5 Habits To Avoid While Looking For The Perfect Job

Posted on April 4, 2016 by .

habits to avoid in the job search

If you’re like most people, you’re not totally in love with your job. If this is true, keep reading.

In fact, in 2013, 70% of the American workforce admitted to being disengaged from their work.

So the odds are good you’re still on the hunt for the perfect job. The one with a boss who suits your preferred management style and helps you succeed. The one with the company culture that makes you feel at home. The one that offers all the benefits that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Think how unfortunate it would be if you found that job, applied to it, and then didn’t get it, not because you’re unqualified or wouldn’t fit in, but because the habits you’d built up at your current job kept you from putting your best foot forward in the interview.

These are some of those bad habits that we’ve seen hurt a candidate’s chance of landing their ideal role. Think of them as actions or traits you should actively work to avoid, even if you hate your current job.

Being Negative

Staying positive might just be the hardest thing you can do when you’re stuck in a rut but it’s critical to finding your way out of it.

Negativity tends to compound on itself. When you’re in a bad mood about work, that feeling doesn’t just go away when you clock out. It sticks around. Over time, you may not even realize you’re being negative in your personal life as a result of regularly being negative at work.

Don’t let it get to that point. Be aware of how often you complain and minimize it. When you go in to interview for your next job, the one that could rescue you from the bad situation you’re in now, your positivity will show and interviewers are more likely to respond to it.

Being Unprofessional On Social Media

Social media feels like a safe place to some people, and it should. A social network is just that: a group of people that you’ve built because you like them and, hopefully, they like you.

So it’s not surprising that many people use social media to express their thoughts or share their behaviors that wouldn’t fly in a professional work environment. That’s all well and good until a potential employer, the one who is building the team you desperately want to be on, searches your name and finds those posts you intended for only your circle of friends.

Arguably, what you do in your personal life (short of breaking the law) shouldn’t affect your eligibility for a job, but it would be naïve to think it doesn’t. Don’t just trust your privacy settings, either – some things get saved in Google or on other websites that may turn up, even if you later made them private.

Your best bet is to avoid posting anything that might jeopardize your application to your perfect job. You should still feel free to be yourself since, after all, the perfect job should want you just the way you are or else it isn’t “perfect”. But if you ever pause and wonder if the post you’re about the publish might threaten your future job opportunities, it probably would.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

We all know someone who says they only need four hours of sleep to feel their best all day long but the data is against them. According to WebMD, people need at least seven hours to perform their best throughout the day.

While catching up on sleep the night before your big interview might seem like an easy-enough solution, it doesn’t always work. Sleep cycles can be tough to change so just because you go to bed earlier doesn’t mean you’ll actually fall asleep any earlier than your body is accustomed to.

For the interview for your ideal job, you shouldn’t take any chances. If you’re unhappy at work and might therefore be interviewing in the coming weeks, do yourself a favor and start going to bed earlier now.

Not Doing Your Best At Your Current Job

Like staying positive when you’re miserable, doing your best work when you hate your job can be a tall order.

Your performance at work, whether you’re happy or not, is an indicator to future employers of your potential performance at their company. You can probably expect some “tell me about a time when…” questions and if you don’t have good examples that showcase your skills (because you’ve been slacking at work in glum defiance), you’re not likely to ace the interview.

To the degree you can, do the very best job you can at all times. There may be other factors that prevent your work from living up to its full potential but at least you’ll be able to explain how you did everything you could to make the project a success. Interviewers will much prefer that to a fumbled story you barely remember from back when you enjoyed your job.

Passing Up Networking Opportunities

 Introverts generally don’t love networking and even extroverts might not want to attend events with coworkers or managers they don’t get along with. But if you don’t like your job, networking can be a critical part of moving on. There’s arguably no easier way to meet people in your industry, and lay the groundwork for future opportunities, than attending networking events.

Whatever your fear of networking might be, it probably has something to do with other people. It could be a general fear of other people or maybe you’re just worried you’ll have to spend time with coworkers you’re actively trying to leave in your past. If you’re caught in a conversation you’d rather not be a part of, check out this post on how to get out of networking conversations.

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