulders and throw in the towel. So I’ve scrapped the planned assignment for today to tackle this instead.

From this moment on, if you’re going to be successful with your search, you must agree to no more YES, BUTs. You must focus on what’s within your control — and get rid of the excuses that have been used as a comfortable (yet crippling) crutch.

If we had to rule out the economy and your age, what three things would you point to that are standing in your way from getting exactly what you want? Then answer what specifically can you do about those three things?

Look at it another way: If in six months, you still don’t have a job, what three things could you point to as the reasons why? Remember, you must focus on only the stuff that’s within your control. Nothing about other people or external forces — just you.

If you don’t believe with every fiber of your being that you have the ability to secure the position you want, then you’re doomed to stay as is. Why do that to yourself?

Are you willing to say no blame, no excuses, just results? Results that are within my ability to make happen.

Look forward to reading your answers online. Remember you’re welcome to use Facebook, which is public, or our comment form with your initials, which is private.

Let’s get all of this out in the open — and then out of the way — right now. You won’t be successful when there are massive roadblocks in your path. Some of them, you may discover, are only in your mind. Let’s clear it and get ready to soar.

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Comments

  1. Carmen

    Since I have only been looking for a job since July, I cannot pinpoint three things that are standing in my way. The one thing I do know is getting a face-to-face interview with anyone. Perhaps I also need to take another look at my resume and revise it. I worked in education for 16 years, so I am opening my mind to working in another industry…maybe that is the other thing that is standing in my way.

  2. RK

    I’d rather establish my own business than work for someone else. Three things that are stopping me (and leaving me sort of frozen in my tracks) are:

    -fear of rejection/that I’m not good enough;
    -stepping outside my comfort zone when interacting with those whose decisions have a financial impact on my life;
    -fear of being a bag lady living on the streets if I’m not successful fairly quickly.

    For these reasons, establishing the business isn’t going as quickly as it could and I’m still applying for jobs that I really am not excited about. I feel that because of my financial situation I have no choices.

  3. CEN

    The three things that are standing in my way of what I want:
    1. Destructive / not useful what-iffing (What if I get this job, what if I don’t, what if the world ends…)
    2. Lack of confidence (they wouldn’t hire me because…)
    3. Lack of confidence over my less than traditional background and circumstances around my last perm role.

    All three of these sometimes keep me from even pursuing an opportunity.

    The main thing I can do about 1 and 2 is STOP FREAKING MYSELF OUT. It’s that negative self talk that is keeping me from realizing all of the oppportunities around me. It’s such a bad / insidious habit I sometimes don’t even realize I’m doing it.

    As for the last, I have to get over the chip on my shoulder and the feeling that in order to succeed I have to be manufactured the same and be the same as others around me. I am going to actively try to celebrate my differences and my path and use those experiences to sell myself as a richer and different candidate that can provide richer and different results.

  4. DAS

    What’s standing in my way is that my past boss is connected in many of the same circles I am. Although our seperation was mutual, he owes me money and I have a legal case against him. I think he is blocking me from getting work. That said, I have gone in a completely different career path in hopes that my experience will be the deciding factor. I continue to network and have reduced my salary requirements in hopes that i will get a nibble.

  5. JSG

    If I’m still unemployed in six months I would know it’s because:

    1) I have a fear of dreading going to work every morning. I think a solution would be to only apply to jobs I would actually enjoy or care about.

    2) I did not look for jobs in the right places and have enough motivation to keep following up.

    3) My cover letter would not ooze confidence.

  6. S

    1. Fear of change, giving up my independence for a situation which might 1. Fear of change, losing my independence as a freelancer…but not much could be worse in some ways than having insufficient income at this stage of my life.
    2. Comfort with complaining and not having enough work
    3. Fear of rejection

    1. I can accept the possibility that there will be negative aspects of working for someone else (but gainful employment is nice!!).
    2. I could move forward and stop myself from festering professionally and it would be nice to have means to pay for my children’s college education.
    3. Realize that I’m not being rejected for who I am! Just that the right situation hasn’t been found.

  7. Rene

    Tory: there is a part of me that cringes at the thought of going back to doing what I was doing (I am a certified paralegal and although I stayed at that job for a long time, the stress of working for a disinterested attorney and with backbiting co-workers was very difficult). If I still don’t have a job as a paralegal in six months, it’s because 1)the market for paralegals is tight in my locale AND I’m not properly networking myself 2) I do not want to work for 1/2 -or less- of my former salary and 3) I really don’t know how, or where, to look for other jobs needing my skills and experience. I’ve been applying and sending out résumés, but haven’t had only had two or three interviews in six months.

  8. PJ

    I think my searches are too scattered. I say that because I want an online job so bad that I search different sites so sporadically that I never really finish a search I begin. I am always in this constant state of “I need to find that job NOW” that I don’t take time lay out what my main goal is. I think once I have a clear and defined path, I will be about to have better search results.

  9. TP

    I agree that I have most likely have more than three things standing in my way some obvious & others not so much. The first trying to stay positive. Even though this is a hard time for me I’m still very blessed and able to pay all my bills. The second is staying focused. And lastly is look to far ahead instead of taking one day at a time. I keep wondering if I don’t find a job soon will I be homeless, will lose everything I’ve worked so hard for, will I be a disappointment to my children!

  10. 1. I’d have to say my attitude at this moment. Being ignored has left me rather testy, and I need to quell that.
    2. Professional discourtesy. What happened to a simple “No, thank you.” or a brief response to let someone know where you stand? A lot of potential clients seem to have no manners and leave you hanging.
    3. Being the dreaded overqualified, which is the way of stating they won’t pay for your experience.

  11. EK

    The three things that are holding me back:

    1. Lack of confidence; I’m afraid that I do not have the right experience to transition into the marketing research field. I’m also afraid that I didn’t do well enough in shcool and that is going to hurt me.

    2. Lack of motivation.

    3. Lack of creativity. I need to think of other options that may help to get my foot in the door and add skills to my resume that will lead to what I want to do in the future.

  12. JE

    1) Poor interviewing skills
    2) Inadequate network
    3) Very little self-confidence

    I’m working on expanding my network and trying to find affordable courses on interview skills. I’m completely at a loss to know what to do about the self-esteem issue, though.

  13. M.J.

    Fear to failure. I had to star over and over so many times that I feel like giving up; this is my strongest self-objection. I don not feel I have the strength to carry on.
    What can I do about it? Well, I am trying very hard to brake that barrier day by day by looking into new possibilites of growth, getting connected with my inner strength and looking into what makes me tick. I knwo I can do it ome more time and as many times as needed, I just need to find and understand that I am very strong, talented and capable of achiving anything I want. I am the barrier after that nothing is.

  14. SM

    This may be of some inspiration. In the last 2 1/2 years I was downsized from a job, lost a loved one after being caregiver for a number of years (lost job when my family leave was ending), was diagnosed with a blood cancer not known to have a cure right now, went back to school, am changing careers in a bad economy, and over 50, and I have never been clearer about what I want to do and what my purpose in life is. I am confident in my skills and abilities now more than ever. Why? Because I am still standing. I now know I have strength and fortitude to rise above insurmountable odds and that motivates me to press forward.

    At the risk of sounding cliche, life can be over in a flash or can be changed in ways you’ve never considered or planned for. It’s important to make every moment count and as I set my sights on my future, I’ve made the commitment to learn, to be skilled, to be excellent and to fight for the future I want.

  15. LS

    I too have a fear of failure. I was fired from my last job and that makes your confidence pretty low. I need to build up my self confidence in order to get what I want. I would like to work in Human Resources but can’t get my foot in the door. Or I would like to find the courage to try an area I have not worked in before.

  16. REK

    I do, truly, believe I can get the kind of job I want (web development at a company within 30 miles of my home) and succeed at it. Three “me-centric” hurdles I will have to face and overcome:
    (1) I need to stay on track to complete my in-progress training. My target completion date is February 2012. No slacking! I must wring every ounce of potential from these courses.
    (2) I have to make my job search more focused. I need to identify companies in my target area that have the sort of job I want and find opportunities there. This is not rocket science, just tedious work.
    (3) When items 1 & 2 are done, I will still need to find contacts in my target companies and effecively network. This is hands down the hardest part for me. I am smart and well-spoken, but about as far from extroverted as it is possible to be.
    That’s it – these three things are totally within my control, with #3 being the biggest challenge.

