Help me – I’m hooked on job applications


I feel guilty, but the addiction is strong. What should I do?

I’m hooked on job applications.Credit:John Shakespeare

ANSWER:

I have equal parts sympathy and envy for your predicament.

I get the impression you’re not settled in your career, which may be frustrating and unfulfilling. But the fact that you can quickly move on from a job and win over potential employers – often several at a time – is a rare skill.

What should you do? I asked Jasmine Sliger, an organisational and counselling psychologist, for her expert advice on the matter.

“It sounds to me as if you need to reassess your career and what you really want. Career is an ever-evolving thing in today’s marketplace and holding multiple job titles within your lifetime is not unusual,” Jasmine said.

“As a personality, you are probably a dynamic networker and someone who loves to meet people just as a standard rule. Your love of having so much choice may not be the best way to think about your job search.”

It’s really not about going all for passion or all for money.

Jasmine suggests that there’s not necessarily any need to feel guilty about relatively short stints at one place of work – “people no longer stay in jobs for years at a time”. But you may want to be mindful of the people who would give the proverbial arm and leg to get the attention from interviewers that you do.

“I wonder why you are applying for jobs that bore you? Spare a thought for those that have been neglected in the marketplace who are seen as too young, too old, under-competent or over-competent.”

If you genuinely want to avoid the allure of hunting job after job, Jasmine suggests asking yourself some important career questions:

“What is going to add value to my personal and professional life? What is going to stretch me and give me some new knowledge and skills? Is what I’m applying for the type of job that I will look back on and feel I have made a great contribution?”

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“It’s really not about going all for passion or all for money. It’s about balancing your wants and needs with your goals, knowledge, talents and skills, and reassessing where you are.”

It may be worthwhile, Jasmine suggests, to meet with a trusted colleague, someone senior to you, and go over what exactly you want from a job. See if you can find something that would stretch you enough to be committed for two years and then reassess again after that period.

Whether you’re chasing jobs or chasing the next pay cheque, we’d love to hear your work-related question. Email Work Therapy: jonathan@theinkbureau.com.au

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