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Chapter 1. The Procrastinator's Wake-Up ... > Is Your Resumé Gathering Moss? - Pg. 6

The Procrastinator's Wake-Up Call 6 In fact, as I was writing this chapter in May 1999, I read a question on my board from someone who said he planned to make a career change "next June" and wanted to know how early he should start his job search. I was so floored that someone would start planning in May 1999 for a career change in June of the following year that I had to write back before answering his question to clarify that "next June" really did mean June 2000, not the next month, June 1999. He did indeed mean June 2000, so I congratulated him on his foresight and gave him an answer. (By the way, in case his situation is relevant to you, the answer was that he shouldn't start his job search until three to six months before the date he could start working, but he should use the time up until that point to research his new chosen field and network to build contacts in it.) Some of the most common examples of career-related procrastination are the following: · Students who are overwhelmed by the thought of trying to choose a career direction or find a job and who wait until they're close to graduating to start the entire career planning and job hunting process. Quicksand! If you're having trouble getting your work done on time or dealing with any aspect of your job, don't wait until you are seriously reprimanded or even fired. If your boss is understanding, talk to him or her. If not, ask your human resources department for a referral to a career management coach or to relevant semi- nars. · Adults who are somewhat dissatisfied in their jobs and would probably be happier elsewhere but are too comfortable with their familiar routine and surroundings to get motivated to make a move. · Adults who know that they might be laid off soon or that their employer is on shaky ground and could fold but who are in denial and don't make advance plans to find a new job. · Job seekers who miss out on opportunities because they don't send their resumés or make the necessary phone calls in time to be considered for an opening. · People who want to change not just their jobs but the career field or profession in which they work and are overwhelmed by the career options they have to choose from. Or they know what they want, but they don't know how to make the transition. · Stay-at-home parents who want to get into the work world for the first time, or back into it after an absence for parenting, but let fear or lack of knowledge hold them back. (They might also be held back by the time-management challenge of getting out of the house to network or job-hunt while still taking care of the kids.) · Budding entrepreneurs who never get around to making a business dream a reality. · People who are not performing well on their job, have conflicts with co-workers or clients, or would like to ask for a raise or promotion but don't get around to taking action on these issues. In Chapter 19, "Get a Career--or Change the One You Have," you'll find strategies for moving ahead in your professional life.