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These Four Obstacles can Stall Your Job Search

After months (or years) of thinking it over and gathering your courage, you’re finally ready to take action. You’re ready to start looking for a new job. It’s time to get this ball rolling, and this time, you’re serious. You finally have the momentum you need to create your resume and break free from your current dead end position or impossible boss.

First: Congratulations! Every journey begins with a single step, and the hardest part of any difficult task is making the decision to get started. Second: If you plan to reach your goal, you’ll need to keep moving, even when the going gets rough. Watch out for these potential obstacles that can stall your search and bring you back to square one.

A Counteroffer

Your new employer makes an offer, you give notice your old employer, and before you can blink, your old employer raises your salary then and there. Your new paycheck will be a few dollars more than it was in the past. But if you accept, you’ll be right back at your desk again next week, facing the same bleak prospects, the same frustrating boss, and the same miserable commute. Remember: your goal is to make a change and get out of here. Stay focused. Maybe if you tell your new employer about the counter offer, they’ll change their original number.


A rejection can be discouraging, especially after you pour your heart into your application and stay up all night preparing for your interview. And if you think one rejection is hard, you may feel pretty beaten down by the time you’ve racked up 20 of them. But don’t be deterred. If you stop searching because rejections hurt so much, you’ll just stop searching. Nothing else in the world will change. Don’t let a few disappointments or a bruised ego prevent you from moving forward. Shake them off and keep going.

False Promises

Again, if your employer finds out that you’re searching, he or she may sit down with you to determine why you aren’t happy and what can be done to keep you in your chair. But if you’re determined to go, go. Even if your employer promises to improve his behavior, adjust your workload, or support you during conflicts, don’t count on a permanent change.


Don’t get pulled off course by big developments at your current job, like an important new project or a client with an urgent issue. Give some attention to the matter at hand, but don’t abandon your job search. If you don’t have time to look for work, make time—spend at least a few minutes or an hour on your search every day until you’re settled in your new position.

For more on how to stay focused and complete your job search without giving up or getting derailed, contact the career management team at PSU.

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