  17. DT

    Roadblock 1: I am one credit away from having my BS degree in Management and receiving a certificate in Government Contract Law. I currently have 117 credits and I need 120 to graduate. Don’t have the money to pay the balance and can’t get anymore student loans. Would like to continue my education at Trinity Universay working toward a Masters degree in Human Resources Management.

    Roadblock 2: Credit Issues

    Roadblock 3: Previous job was not a good fix. How do I explain the reason for leaving to new employers?

  18. CH

    1) Lack of management/supervisory experience.
    2) No advanced degree(s).
    3) No experience in the area I would like to pursue.

  19. LS

    The three things that are holding me back at this point are:

    1. Confidence in my overall presentation and abilities
    2. Focus on what exactly I want to do next
    3. Caring what happens — by this I mean I’ve lost the drive to give a darn because I feel so defeated.

  20. SM

    I’d like to preface my list of 3 things by saying I don’t want to focus on failure. However, here are my 3 things:
    1. I was not my best during the interview, particular if it is panel or group interview.

    2. I am not accurately identifying target companies that have a need perhaps. I believe with so many companies doing with less, they all can benefit from the services of a good project manager who can make them better organized and efficient. Alternatively, maybe I am not selling this need in the most compelling way.

    3. I am not reaching out to enough companies. Perhaps I need to better research and be more creative in identifying companies, departments or roles that do what I do. Consider non-traditional avenues and think outside of the box.

  21. Mary

    The three things that are standing in my way are:

    1) I haven’t looked for small agencies outside of Cook County where the mission would interest me and it might be possible to get something done.

    2) I haven’t designed my resume into a proper marketing tool, choosing instead to stick with a chronological format that usually is the same as the application.

    3) I haven’t followed through on my idea of preparing ALL the proposals and dropping them physically off at the locations on the same day, nor have I called people who might know how to get jobs at those agencies.

    All of the above due to a belief that I won’t actually get a job at any of these places, so why do all this work…which is really lame BECAUSE I ACTUALlY lIKE to work and have been doing very similar tasks trying to help a couple of non profits with their fundraising efforts.

  22. YG

    I think one of my biggest obstacles is understanding what I really want to do. I don’t have a lot of drive or passion for any particular type of work. And even after taking assessment test after test I still have not fully grasped what it is I want to be when I grow up.
    Two: I think I keep applying for the same type of job, which is in the field I have worked in for nearly 10 years, but that may not be the best field for me. It just happens to be the best means of supporting my family in the best way possible.
    Three: I am afraid to branch out and try something new or something on my own. I often say I want to start my own business but I dont have the confidence to pursue it.

  23. MMP

    My three roadblocks and some action steps to get around them:
    A. Lack of self-confidence
    1. Join Toastmasters
    2. Get current on technology in my field by hiring a fellow student to tutor me
    3. Contact at least 5 people every day (I have a list.)

    B. Lack of self-discipline
    1. Make this job search my Number One Priority
    2. Organize my schedule around the job search, instead of the other way around
    3. Say “No” to distractions now, but plan some fun activities as rewards for job-hunting accomplishments along the way

    C. Lack of sharp focus due to broad range of interests
    1. Pick something!
    2. Compose my resume and portfolio to target this specific job objective
    3. Find employers who need those particular skills

    I just thought of a couple more “reasons” why this search hasn’t gotten off the ground yet: I’m too comfortable–my husband supports me financially and in every other way. I wouldn’t be so complacent if I was on my own! I could work up a budget based on what it would take to support myself, to get a clear idea of the salary I should be targeting.
    And I always feel like I’ll be missing some great opportunity if I commit to one thing. As far as I can tell, the only way to get over this one, is to get over it!

  24. Kathy

    My 3 things? Easy: #1 lost last 2 jobs #2 lack of success in finding new job in 10 (!) yes, 10 years #3 bipolar (yes, supposedly medical information is confidential but I no longer believe it).

    Respectfully,

  25. Sd

    1. Shyness- Not good at networking and need to improve interview skills

    2.Don’t want to settle for any oh job and do something I don’t like and worry about not getting the pay I Deserve

    3. Not good at writing a good resume or cover letters

  26. I.S.

    I left my last position (willingly) because my boss was horrible to me…everything I did was wrong. I had never been told my work performance was lacking ever in my career. Anyway, my confidence is shot and I need to recover from that….it’s a daily struggle.

    Secondly, obviously need to revamp my cover letter and resume. I’ve not gotten any interviews and I’ve been searching since March.

    Thirdly, I am transitioning careers at 43. I want to work in public policy, specifically, education reform, but have no experience…just education and a passion to make change. How do I successfully do this? I would love to intern but I have a husband and a 3 y/o son and the bills are piling up…I need an income.

  27. DSM

    I spent some time pondering Day 1 assignment and my answer coincides with many of what I’ve seen others post. I didn’t want to post it publicly as I am now employed but eager to find a more rewarding position. I have recently completed my MBA and am determined to set myself on a new path of success. What had held me back, as eager as I am to move forward, is the fear of leaving what has been so comfortable and stable. It’s the fear. I appreciate Tory’s bold response to us in saying – No more “yes, buts” and believe in your ability to secure the position that you are looking for.

    Tory and all – I am ready. I do believe with every fiber in my being that not only am I qualified to secure the position that I want, I will be an asset to any employer.

  28. TH

    @RK–I completely identify with your post. I’m terrified of not getting results immediately. And because of the current state of my finances, I feel like I need immediate results. So my three roadblocks would have to be:
    1) ineffectively dividing my time between job searching and business planning
    2) fear of failure
    3) not tapping networking resources or skill building resources as well as I could

  29. AMD

    My three fears are (1): Interviewing skills, it has been a while that I interview with someone one on one in person. (2): My appearance; I dress in a business suit; I’m short and little overweight. (3); Also I get stuck on the question “What have you been doing while looking for work?” I do volunteer for a variety organizations and also been helping a family member who has been sick. It seems like I lacking something when I give this answer.

  30. It has been nearly 3 years that I have not worked. What I believe to be the 3 things that got in my way – family, fear, and procrastination.

    The way I choose to look at this is God had a plan for me – I was available when my family needed me, I began to feel the fear and do it anyway and last I still struggle with the procrastination.

    It is only now I realize that with unemployment coming to an end I have used it as a crutch. My flexible schedule may come to an end. Offered a position yesterday that I’m taking time to decide.

    Is it the fear of going back to work in an office after nearly 3 years of not working? Am I procrastinating – not making the decision? While it might be all of these – I am aware and I know that I have a choice.

  31. Debbie

    Hi Tory and everyone, The 3 things standing in my way are: 1-not making the time to go to the library/bookstore and research what I need to know; 2-lack of total confidence in my ability to move forward with this complete change of career; 3-momentum. I do believe all of these are just in my mind and I need this club to boost me! Thank you Tory for asking me to write this. I already am gaining momentum after writing about these obstacles as I can see how ridiculous I am thinking. I will make a commitment to go to the library at least once a week to gather information. I say once a week because it is realistic, however, as my momentum builds, I do believe I will find more time to search for information. I am very good with mind over matter, so as of this point in time, I am confident I will be successful in my new endeavor.

  32. morva000

    For me the three things which hold me back from finding a job is : One : being tired and too exhausted of looking for ajob. In this regard, I dont have enugh persistence to follow my career goal. The second barrier is : suffering from low esteem . I have low self esteem and I am really afraid If I start a job I will not be successfull and I will make big mistakes with legal consequences for it. The third barrier is my life situation. I have been married for almost two years and my husband wants baby. I am not ready for it neither physically nor emotionally. I dont really know how to communicate with him about my priority for finding job and then become pregnant.

