Sometimes your brain is your worst enemy. During the job search it will say all kinds of things to sabotage you. Here’s how to respond.

I don’t know where to start.

Start somewhere. Anywhere. Start by updating your LinkedIn or resume, or by reaching out to your network.

Let’s watch TV instead!

No. Turn off the TV.

I don’t know what I want to do!

If you aren’t sure what you want to do, start by making lists of your dream jobs, and skills and qualifications. The figure out what you can do, and start from there.

It’s too late in the day. I’ll start tomorrow.

Start now. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Even if it’s just ten minutes of making lists, you’ll feel much better if you do something productive.

Can we just drink and play Temple Run instead?


I don’t have enough experience. I’ll never get a job.

Yes, you will. You might not get the job you want but you can work your way towards it. You need experience to get experience. You just need to figure out where to start.

Nobody is going to see my resume, anyway. Applying for jobs online is like sending your resume into an abyss.

I know it feels that way but it’s not true. There are people are the other end waiting to look at resumes. I swear.

I know! Let’s stare at social media!

Do not stare at social media. I know I can’t stop you from scrolling through your Facebook feed, but limit your time. Stop wasting it. Regroup, then shut it off.

But that guy who commented on the thing is WRONG! We have to set him straight by arguing with him for three hours.

Leave it alone, for Pete’s sake. You know that arguing with people online is a stupid waste of time. Stop it. Just walk away.

Meh. I don’t need to look. Something will come along eventually.

What? A job offer is just going to walk in the door and sit on your lap? That isn’t going to happen. You need to be proactive.

But what if I get a job and I hate it?

What a dumb question. Then you’ll get another job. It’s way easier to get a job if you already have one. Employers hate unemployment.

The other candidates will be more qualified than me.

Maybe. You don’t know that. Unless you apply. But if you already know where the holes are in your skills and qualifications, why don’t you start figuring out how to fill them in?

I don’t have all the qualifications. I shouldn’t apply.

Employers routinely ask for qualifications they don’t actually need these days. If you meet 75% of them, you should apply.

I don’t have all the qualifications. I should totally apply.

As long as you have 75% of them. Otherwise, you’re wasting everyone’s time. Be reasonable.

What if the interviewer hates me?

Then you will fix what you did wrong and wow the next interviewer. Don’t give up.

What if they say no? I’m so tired of people saying no.

I know. It’s hard. But even if you hear “no” a hundred times, remember that it only takes one “yes” to change everything. And, if you keep trying, someone will eventually say yes.

No they won’t. I have bad luck.

That may be, but the only path we have to changing that right now is to persevere. Keep trying.

What if I fail?

Then you fail. It won’t be the end of the world. And you’ll do better next time. Or you’ll fail then too. But you’re more likely to get somewhere if you try.

I’m not good enough. I’ll never get a job.

Are you serious? Look, lots of people have jobs and there are surely some who are worse than you. I mean, some of them must be, right?

Is that seriously the best pep talk you can give? That’s, like, the worst pep-talk ever.

Whatever. I’m tired of arguing with you. If you want to be dissatisfied and out of work forever, fine. Just don’t come crying to me when you’re old and you’ve wasted your entire life watching TV and getting into Facebook arguments. Is that what you want?

No. OK fine. I’ll start updating my LinkedIn. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW!?



Good. I was just doing tough love. You’re actually awesome and smart and talented and you can do this. I believe in you and I will always believe in you.

Aw. Thanks, buddy.

You’re welcome.