How Can I Stop Procrastinating When Looking For A Job?

30th Jan
How to prepare for an interview

Are you feeling unfulfilled, dissatisfied with your current place of work or have you lost your confidence somewhere along the professional line? There are many reasons why you might be feeling as though it is time to move on. Perhaps you don’t feel challenged where you are currently or simply dislike your current role. If you feel this way ask yourself ‘what am I going to do about it? Stay another year and hope for change? Or take control of your situation and seek out new horizons for yourself?


Many people are prone to procrastination. Days pass and as our ideas grow, we seem to have taken very few practical steps to realise our aim. Don’t find yourself in the same unhappy situation in six months time due to procrastination.

Here are our tips on how to set the wheels in motion to achieve your ideal job.

1. Baby Steps

So, you have recognised the problem and established that you would like to look for a new job. What comes next isn’t going to be the most fun you have ever had but it is necessary. A good place to start is updating your CV (or creating one if you don’t already have one). Think about what you could include in a personal statement /cover letter and be prepared to spend time and energy searching for a job that suits your specific skills and needs. Once you have done this and registered your interest with recruitment companies and recruitment agencies, you will be well on your way to a brighter future.

Motivation is a big hurdle when the task at hand seems insurmountable. Searching for suitable jobs, the kind that would make you consider the upheaval of such a big change can seem like such a massive undertaking. It takes time to commit a small amount of time each day to search for new, appealing prospects. Keep working on that CV. No doubt the position you have now, however much you dislike it, will have equipped you with some desirable skills. Write a few covering letters and get someone you trust to give you their honest opinion to read them and give you some constructive feedback.

Doing things in small, achievable steps will make the whole ordeal much less intimidating. It will also impact your time management much less and it won’t get to the stage where it is all you can think about. Any progress is still progress. Spending an hour of your day setting the foundations of a new career might be the most productive thing you have done all year.

2. Goals

If you are in an unsatisfactory role, you may have lost sight of any long-term professional goals. Staying positive is hard when you are fundamentally unhappy. Plus, if you are ‘comfortable’ and your job fits in with your current daily routine you could be apprehensive to rock the boat.

So where is your motivation?  Remind yourself of why you want that new job. You don’t feel appreciated / there are no promotional opportunities / there is no space for career progression / you aren’t earning enough for what you do… the list goes on.

Set some goals. Where do you envision yourself in a year’s time? Will you be satisfied, well-paid, and valued? Visualize how you would feel in both situations: if you stayed or if you moved on. How this makes you feel might be the incentive you need to get on with that job search.

3. The First Step Is The Hardest

Making the first practical move involves stepping out of your comfort zone. You may have a list of jobs that you find more appealing than your current one and have a shining new CV but what now? Procrastinating is tempting. But if you want to get anywhere, then practical steps are what will get you there.

Instead of pouring over the same application for days, placing all your hopes on one perfect position, you might want to start by sending your CV to a few recruitment agencies that have jobs you like the look of. No pressure just get things moving. You never know, you might even get an offer you weren’t expecting and it could end up being the perfect job for you. This way, sending your application off for ‘the one’ would seem less daunting.

At the end of the day, the more jobs you apply for, the more likely a positive response will come back to you. Getting the first few applications out of the way breaks a mental barrier and reduces the pressure you put yourself under.

4. Break Down Tasks

Procrastination often occurs because you feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of tasks you need to do. This is normal but something we must overcome. Maybe try to break down all your tasks into mini tasks. Complete each small task and acknowledge your progress. Then move on to the next. This way, you won’t feel overburdened with the sheer amount of work that needs to be done, and you track your progress and achievements successfully, giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Breaking things down into manageable chunks will make getting to your goal much easier, without feeling too overwhelmed.

5. Don’t Catastrophize Rejection

You are not going to get every job you go for. Let’s acknowledge this now. You are going to face some rejections but you must not let this become a source of procrastination. Turn those let-downs into positive actions, learning experiences, instead of inaction.

If you do, however, find yourself in a spiral of negativity, research some YouTube videos or podcasts that focus on positivity and mental resilience. There are lots available and many find them an invaluable source of inspiration. Taking positive action can help you restructure your negative self-talk into a more rational assessment of yourself and your job search.

6. Register With A Recruitment Agency

Recruitment Agencies work with companies in a given sector to find appropriate candidates for their roles. They also work with candidates to find a role they want. Recruitment companies hold a database of candidates with the aim to get them all into the most suitable job for them.

Recruitment Agencies have a great insight to the companies on their database allowing you to get to know about the company before having an interview. They can help prepare you for interviews and answer any questions you may have

Often, recruitment agencies have access to exclusive job roles that aren’t otherwise on the market, giving you a head-start when job hunting.

Recruitment companies are there to listen to and help you. If you are open and communicative with them it could be of great benefit to register with one.


Searching for a job can be stressful because your lifestyle and state of mind are at stake. Even if you are currently employed, the prospect of a career change is a huge mental burden to carry. But remember, you are doing all this to improve your life.

Rather than letting yourself become overwhelmed, allow yourself to feel positive, hopeful and invigorated.  Working practically on your stress response to rejections and anxiety will improve your overall outlook and increase the speed with which you complete your job search. It might even equip you with skills you can utilise in your next professional role.

Turn negative thoughts and practices into positive ones. Take control for yourself, rather than letting your procrastination control you.

A&S Recruitment is a specialist recruitment agency and human resources consultancy for the import and export industry. We focus on the shipping, transport, warehousing and port logistics sectors and specialise in recruitment around Ipswich and Felixstowe. Our dedicated team of professional consultants have a flexible approach to core needs and an understanding of business pressures and deadlines. A&S Recruitment is the best agency in Felixstowe if you’re looking for new work opportunities in the import and export industry register with us  today.

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