  33. tm

    1. FEAR-> always fearing to step out side the comfort zone. 2. never following through-> i get to point where all i have to do is click the ‘send’ button and never do
    3. Settling-> just going with something just because it seemed like an good idea but really not what i was looking for

  34. LC

    Picking three things that are standing in my way is easy. Saying them for the world to see is the hard part. If I had to choose, I would say: 1) Self Confidence, 2) Fear of Failure and 3) Lack of Networking.

    I am currently in law school, and doing very well, but the fact is I have no job prospects. I have been on dozens of interviews, but have only made it as far as the second round of interviews with law firms. This has hurt my self confidence and made me question whether I made the right decision when I chose to attend school. I had a great job, was making a very decent salary, and I was happy. After I added school to the mix, I was laid off and it made me even more determined to do well. This is where my fear of failure comes in. I did not start school to put myself into a worse position, but it seems like no matter how well I do, I can’t nail down a job.

    Networking is hard for me as I am currently going to school in a state that I don’t want to remain. Not having any funds makes it nearly impossible to travel and to meet people and I don’t know the etiquette to approach people on the internet.

    Tory, I know I will be an asset to any company that picks me up and even though I have been on tons of interviews, it only takes one to give me a chance. I believe once I get into my element my confidence will rise again. Failure is not an option for me, so this fear is only making me work harder to achieve my goals. As far as the networking, I need to join more online communities to reach out to people that might be working in a city that I am interested in moving.

  35. JB

    My 3 things would be:
    1. Not qualified enough, need an MA, PhD, certifications, enough experience
    2. I don’t know where to look for the right job- since I’m a recent graduate I think any paying job sounds good, which isn’t always the case for what I want to do.
    3. Fear of getting out there/intimidated- Since I did just graduate, I feel so much pressure to find a job in my field and succeed, but I’m so intimated by field, which is psychology, at the same time.

    I can agree with everyone else as well.

  36. If we had to rule out the economy and your age, what three things would you point to that are standing in your way from getting exactly what you want? Then answer what specifically can you do about those three things?

    Time, Time and Time

    I work a full-time job in communications. I founded and administrate an online job club. I administrate a site for the families of the missing. I advocate for the families of the missing. So it really is time, time and time that is preventing me from conducting the search I need to in order to find a new position.

    The only rememdy is to somehow find more time. My work with the families of the missing I don’t have control over time…..a new missing person case is not something I can control nor can I control being available to support current families of the missing. The job club is a little bit more controlable but since I handle anything, any task, like I’m doing right now where I work it as soon as it comes in not sure I can quit doing that for the job club. I like to be able to get information/jobs/support to them immediately.

    I watch little TV usually just when I’m falling asleep so can’t cut back there. I walk an hour every day and will not cut that out. And any other free time I use helping my daughter with my grandchildren.

    So I think what I need to do is use what time I can find searching for a new position in the most streamlined way as possible. HELP! I obviously haven’t figured out how to do that yet!

  37. Debbie G.

    Ruling out the economy and my age, the 3 things (under my control) that are standing in my way are (in no particular order):
    1. I dread going back into an 8:00-5:00+ job in a field I have no excitement for, so I feel less than 100% committed to finding a job. Admittedly, I am assuming I need to work in the field I left because that’s where my experience is based. And, as I write this, I realize I am putting that assumption/limitation (8-5 office job) on my possible options…
    2. I have not applied for many positions and I use the excuse that I need to “fix/update/redo” my resume, which I do constantly, or that I need to get into a disciplined schedule, which I keep planning and not executing. So, basically, I am not taking the actions that will get me a job.
    3. I don’t like to pick up the phone and call people. I never have been a big phone talker and I find it intimidating to call people to ask for something (help, support, a job, leads, an interview, whatever.) Therefore, I avoid making direct contact with people other than through email – unless I am getting together with someone to help them or to just talk about what is going on with both of us, asking for and giving advice is OK, but asking for something more specific (like a job, an interview, or a lead) is hard. My husband keeps telling me I need to call people to follow up or (God forbid) he has suggested I walk in and introduce myself at companies, but I use the excuses that people don’t want to be bothered or that I will look desperate or that that’s not how it is done.

  38. DKCG

    I have had 1 interview in the last six months–I was the third finalist, thus I did not get the job. I have been terminated twice since 2008, so the job search can be discouraging. My road blocks are: (1) Sometimes I am confident and sometimes I am not. (2) Just tired of the whole job search and networking ordeal–it can be overwhelming. (3) Remaining focused on what I want and really going after it with passion.

  39. Sheree

    Agree with both RK and TH, because I am a single mom. But I know that my kids will always do well and when they’ve flown the coop (and possibly return) I need to have something for me.
    My 3 roadblocks:
    1. Was laid off from last job. Viewed that as a form of rejection. It seriously hurt my confidence in my abilities but also showed me I need to streamline and properly channel them too.
    2. Experience in my dream field. Education is no issue, but the experience is.
    3. Not enough networking, asking questions and research, research, research.

    I learned over this past month to not only pray for someone to be willing to take a leap of faith on me…I had to first regain my faith in myself that loosing my last position took from me. Everything happens for a reason and there is a plan even in the most confusing situations…I am ready to take a leap of faith in myself and my dream position and pray that it will ignite a fire in others who will be willing to leap with me. We all had to start somewhere right?!

  40. KR

    Wow. I’m so stunned by the answers, and they all seem so familiar to me!

    I’m employed in a position now, but am underemployed, and bored! I need to move on and hopefully up, and truly utilize the management degree I earned 5 years ago! I need to make the time to: 1) rewrite my resume to support the job(s) I am pursuing, instead of a straight chronological resume. 2) Learn how to better network and search for potential openings. And 3) Stop procrastinating! That, for me, is really the biggest one… it is too easy to just wait for the paycheck, know that it is covering the bills if nothing else. I need to stop putting this off until the kids are out of school, until I’m skinnier, until the economy picks up, etc., etc., etc……. and that way there is also no fear of failure. The most recent interview I had I was not chosen, and that stung a bit (o.k., a lot.) and unfortunately, that just feeds the procrastination some more……. HELP!

  41. NJ

    My three roadblocks are:

    1) Being articulate and selling myself in interviews, public speaking. I’m not actually sure if the interviewers see this as a weakness but as I have been on interviews yet had no job offers, I am putting it as #1.

    2) Letting the job search process bring me down and not seeing it as a fun challenge.

    3) Getting stuck in the same old grind and not being innovative with my job search.

  42. Sara w

    1 Time: Just accepted a PT job and taking a tax class to secure a better paying PT job. I’m starting a volunteer a role or that requires 100hrs/yr. Plan: Set aside appointments for myself. Also durring this time is create an agenda for the next appointment and to complete the current appointment’s goals. Ex: apply for two positions, and contact two resources.

    2. Confidence in my abilities. Currently my PT position, is helping alot. I get input from supervisors about general job skills I thought were average but apparently I’ve exceeded expectations. So… continue that position. Possibly get input from those co-workers.

    3. My resources aren’t working. I’m not comfortable with asking for help from some. I’ve been alongside professional engineers for a past role or two. And I’ve helped a politician and his people were so eager, when we parted last, to help. Overall I need to contact  resources and ask things it can start small as in: How is your day? And update them on what I’m doing and possibly where I’ve applied.

  43. I.M.

    If, in six months I am not employed it will be because:
    a. My interviewing skills are not as great as I think they are or the position they are trying to fill is not what I want.
    b. My interpersonal skills are not what they need in that company at the time and my age is not in the same league as who they want to hire.
    c. I do not have the technical specific skills that they want – even though I have many computer skills and lots of programs under my belt sometimes they want programs that I have not worked on before which are very trade-specific (and they don’t want to train anybody green, even though it would be easy to learn).
    My goal is to have a position before the six months are up.

  44. Hope Stern

    I would love to say, me? nothing holding me back but if you are out of work and looking hard for 6 months, something must be standing in the way.

    I have to say my number one issue might be the knowing enough of what I want to do…the content management and social media realm is fairly new but the experience that so many want can make me feel a bit put off

    Lack of confidence is number two….seems like I worry every time I go for something that I am not good enough…too many folks out there that are going for this position that are better than me…IN fact there are two jobs right now that I am in the running for that I heard so many have applied that the hiring process will take longer than usual. I have an inside person pushing for my interview, a recruiter on my side but still feel, no way I will be chosen over so many….

    third is the debt issue and I really just need “something” and sometimes I feel I must settle for anything. My husband thank goodness is working but I do need to have some income to make my family situation work better.

