A Tip for Beating Job Search Procrastination


Most of us experience procrastination in some form or another.

It’s that feeling of being stuck and finding yourself doing other things over making meaningful progress in areas that are important to you.

Unfortunately, when it comes to our job search activities our levels of procrastination can reach new highs.

In this article, I will explain a key strategy I use with my job search clients to help them push through their procrastination and take control of their career transition.

Chunk Down Big Tasks

The most common reason for procrastination is when my clients see the task ahead of them as too big.

They feel they need to find the time to research the job market and specific law firms, draft an up to date CV, write job applications, prepare for interviews, etc. All of this alongside the busy day job and personal life. No wonder people get overwhelmed!

It seems like the mountain is too big to climb.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not. Many lawyers have done it in the past and many will do it in the future. You are no different to these lawyers.

Think back to when you did your degree. If you had broadened your focus to take in all the work you needed to do over the entire three or four-year course, you would naturally have felt overwhelmed by the prospect.

However, what actually happened was your university chunked it down for you. Firstly, into each year and then into each term or semester. Then by each subject, the syllabus was chunked down by topic focus. Your lectures, seminars and essays were then chunked down and scheduled accordingly.

When you viewed your degree like this then, whilst it still may have been an unknown and quite daunting, it seemed much more achievable.

This is what you need to do with your job search activities. Don’t worry about it all at the same time. Chunk down the critical activities and schedule them into your weekly calendar. If you are struggling for time, reassess your priorities to find time to schedule these critical activities in.

When you chunk down like this you will find there is less of a temptation to procrastinate.

To help with this, it may be worth regularly reminding yourself of one of my favourite productivity quotes:

You can eat a whole elephant if you take it one bite at a time”

[Apologies to any vegetarians out there…!]

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Matt Oliver

Matt is the founder of Law Career Plus and a former in-house lawyer (Sky Sports, London & Foxtel, Sydney). With over 12 years of experience as a career consultant & executive coach, he supports lawyers with their career development & career transitions. He does this through this website, a regular email newsletter and his one to one lawyer career coaching.

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