11/10/2011 06:56 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Do You Want It or Not?

The last month has been quite intensive in terms of coaching people from around the world about their careers and how to work for the job they want and get it. It appears people have returned from their summer vacations and have a renewed impetus to make a change. However, even with the various financial and job creation incentives that the world's governments are introducing, things are not getting any easier. It is more difficult than ever to get an interview, let alone a job.

In terms of career coaching/development, I usually engage with a client when they are in a job they want to change or are unemployed. I have a very straightforward approach/process and the first step is to create momentum. Do not let the current job or the tough employment market stop you from creating positive action. Nothing is going to change if you don't do something -- doing nothing will only lead to nothing changing. I really have complete understanding that consistent positive action is easier said than done when you are unable to get that interview, let alone the job you want.

My first observation from all the people who I have spoken to in the last month is that over half of them are not really putting their full effort into getting a job. What I mean is that they "talk the talk" and not "walk the walk" about applying for jobs, but have somewhat given up having had 10 or 20 or 30 or more rejections. The constant "closed door" had resulted in their individual resolve being eroded and they had become "talkers not walkers." Worse than that, they had actually managed to convince themselves that there were still active each and every day in trying to achieve their goal. The lack of progress and their disheartening results had blinded them into thinking they were creating positive action when they were not. For example, one client was telling me they were applying for at least five new jobs per day. When we actually looked at their activity it was not even one application on some days.

This observation got me thinking about the other areas of my coaching and it is a seemingly common issue that constrains, controls and defines results. Managers, teams, departments, people and athletes all go through times when they are not fully committed, even though they say they are. There are moments when it seems like the hardest thing to do is to try again something that has already failed, or try to achieve it slightly differently. I remember when I was going through a tough time and I had been out of work for a few months. All my savings had long been spent, I was overdrawn at the bank, and I had bills to pay. The positions vacant were extremely thin on the ground and I was struggling to be put forward for an interview, let alone get an interview. It was a terrible time and I was not sure what would happen but I knew that I couldn't give up as doing nothing would never change my situation. In the end I recognised that my almost beaten persona was coming across on my resume and my cover letter. So I started small, made some changes that were within my control (changed my resume and letter) and then slowly but surely really worked at getting an interview. I turned the activity of searching the positions vacant and applying for new jobs into my current job. When I approached "my job" in this new positive manner the results started to change. I found I was getting selected for interviews and then finally landing a job.

The point is, I am not suggesting that simply by creating positive action you will remove all your challenges and make all the things you want to change happen. What I am saying is that by doing nothing (or convincing yourself you are doing something when you know you are really not) then nothing will change.

It becomes as basic as "stop kidding yourself" and "do you want it or not?"