    I do feel as if I want to forget about the above and just organize my search better and try some different approaches with this group and give it a solid GO FOR IT…

    I know I look forward to each day now with this job club happening….that is a good solid step forward

    Hope

  45. PL

    1)not completing this workshop!
    2)not marketing myself properly or enough or to the right market
    3)not staying focused on the goal

    Like some of the above women, I also am pretty sick of being “ignored”…..it can’t help but effect you to some degree when you’ve applied for several HUNDRED jobs and only 3 people have even responded. Changed the resume (more than once), listened to SO much advice and realized that those changes didn’t work because the major change was rekindling my belief in myself that I had value, that I have something to contribute and that I CAN do this and do it successfully and call my own shots with excellent judgement. IT’S ONLY ONE JOB – YAY!

  46. KC

    I believe the three things (within my control) that have been holding me back is

    1. Searching for a better job for so long with no results leaves me defeated at times, almost what’s the point? It’s difficult to keep the momentum going when there are so many closed doors

    2. I’ve done a lot out of the box and out my comfort zone approaches to finding a better job. Yet I admit I can take it to the next level such as “cold calling”, attending more networking events and talking to more people I come across what I want to do and if they can help in my search.

    3. Employers possibly believe I lack the skills to perform the job. However speaking to people in the field I want to enter, I have some of the those skills. My challenge has been convincing those employers I have some of (not all) the skills they need and I’m very willing to acquire all the skills required in a short time frame. Also the dreaded question I’ve been asked on recent phone interviews ” Why do you want to leave your job?”

  47. JF

    I am not focused and I am struggling to find my path. Yesterday, I wanted to be a Public Speaker, today a flight attendant. But today, I did go on an informational interview with someone from the Facilities arena and that was intriguing.
    What would be ideal is that through the networking and informational interviews, someone would just say, OMG, you are perfect for this position I have…alas, that has yet to happen!

  48. RWH

    Having a clean slate to start all over again is great. I took that opportunity in 2003 when the recession actually began when I was downsized out of my government job. For years I already had planned my business for retirement and began implementing the process in 2003. The abruptness of job loss after years of employment coupled with becoming a caregiver alone of 2 parents living in 2 separate locations was not a picnic. I received one contract with my newly implemented business, however, I wasn’t quite ready to leave my government job because I enjoyed the type of work that I did. I was rehired in a different agency three years later only to be let go again with the second recession wave. Family crisis slowed the process but I continued to pursue employment and contract work. I am still seeking to return to the government as a Management Analyst/Program Analyst because I enjoy public service work. Additionally, I am revamping my consulting business to obtain new clients, working on my art work, writing a book, and developing a media program which are my passions. Now I understand why my mother who is no longer here had a profession and a business. We should all have multiple streams of income not dependent on one source.

  49. Day 2 – Three things standing in my way.
    1. I feel like my weight is discriminating me from getting the job…employers love my resume but at the interview something changes.
    2. Reliable transportation/car down for the past yr and it’s really hard to get home from across town after 6:30pm. Transit stop.
    3. Motivation inspite of all the No’s

  50. TSH

    This might sound strange but, I know that it was a blessing for me to be downsized in March of this year. My last job had such a negative impact on my life physically, mentally and spiritually that I would get sick to my stomach when I entered the parking lot. I do believe this is an opportunity for me to do what I want to do, the problem is I am not really sure what that is. There are many things that I enjoy doing and could actually see myself doing. The 3 things I think standing in my way that I can control:
    1. Unsure of where to start.
    2. Fear
    3. Procastination
    I know that I do not want to be back in the same type of job I left, I just have to figure out what and how to do what I want to do.

  51. C. J.

    I feel that I have negativity. Also, it is stressful to actually sit down and write cover letters. I let having to rewrite my resume a chance to do nothing at all. And, the reason of my negativity is: I don’t think I’ll get/deserve the job. And I don’t like not having a job, I’m looking for my first full-time one out of college for the past five years. I have done temp work, internship, campaign volunteer, and volunteer with non-profits.

  52. MH

    1. I don’t want a functional resume and my experience is outdated. I recently had it critiqued by a few professional resume writers and re-wrote it myself adhering to the advice. If I don’t receive much feedback after sending out 50 resumes, I can try to find a good resume writer that is affordable. I did look thoroughly before re-writing it myself, but can’t afford the $500 plus, and I am not at executive level. If anyone has any advice on that…
    2. I have difficulty confidently presenting myself and selling my skill sets and uniqueness. If I could afford it, I would work with a job coach, but instead may get a book by Jill Konrath called Snap Selling. It’s written for sales strategies for businesses, but read an article that said these techniques could be applied in selling your skills to a potential employer.
    3. I have a huge employment gap from my true career since having children. I can start my own projects, present them on a blog and show my expertise. I can also keep updated from trade journals and post interesting articles as well. I can put a link on my resume and LinkedIn profile to my blog.
    Lastly, all the “I can” statements above are being changed to “I will” statements.

  53. EE

    Three things in my way.
    1. Need to get over the emotional reasons why I sold a successful company 8 years ago.
    2. I have been sick and am afraid if I get a job I won’t beable to do it.
    3. My resume does not present my experience in a way that will get interviews.
    Resolve
    1. Get over it. You did what you did at the time because it made sense.
    2. Keep on doing yoga and walking. Build up strength by eating well and getting enough rest and believe the worst is over.
    3. Rewrite the resume.

  54. DB

    Lack of current skills – Have been a SAHM for the past 10 years. Am I old news or will I suffer for my decision made so many years ago? Taking Computer Skills for the workplace at the University. One book I read stated that a stay at home mom had the skills equivalent to that of an incarcerated individual. I stopped reading that book! Or is it true?

    Age – I am 48 and returned to school 4 years ago. Next year I will graduate with my BS in Health Services Administration at 49. I have over 15yrs of experience in the industry, but don’t dare show that on my resume! Will this matter when employers see early careerists & young grads?

    Neworking – I am not afraid to talk with people, but first you have to get the interview. The amount of resumes being sent in online is crazy! Working on thinking out of the box!

  55. MMP

    It sounds like we all have very similar issues, but I’m not seeing a lot of solutions put forward. I was hoping to get some ideas from everyone!
    @Sara W:Thanks for reminding me that people really are very supportive, and to ask for positive input from those we are already spending time with. I also like your idea of making appointments with yourself. I decided after today’s assignment to get up, get dressed for the job I want, and act like I’m serious about this search. Making appointments with others is easy—maybe making them with me will help me value myself and my skills more highly.

  56. CR

    Laziness. I’ve been out of work for so long, I’m often tired of trying to look for anything.

    My resume. Sometimes I get tripped up on tailoring my resume for the specfics of the job I am applying for. Although right now I am in the running for a position that I really want and I would be perfect for the job; however, I look at this position as my job right now that will give me great experience and exploding network opportunities, but it’s not my ‘dream’ job.

    Indecisiveness. It’s been very challenging for me to pinpoint what I want to do now. I have a lot of interests and I am just begining to learn and fully understand that I really can do more than one thing. As another participant wrote, we can make money from more than just one way. Why not make money at what I am passionate about? I am passionate about more than one thing so why can’t I make money doing many things? Yeah, why not?

  57. Jen

    For me, yesterday’s assignment is one of the things holding me back – I don’t really know what I want. I know what kind of work environment I want and I know I want to be excited by what I do, but I don’t know what job will provide that. Second, I’m seven months pregnant – not really the most appealing to employers. Third, I have worked in the radio industry for awhile and I really want to get out but I feel like when I look outside of radio (even though I think marketing is marketing), I get passed over for someone who has done marketing in that particular industry.

  58. ceara_red

    What’s standing in my way?1. Deep anger at thieves who stole my money, pride, what little confidence I had and gave me massive lies and hypocrisy in return.

    Yet at the same time, 2. I don’t care anymore

    Because 3. I think, at this point, I’m unemployable.

