Self-sabotage is an interesting thing for a job hunter to identify as their issue. Here, I address it head on and offer a strategy I’ve seen work many many times.

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I got a great question today and thought I would use it for my video. The question is, "How do we avoid self sabotage and get a job?"

I think the answer to this question is in two parts. The first one is that someone gave you this psychological label that I think is absolutely useless. Self sabotage--like you are intentionally going into the interview and trying to screw things up or you have adeep-rooted psychological issue is causing you to make these mistakes that are so costly!

It's not necessarily self-sabotage. It may be simply that you don't have a lot of experience interviewing and are not well-prepared and need to improve.

What has happened in modern times is that there are a lot of labels that are thrown around conveniently that traumatize people. I think self-sabotage is one of those labels. It causes people to think the problems are deep-seated when, in fact, solving them is very simple.

After all, the simple solution to messing up on interviews is practice. How many times that you practice for your last interview? When you think of practice and the impact of lack of practice, that's the big issue!

We have all heard of the 10,000 hour rule yet most job hunters have about a half hour MAYBE of experience writing your resume, or interviewing, or answering specific tough interview questions or using LinkedIn or negotiating compensation.

Most job hunters go on an interview and think they can wing it and, of course, screwup, and on the next one, and the next one, and the one after that. Suddenly, they have label! Self-sabotage!

I want to encourage you to get some experience. Work with friends. Join and practice answers to the interview questions we have there. You will go a long way toward eliminating being inexperienced, amateurish (I have to say amateurish because professionals practice).

Don't believe me? Look at every athlete that was at the Olympics. Every professional athlete, no matter what sport they are in. All of them are successful and they practice… And you aren't.

So that's the big issue. It's not some deep-seated psychological problem that is causing you to mess up. It's that you don't have experience doing this and your amateurish behavior tells you you don't have to do this.

So wake up. Start practicing. You'll start getting results.


Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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