By David Rose

Sometimes it seems like everyone else is getting ahead. Sometimes, especially through the filter of social platforms, we’re presented with a pretty, little picture. A snapshot or watered down version of what our connections want us to see.

When it comes to employment, specifically when our friends find something new, we find ourselves reflecting upon our own status. It’s not uncommon to go through a cycle of emotion – happiness for your friend, wonderment, and envy for the fresh start. Inevitably, you become a watcher.

Watching and learning is good. Watching, idly, is like waiting in a traffic jam, creeping along – frustrated – only to discover the delay was caused by other drivers staring at an accident, not the accident itself. It’s just job rubbernecking.

Job rubbernecking is when you spend time looking at other people accepting new jobs, new responsibilities, and having new successes, yet you do nothing to drive your own career.

Let your friends’ successes be your successes. Let those successes serve as motivation to you. Success breeds success. Use others’ success to put you on the same path.

Be a better candidate.

Don’t just talk about engagement. Do it. Learn how your friend(s) defined success before, during, and after the job search. Ask questions. Listen. Show some humility.

Stop thinking you have all the answers. Stop nodding in understanding when you have no clue what you’re agreeing to. Stop winging it. Stop missing interviews, or showing up late. Stop lying about your experience, status, or salary.

Stop wasting employers’ time with mundane, intrusive, and unnecessary communication that ultimately hurts you. Multiple emails, texts, calls, and/or direct messaging is convenient and quick, which makes taking a moment to pause that much more important. When you over communicate, it doesn’t demonstrate ambition, it shows a lack a of respect for the individual’s time.

It’s not that you shouldn’t ask all your questions. It’s that you should ask the right person your questions, and at the right time.

When you cast your resume out to the world, not only do you saturate the market and make it impossible to differentiate yourself, it creates a logistical nightmare. You will find yourself trying to manage communication – phone, email, text, and social messaging – with, ideally, multiple companies, and scheduling interviews (especially when you are employed) is enough to drive a craft beer connoisseur to Budweiser.

If you’re working with a reputable recruiter, much of the burden associated with the administrative aspects of interviewing is lifted from your shoulders. The centralized and credible communication and professional partnership ultimately allows you to ask those hard-to-ask questions instead of being distracted from your interview preparation.

Stop trying to do it all on your own. Stop watching the world roll by and do something for your career, before the pain in your neck steers you off road.