  59. Susan

    1. Being mobile and unencumbered. I have a condo that was purchased at the wrong time. I am listing it September 1 and hope to sell and not loose too much money that I don’t have. This feeling of being trapped where I live has kept me from more actively seeking that one job out of state.
    2. Having a total focus on what work I need to zero in on. I have been all over the board on what I am going after. While I feel I can do lots of things, and have many applicable skills,I have not concentrated on the field that I have spent most of my career doing, which is much more narrowly focused (transportation planning and public outreach and engagement)
    3. Probably the fear of moving somewhere I am not so familiar to.

  60. Emily J

    The things that I know keep me from finding the position that I want are indecision, fear and avoidance.
    I can’t decide what I want to do, but instead of taking steps to get the answer, I’m afraid to put myself out there. And how do I handle the fear? I avoid even thinking about looking for a new position.

  61. NDO

    I’ve read many of these comments and FB postings and they’re all really spot on. Here are my top three: 1)I’m fairly new to my city and am busy building my network and trying to learn about opportunities through connections. 2)I definitely have fear that no matter what I do I won’t land the job I really want because of something I can’t control and lastly, 3)I need motivation. I’ve been underemployed or unemployed since I graduated from b-school in 2008. If the economy was truly on the mend then I think I would have a job by now. It’s super tough out there.

  62. DBK

    My three things:
    1. I must admit my first road block is the fear of not being good enough. Since I am fresh out of college I realize I do not have as much experience as others and I understand that this is why I am looked past many times. Even though during my other job/internship experiences I found myself to be much more qualified for the job thsn the people in authority.
    2. Fear of not succeeding goes along with my number one. What if I realize I am not as good as I thought I would be at what I want to do. Or even worse, what if I realize I that is not what I want to do and now I’m back at square one…clueless with no idea what to do next.
    3. I need higher qualifications to be successful in the psychology field, which I am well aware of and am preparing to go back to school to continue my education. However, in the meantime I WANT AND NEED a job in the field in order to decide where to go next with graduate school.

  63. Marsha E

    I believe that I have what it takes to secure a position when it comes to experience and education. I have been trying to position myself for the last 3 years to land a administrative leadership position in adult education. I have volunteered as a commissioner on the board of civil service, pursued my masters in adult education, completed a credential in teaching adult ed.. I have volunteered to sit on the board of adult literacy in San Antonio,(have not been called for a interview yet). I have joined literacy groups and now I have been asked to sit on a focus group at UT San Marcos on adult ed.. I don’t know if it is my resume that is holding me back. I have no idea. I need advise and help. I can not seem to get a mentor. I have asked the senior executive director at my part-time job for feedback but she seems to be on her own mission. I can’t say that I have not reached out to people of experience, but have not gotten in touch with anyone that is willing to provide direction or coaching. So, I am doing everything that I can think of to build my skills and network with organizations to advocate for adult education. Need some advice

  64. AHC

    This is a new job direction so I do not have experience at managing this position other than what I did to help Moth Down Size.
    I am not sure what all it will take to get this job up and running.
    I’m scared to give it a try since I already feel like a looser.

    Develop a business plan to identify what needs to be done to get the business up and running.
    Talk t osomeone how already operates a business like this – or starated their own business to see what and how they got it up and running.
    Become better informed about operating my own business…maybe take a business class or seminar on starting your own business.

  65. MJD

    What’s holding me back?
    Fear: Not finding the job I want and having to take anything to pay the bills.

    Money: Not having enough to do the things I need to do.

    No Confidence

  66. HDR

    Three things standing in my way of getting a good job: lack of confidence, not the right kind of skills, overwhelmed by the competition. What I can do about the first, practice speaking in front of a mirror; the second, take classes in programs of interest; the third, just know that I am a great candidate! In 6 months, if I’m still unemployed, 3 reason why are: lack of aggressive job-searching, not enough networking, and not wanting to go out in lousy weather!

  67. PVG

    What 3 things are standing in my way of getting what I want and what specifically can I do about those 3 things? Money. Since I am not really looking for a job, but clients; I need to get out there and start networking with prospective clients, not just friends. Time. I need to focus on making this dream a reality…everyday…not just when I have time. I need to make it a priority…devoting specific, productive time for researching, learning, discovery, networking and selling every day. Fear. I need to forge ahead and not worry about what I don’t know or have, but get in the game, quit holding back and seeing any missteps not as failures, but as opportunities for growth and learning.

  68. Victoria

    I truly believe that I will find a great job. I have done it before. The only difference is that I want the career of my dreams, not just a job because that’s not enough to sustain me. I am getting closer to understanding what that would be for me but I am shell-shocked from some very negative experiences while working in the corporate world, which is why my focus is now on interviewing with smaller companies. Thank you Tory for providing this forum because I want to make the “second half” of my working life the best ever. I am not a victim. I am creative and I have the tools I need. Best of luck to everyone!

  69. Lucy H

    Fear

    Procrastination

    Diminished confidence

  70. Clair

    Here are my three things:
    1. Rejection – professionally through the job loss, and personally through my loved ones that have no idea how to help me through this agony.
    2. Insecurity – I’m not making the right connections and I clearly need help learning how to network.
    3. Anger – How did other poorly performing employees get to keep their jobs and mine was the one to be eliminated? And honestly, I must admit, I feel resentment towards people that have never experienced a job loss. Just laying it on the line Ladies!

    What Can I do?
    Learn new strategies to connect with people, when right now…I’m too depressed to engage in most things. If I could have one person reach back and respond to me, it would give me that one glimmer to forge onward. Throw me a bone, and I will run with it!

  71. MB

    Standing in my way:
    Having a different degree then some jobs want.
    Not having the right contacts.
    Having skills but not the write work experience for some jobs.

    Ways to fix them:
    Considering going back to school for a Photography MFA
    Expand my network and make better use of what I have.
    Learn to translate skills into experience.

  72. Penny

    Day 2:
    1. I am not sure what my passion is or how to discover that.

    2. I find it a bit hard to sell myself sometimes.

    3. Failure

  73. Judi

    It’s late afternoon and I’m finally getting around to this. I really had to mull this over awhile. Hope you don’t mind that this is a little long. Here’s what’s holding me back.

    1. Not knowing what to ask for, not really knowing what exactly I want to do next. I taught English in Japan for 11 years and now I want to do something with writing. I am still holding out hope that I will NEVER work in a call center again, EVER! I’m just not sure where/what I want to do.
    Solution: I’m going to talk to a career counselor at the community college near where I live.

    2. Not well organized. Not knowing what I want to do specfically makes it diffecutl to know what to do next.
    Solution: Figure out # 1 and clean out my office space. Too much clutter makes it hard to be or feel organized.

    3. Making excuses.I’ll look at a job listing and start thinkin all the reasons why they wouldn’t be interested in me. This goes with confidnece. I know there are lots of people out there who are way more expierenced than me.
    Solution: Figure out #1 and then concentrate on the skills I do have. I’ve been published three times but I always add “in academic journals and they weren’t all that great.” I should just say “I’ve been published three times.” I’m going to make a poster that says that and hang it by my computer.

  74. RWH

    As a suggestion to TSH, the many things that you enjoy doing and can actually see yourself doing. Just do it. Fear is False evidence appearing real. You will never know how great it is to actually turn your passions into a business or employment opportunity if you don’t try. Just think of what your life would be like if you don’t. Example; One of my passions is helping others. I had a counseling practice many years ago and burned out. However, I turned it into government service and still utilized my skills with my internal and external customers. Take the time to follow the steps that Tory has provided with Women for Hire resources. She continues to provide excellent tools to assist you.

  75. shb

    1. How to convince the HR/recruiter people know that i am worth talking w/ and getting an interview. when i apply to the same healthcare organization for the same job title, but at a different facility i may get an interview the first time, but not the next time i apply.
    2. Doing more personal introduction of myself and my resume, by going to places of interest and walking in to introduce myself, why i am there and how i can be an asset to them.
    the difficulty is one can’t always get past the receptionist – how to do that if i am unannounced?
    3. possibly relocating elsewhere in New England. I know i can do it, but i have lived in VT 1/2 of my life and thinking of finding new veterinarians, doctors, dentists that i trust here and have come to know provides a pause to my forging ahead.
    i probably could find other reliable, personable healthcare providers and vets, it would just take time. i have trouble trusting others completely.

