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Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

Job Search Series – The Worst Critic in Your Job Search – Part 2

The Worst Critic in Your Job Search – Part 2

Now that you’ve identified the critic, it’s time to disempower it.

Published on July 20, 2014 by Katharine Brooks, Ed.D. in Career Transitions for Psychology Today

In my last post, I described a therapeutic process called Internal Family Systems (IFS), developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, which can be used to reduce the power of the inner critic living in your head. The inner critic can have a devastating effect on the job search if it prevents the job seeker from exploring new opportunities, or destroys their confidence to interview well and present a positive face to the employer. Before you read further, I recommend you read the previous post and take a few minutes to describe your inner critic. 

Early and Weiss identify seven types of inner critics. See if any of them sound familiar to you:

  1. The Perfectionist sets high standards for behavior. It you don’t live up to those standards at all times, the perfectionist inside will attack you. In the job search, perfectionism can keep you from finishing your resume, writing a great LinkedIn profile, etc.
  2. The Inner Controller uses shame to punish you for impulsive behavior like over-eating, using alcohol or drugs, or playing excessive computer games.
  3. The Taskmaster uses words like “lazy”, “stupid”, or “incompetent” to get you to work harder. It is the voice warning you that you are a loser if you don’t keep working. The Taskmaster can make you hate your job search by making it all work and no play—it removes the artistry and creativity from the search.
  4. The Underminer fears rejection so it tries to keep you from taking any risks. It warns you that you probably aren’t good enough to do whatever the task is you plan to do. It cautions you to not get too big or powerful or visible. An Underminer can keep you stuck in the same job too long, or keep you from considering a more meaningful career field. It can keep you from publicly displaying your portfolio for fear of appearing vain.
  5. The Destroyer is a powerful force that attacks your self-worth and dignity. The Destroyer effectively destroys ideas, creativity, and energy. The Destroyer can keep you stuck in your current job.
  6. The Guilt Tripper reminds you of actions you took (or didn’t take) that harmed someone else. It makes you feel bad and casts a pall over your day. The Guilt Tripper can keep you from investigating your true desires because of family or other obligations.
  7. The Molder wants you to conform to a certain ideal. Molds can take all forms in the career search: from believing you have to pursue a particular career because of family heritage, or because of a degree you obtained.

Now that you have this list of inner critics, which ones apply particularly to you? When do they show up? What part of the job search have they inhibited? What do you want to do that you haven’t attempted yet because one (or more) of these critics are hovering around?

If you want to learn more, read the full blog post here.

©2014 Katharine S. Brooks. All rights reserved. Find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Category: Professional Development

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