  76. JC

    1. Fear- I am good at what I do and my criminal background is clear, nothing there however my credit is tanked recently and I have lost one opportunity due to low credit score and a bad reference that I only found out about recently.

    2. Uncertainty- I have tried to apply for jobs outside of medical and no one calls. Uncertain as to why which leads me to #3

    3. Discouraged – I apply and apply w/ no response. Have changed my resume, set my salary requirements reasonably but maybe to low and still…no one calls

  77. Dawn

    3 Things:
    1 – Fear of the Unknown
    2 – The need to make money to support my family
    3 – Failure and having to start over again!

    Ways to fix:
    1- Work on Knowing what I don’t know
    2 – Focus on the needs of the family and the work/life balance
    3 – Accept that it’s okay to have to start again…just like when I was younger!

  78. Three things that are holding me back. Well, it depends on what day it is.
    I have remained active in my organizations, and volunteering, so when I have something on the calendar I am usually OK.
    I have been very selective in my job search, but I am running out of time, so fear is starting to rear it’s ugly little head. LOL! As time goes by I know more about what I want to do, but can I find it, thats the question. I have been fortunate in being able to do a few things on my wish list during this time, (the book, my speaking business)all of these are great life strides for me.
    I have to get real about my situation, so its back to the drawing board, and another job.
    The other thing is location, location, locaation. I just can’t do a long commute, so again I am looking in particular places. I may have to take something I don’t want and that makes me sad.
    The last thing is the salary. I need to be able to support myself, that is a grave concern to me. I am OK most days, but some days I am a total wreck.

  79. Kathleen M

    Two things seem to stand in my way. The ability to support my family (including time). Having enough experience to get paid enough.

  80. Patti

    I’m what’s standing in my way!
    My self confidence was destroyed by my former boss when I lost my job. I’m paralyzed by knowing what I don’t want but not what I do want to do. I rule myself out of most open jobs before I even apply. And oh no what if they do want me? I like the freedom of my current job even though it doesn’t pay enough and I’m not respected. Being unemployed helped me find myself, I have new friends, new hobbies, a new perspective. I’m afraid to go back to being the robot worker-bee that worked all day, did nothing at night and started over again the next day. Now if someone would just pay me to sit here and figure it all out, I’d be all set!

  81. KBH

    Yesterday I described my dream job which I thought I already found, but now I need to find it again – same job (consulting) but with a different company. The main thing holding me back is indeed an external factor(time), but I will try to fix that. I just need more hours in the day to maintain my real estate business and at the same time work on this dream job project with company#2. I will stay up longer hours after the real estate hours are spent. Some of the research is already done, so the end is actually within reach if I buckle down.

  82. JCB

    If we had to rule out the economy and your age, what three things would you point to that are standing in your way from getting exactly what you want? Then answer what specifically can you do about those three things?

    my insecurities.. my anxieties about people which I believe are a result of my environment ‘growing up’. (If you can’t trust your family, who can you trust..) I try new things – like the CDL and just trying again – 17 jobs in 10 yrs.

    the condition of my car.. it’s in fair condition in that it runs but has various noises and sucks gas anymore. I can’t trust it to go more than 10 miles +/- regularly as if/when it stops running again I don’t have the money to get it running again. Just Hope and Pray it runs when I need it as I’m unemployed, my family isn’t and there’s no community bus service where I live anymore.

    money to get prepared.. I have considerable customer service experience but no considerable wardrobe for the office environment. I don’t commonly wear cosmetics so what I have is definitely more than 6 mo. old. I’ve never been any part cosmetologist so putting my stick straight hair in an approachable fashion is a challenge too.

    as far as the equine industry – my horse experience is when I was a teen and have no references from that era (they’ve passed on). I have hypertension so stacking bales would be more of a challenge.

    As time moves forward, the greater extent of my animal experience goes ‘backward’.. but, my *Passion* doesn’t.

    I don’t know how to get past my hurdles.. been trying *all my life.

  83. Dawn

    1- lack of confidence. Being laid off 3 times really did a number on me. Working now but very underpaid – also not great for my confidence.

    2- time management. With working 40 hours at my current job, the commute, dinner and trying to maintain my relationship it’s hard to devote a lot of time. I used to spend most evening with my laptop infront of me and that wasn’t healthy for my personal relationship. Still trying to figure out how to juggle that.

    3- fear. fear of rejection, fear of getting another job and not being able to do it, fear of networking and not being able to articulate what it is I do and what I want, fear of never finding anything better, fear of getting another job then getting laid off again, fear of settling again…

  84. sad

    what’s standing in my way is fear of failure. i have tried so many work from home businesses because i was tired of being told what to do. i wanted to be my own boss, but when the opportunity came for me to start a home business, i froze. i couldn’t get the nerve up to ask the community to support me, but if the community needed something i am always the first to step up. in so many words, i can do for others but i can’t do for myself. also, family has held me back. i guess i have had so many failed work from home businesses that whenever i came up with another one my family would “oh, ok, that’s nice, what is it time”. and the last thing would be relocating. i am fearful to relocate because all of my family are within 2-3 miles apart so to relocate would make me feel alone. i now know if this is what i have to do to make my life better and to feel successful in a career i would love then relocating is what i have to do.

  85. Barbara Cann

    Wow. I’ve skimmed several of the comments here, and it seems MANY of us are facing the same or very similar issues.

    1) The Not-Enoughs. Perhaps this is another way of saying ‘fear of failure’ but my take is more in the “not-enoughs” category — I’m not good enough, don’t have enough of the right experience, not “pretty” enough for a successful first impression to land the spot I want.
    2) Credentials. (At this point going back to college is not an option.) I know there are a lot of tremendously successful people who don’t have a string of degrees and diplomas in their kit but after a long dry spell of barely scraping by I’ve lost the confidence to present myself as a “I CAN do this, learn this — give me a try” and my thinking gets hung up on what I don’t have backing me rather than what I DO have.
    3) Networking. I used to have a network of editors and writers (who could lead to other editors) I worked with. But staffs change, publications close shop and I’ve lost all those contacts. (And I’ve become more of a hermit as well). I’d like to have a column in a publication. I’d also like to work in radio, eventually on air with a slot of my own, but I don’t know where to start. And right now everything is about making money to survive so I don’t have wiggle room to take on an unpaid internship to break in.

  86. V C

    I am currently employed but at an organization where there is minimal room for advancement, low pay but high expectations to do “more”, and micromanagement. The problem is, my job title sounds specialized and doesn’t “translate” well to corporate America and I feel that this is a big obstacle.

  87. AG

    Laziness
    Fear of rejection
    Not enough confidence/experience
    My time is consumed by unimportant things and its very hard to break out of it. i don’t job search as much as i’m supposed to. I dont do well on interviews and for that reason certain jobs i overlook because i tell myself i wont get it.i have a problem selling myself, i dont have the gift of gab 🙁 so i usually lose out.

  88. DWS

    My three are as follows:

    1) Eat healthy, and exercise everyday so you can de-stress and stay focused on the task @ hand!
    2) Use networking EVERYDAY, without fail!
    3) Be sure to make wise use of the time spent everyday, don’t chase search engines all day!

  89. terri

    I believe the 3 things that are stopping me from getting the job.

    1. My self esteem, I worked at my job for 16 years and they knew me so my interview wasn’t really that scary. Now I find that I am not as confident and it shows.

    2. I know that I should be networking although I try I find that I don’t do enough of this or get a little shy to talk to people which isn’t me.

    3. I tend to give up easily need to be a little more motivated, I think that is a main problem of mine. also I need to revamp my resume soon there could be something in there I am missing!

  90. KE

    what three things would you point to that are standing in your way from getting exactly what you want? Then answer what specifically can you do about those three things?

    1. Negativity – I hate to admit it but I am SO negative to myself. I get so frustrated when I am writing a cover letter, especially for a position that I don’t really like but will do it if they hired me. At those times I think about what I really want to do, such as film, music, non-profit jobs about human rights…they are hard to come by AND do not pay a lot but I’d rather do those jobs. Plus, it’s actually enjoyable to write a cover letter about positions that I’m really excited about. For this, I need to be positive about everything, even try to look at the jobs that I don’t like that much in a positive way.

    2. Not networking enough, trying to do things that SOUND good, that are expected of me just because it’s my major, or because I went to this top liberal arts school, or because I was a part of this prestigious fellowship, etc. These things are great and , in the past, probably would of taken me to the top easily, but, nowadays not so. I just need to follow my heart and meet more people.

    3. Lack of skills or uncertainty. Sometimes I feel like I’m not qualified for anything because I’m am not typical in terms of my goals. I also feel that I have been traveling down the wrong path and I need to steer myself into the path of choice. The school I studied at and some of the things I’ve done may have not been my choice but I should be able to control what I do now since I’m an adult. For this, I need to be confident in my decisions and still be open-minded to try many things.

  91. BarbS

    I have an a job but I am looking to move into the field
    of PUBLIC RELATIONS- PUBLICITY more specifically working
    with singers. I simply cannot afford to take more education now. I have a very good resume. It’s on LINKEDIN, and I have
    the experience. And of course fear and while you may think it is real- age discrimination is there.
    I have looked at PR job but not enough real experience.
    Yes, it is hard to sell yourself.
    One thing I don’t have a desire to do is start my own business, But, how (when I am working full time) do I start
    to enter the field of PR?
    Since I can write, maybe I will start a blog.

  92. 1. Lack of a college degree. I do have some college education, but never completed my degree. Nearly all job openings in my field list a four-year degree in journalism or communications as a requirement (or “equivalent experience” – though I don’t believe that’s true in most cases). I could try to complete my degree, though that isn’t something I can do immediately.
    2. Being overweight. While it’s a tough pill to swallow, I absolutely believe being overweight hurts my chances of landing a job. I am doing something about it and have lost 38 pounds since February. Apart from the obvious benefits of better health, I am feeling more confident and want that feeling to continue, so I go to he gym daily and follow a diet plan.
    3. Indecisiveness. I find myself waffling between editorial positions and administrative assistant gigs. I really want to be back in publishing and would even love a chance to develop my own digital magazine or website. But I find I often look for jobs I believe may be easier to get. (This is not proving to be true, by the way!) I am accepting freelance work and blogging to keep myself writing, and I’m networking with former colleagues.

  93. ES

    1. Sense of defeat after trying so hard for 10 years.

    2. Self doubt after years of rejection

    3. Remaining positive daily regardless of comments, news, etc.

  94. AW

    My response to this question is very simple. 1. Myself. 2. Myself. 3. Myself. I need to take responsibility for myself. The other things that are holding me back are fear and and not trying. The resolution is get serious and start putting in the time and making meaningful progress. The fear component is slightly different in that I have a sibling and a sibling in law who are very successful and they have a certain way of operating. I am always checking myself against what they will say, even thought my gut says something entirely different. As much as I love them, I’m going to have to stop listening to them and trust myself more. Finally as for the not trying part, well that’s part of the reason I am doing this job club because I knew that something had to change and this is exactly what I needed to get started.

  95. Cindy

    Day 2 – Three things standing in my way:
    1. Me – I am not working as hard as I need to find a job. I’m tired of not being taken seriously because I’m not under 30. I’m tired of the rejections (this is my second lay off). I don’t want to work again for a company that does not pay me a liveable wage so that I can have health insurance.
    2. Me – I want to work for myself, doing truly what I want to do. Still refining and focusing on exactly that looks like. Afraid that I would not really make it happen and how really would I support myself.
    3. Me – Fear of success/fear of failure – they seem to hold the same weight.

  96. Hi Tory,
    I only have one thing standing in my way of getting what I want. I don’t believe my age is stopping me and I don’t think the economy is stopping me. The only thing stopping me is I can’t find someone who is willing to hire a person that wants to work from home. I am begainning to think those people don’t exist. The only thing I can do is to keep on looking. I know that there is someone somewhere who will hire me.

  97. KT

    Standing in the way:
    1. Recently relocated to my hometown and trying to get reconnected and staying focused.
    2. Listening to negative people telling me, “Good luck finding a job in this town.”
    3. Learning to adjust the cover letter and resume accordingly to the work experience required.

    What can I do:
    1. Take one day at a time and make a list of people to reconnect with.
    2. Make sure to eat healthy, exercise 30 minutes a deal, keep positive and keep away from negative people. Anyone dealing with depression, use a mini trampoline and it will help.
    3. Just deal with it. Take it by the horns and “Just Do it!” Talk to as many people as you can. Just mingle no matter what. It’s like dating, get your numbers up.

  98. Suzanne Sen

    Standing in my way:
    1) not networking (because not comfortable with it)
    2) not searching enough (busy with such a huge to-do list)
    3) not having an attractive resume (I’ve done various things, so it is cluttered–I’ve rewritten but not sure about it, and it doesn’t seem to have helped me yet!)

  99. 1. I did not deliver to the employer solid information that matched the job.
    2. My presentation of skills and selling myself, that the employer felt that my application, skills and experience kept them wanting more.
    3.There would not be a third reason because to me most reasons are excuses, that allow me not to push myself to make others take notice and want to meet me and talk to me.
    I feel there is no real good reason, just like you said before they are excuses that keep me doubting myself. I have been hurt in the work place by other people and it affected my self esteem, but I am back and its like riding a bike when you fall off you get back on and try again.

  100. MSG

    The three major things standing in the way for me are:

    1) Fear of rejection – Another resume submitted, another recruiter calling me for a position, another online application & then no response or rejection. The process of never hearing anything back with some feedback and attempting to follow up to know that the job was not the right fit. The next part of this fear is that I’m afraid of the initial probationary period and how the employer will review my work and fit to the job. My first job lasted over 12 years plus I had a co-op with the same company while in college, until they “right-sized” lots of us.

    2) Confidence – I feel like I am under-qualified for most positions or do not have all the skills listed. If there are too many which I do not possess, I feel like it will never be a good fit or I’ll never make it past all the interviews. So I do not apply or complete the next step. The times I do spend hours tweaking my resume to a job description seem useless when I never hear back most times.

    3) Motivation – I struggle to stay focused on job search activities and follow-up. I’d rather stay up late and find social activities to do with friends rather than work on finding a job. I attend a few local networking events and help others but I am not motivated to do all the tasks and activities I outlined in a spreadsheet I devised.

    What I can do is consider joining a networking accountability group which helps everyone be accountable for their job search tasks and report back every 2 weeks.
    I can try to be on a more regular schedule and set goals for each week that I will accomplish.

  101. PAL

    1. I have to make a plan and follow it daily.First I will start to make better use of my networks.
    2. Make sure my resume and CV are tops. I just went to the career center on campus to get assistance with this.
    3. I will need explore non-academic work as a possibility for satisfying work.

  102. mg

    1.fear of failure
    2.lack of confidence
    3.how to get over hurdle of being overqualified

  103. MT

    1. Procrastination I feel is one of my biggest hinderance sometimes I feel I don’t react quickly enough
    2. Networking, the fear of sometimes approaching someone new to inquire about a job, that doesn’t really know you.
    3.My skills I feel need refreshing which would give me more confidence

  104. JKP

    Keeping focused is my number one issue. I am easily distracted by new ideas, and forget to follow up with the older ideas. I get very excited about the possibilities that my job search offers, in fact I sometimes can’t decide which exciting path to take, so I try to do a little bit in each direction, which gets me nowhere. I think to myself “Should I get my MBA and get into management?” So I buy a GMAT study guide and set aside time to work on it. By day 2 I’m thinking that maybe I should forget about the MBA right now and concentrate on the skills and experience I already have, so I spend time looking for positions in my area of expertise. Day 3 finds me depressed about the average salaries in my area of expertise, so I start daydreaming about changing careers completely. Mixed with the time commitments of daily life, the cycle repeats indefinitely.

    In addition, rejections or not hearing back about a position I’ve applied for and am excited about, are such set backs in my mind, that I feel like giving up. When I get scared that I won’t be hired for a position I like, I start second guessing my path and think that maybe I should lower my standards.

    If I could focus on one goal for 6 months, I’m sure I’d achieve it!

  105. PK

    1. Narrow my focus. I can do A LOT, but I can’t do A LOT because I’ll spread myself too thin.
    2. Fear of failing. I have the the drive an d desire to do what I love, but I’m afraid of failing.
    3. Overqualified. If I can’t find the perfect job, then I have to make it.

  106. DS

    1.after so much rejection and being unemployed for a year I have lost confidence in myself even though I know I have great potential.

    2. I want to open my own company but battling #1 and procrastination its an uphill battle.

    3. I dont want to go to another dead end job but i desperately need money so I feel forced to get another boring job so I feel trapped.

  107. AJR

    Obstacles:
    diminished confidence
    presenting myself
    skills need refreshing

    What can I do to change things:
    Preparation and take classes, self teach or research new trends

  108. EW

    Right now the biggest problem I have with finding work in this area is that there are very few jobs available and the ones who get hired have friends or family that have gotten them in.

    Another downfall is that I have been unemployed for over a year. I was making good money at my last position, but there are no jobs here that are anything like what I was doing and none that pay as well. That is one reason why I would like to start my own company or work from home.

    Everything around here is at least 30 to 60 miles away. There is one grocery store and one post office, a cafe, it is real country. Beautiful but not good for work.

    I have gone back to school to get my Associates Degree which I will have in October. I am hoping the degree will get me in a few more doors. I am still applying in the area with a distance of a 60 to 65 mile radius and I am still looking online for work at home positons.

  109. AB

    Below are my two points:
    1. Certifications on a specific field are too expensive if you don’t have a job. I bought books and went online to learn more about the subject, like Six Sigma. I learned it on my own, but don’t have the certification. I haven’t found a place where I can just go and take a test without registering for the whole course.
    2. The area where I live is rural. I have applied and continue applying in companies that are nearby, with no success, mainly because other candidates have Masters Degree or certifications in my field (Procurement). To solve this I have gone out of my area, one or two hour commute. Some companies don’t like the fact that you don’t live nearby.
    I don’t think I have a third point.

  110. NM

    1. Time. I already have a part-time job, but not in the fields my degrees are in, but it is very flexible and adds some to our monthly income. Add 3 kids and busy schedules to that and I go for days without addressing the job search.
    2. Lack of a resume. I have been out of IT for 14 years, while home raising kids. Now that I want to return, my attempts to produce a resume that isn’t completely lame seem futile and I get frustrated and quit trying.
    3. Not sure what I want to do now. I’ve done some part-time sales and have discovered I’m very good at it, but all the sales jobs I read about require much more/different experience than I have. The IT world has changed vastly, so I don’t know where I would fit in. I love to write, but also have zero experience here. This is where I bog down wiht the resume. It’s hard to create one when you don’t even know what you are aiming at.

  111. Alison

    1. Lack of work experience in this field.
    2. I don’t know anyone in this field.
    3. Lack of confidence and fear to approach people I don’t know.

    My lack of work experience can be an opportunity to be trained and molded by someone and/or a company. I should and will go into some local travel agents, see if they have any openings, even if it’s administrative, and apply. If they don’t, I’ll ask to see if I could job shadow for a day to see what their daily activity and what it is like to be in promotional coordinator and/or travel agent for a travel company.

    As for I don’t know anyone in this field, a friend of mine says she knows someone’s aunt who does this. This can be my starting point for a networking opportunity. As I stated above, I should make contacts with the local travel agents. I can also use Linked In to see if someone is connected to someone a Travelzoo, etc. I can even follow the companies.

    As for my lack of confidence in approaching people, I have been trying to work on this. I’m at ease with the “Hi’s” and “How are you’s?” I need to expand on this and practice this more often. I can start with the customers I get now. Also, I’m at ease joining in conversations, but starting them with a stranger is difficult. I do fear their rejection or the awkwardness it can create, however practice will make perfect.

  112. D.A.

    1. Lack of experience for a new field.
    2. Money to go back to school.
    3. My skills need to be refreshed in my current field.

  113. Kathy

    #3–continue medication, exercise, writing therapy & try to develop/enhance hobbies

    #2–volunteer work in areas of interests

    #1– I DON’T KNOW! If I knew, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.

  114. ST

    Fear of not having everything I need to succeed.
    Lack of self confidence to be confident in my skills.
    Self presentation- convincing the employer that I am the woman for the job.

  115. Mary Ann

    Hi Tory, if in six months, I still don’t have a job I like, what three things could you point to as the reasons why? I strongly feel I am not using my hustle ability to write compeling cover letters and network with organiztions I may want to work with and to introduce myself. I have not said No enough and have too much on my plate. I am always behind in time. And I live in fear…I have to rid myself of that alarming feature. I have t say..I select to be happy and stay positive.

  116. mr

    1. Lack of motivation. I am not looking forward to working for corporate America again. I have not been working for 2 years and my previous job was stressful. I am not looking forward to that stress again.
    2. May seem silly, but I gained 30 pounds since I last worked and I can not fit my suits nor do I feel attractive enough to be in my field (pharmaceutical sales) which is traditionally known as “the pretty people’s” industry. Deep down, I feel that I no longer fit the mode and will be judge by my outward appearance vs. my skill sets. I am 75 pounds over my ideal weight but the last 30 has taken me over the top as to what is usually acceptable in my industry. I am not motivated to do what it takes to rid myself of these unwanted pounds. I HATE exercise;-(
    3. I use to be the “super-woman” who did it all…and was paid handsomely for my hard work. Now I feel that I do not have the high energy to continue at the high pace that I use to work at. Motivating others to produce results is a challenging job when you are not as motivated yourself. I have fear of failure (due to my perfectionistic tendencies and expectations of myself).

  117. PAL

    1. I have to make a plan and follow it daily.First I will start to make better use of my networks.
    Solution 1:I will make an appointment to learn how to use lecture capture equipment. I will also find some online tutorials for Lectora. These are tools some instructional technology jobs require that I do not have. So I will acquire them.

    2. Make sure my resume and CV are tops. I just went to the career center on campus to get assistance with this.
    Solution 2: In addition to the resume and CV samples, I went online and downloaded cover letter tips for faculty positions.

    3. I will need explore non-academic work as a possibility for satisfying work.
    Solution 3. Through Linked in a former classmate contacted me. She works in a corporate environment. So I took the opportunity to ask her. She replied already with the pros and cons of corporate and academic work.

    The job club has focused my attention on action steps even though I still have the dissertation to finish, the online class to teach and the part time job. No excuses.

  118. ASM

    The three things standing in my way from getting exactly what I want and are within my control are:
    1)fear
    2)procrastination and
    3)networking.

    Specifically, what I can do about these 3 things is:
    1)stop being afraid of the unknown or thinking I cannot succeed,
    2)get on a schedule and stay focused and
    3)step up my networking efforts.

  119. A million thanks for posting this ifnoramtion.

  120. JM

    1) fear of failure
    2) fear of not being able to support my family with health insurance
    3) fear of finding a job but missing out on my 2 young kids and their every day lives.

    1) I have never been scared to fall on my face, I have fallen on my face so often
    2)I have no answer to this
    3) I won’t accept a job until I can be sure it fits with my lifestyle

  121. KJ

    1) my family takes priorities over everything but God.
    2) a secure job (thus far) although changes coming soon…
    ..that are very disheartening..in so many ways..
    3) where to find the time…
    4) debt that is overwhelming…

  122. L

    Not knowing exactly what IT is that I want to do but knowing that it falls within a few creative categories
    –I can select one. If it does not work out I have two additional back-up plans;

    Having the confidence to re-design my resume and market myself as that person that I want to be and removing the references to what I currently do.
    –Just do it, start out with building a LinkedIn profile as the new me

    Wondering if a new career will provide a comfortable income.
    –I am not happy and finding another position within the same field making more money will only result in temporary happiness. I have got to find the will to re-write the script.

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