There is hardly a job seeker that can’t give you a really “good” reason why their situation is worse than most and they can’t get a job because of it. Certainly there are challenges that many people face that may make it more difficult, but most people over estimate how large those challenges are. Also, there is almost no challenge that can’t be overcome with the right attitude, approach, and determination.
I regularly hear people tell me that they can’t get a job because:
- I’m too old and face age discrimination.
- I’m too young and companies are hiring older more experienced people.
- I don’t have a degree.
- I’m over qualified with my graduate degree.
- They are only hiring men.
- They are only hiring women.
- I have physical restrictions.
- Companies want more experience with a particular skill.
- Companies don’t want much experience these days.
- I have too many jobs on my resume.
- I’ve been at one company too long.
- Companies are only hiring consultants.
- Companies are focused on diversity, and I’m not “diverse”.
- I’m a minority and face discrimination.
- It’s a “Good Old Boys” network, and I’m not a “Good Old Boy”.
- …and many, many more.
The reality is, depending on the company, each of those things may be true. AND depending on the company, none of those things are true.
After 23 years in the executive search business, I can honestly tell you that many of the traditional barriers that used to be common, are all but gone. “Conventional Wisdom” about age, or race, disability, or sex discrimination just don’t exist anywhere near where they used to even 10 or 20 years ago. Certainly there are instances where it occurs, however, they are isolated and rare. Most people that are convinced that they are being singled out though, “find” discrimination, or negative business reasons everywhere.
In fact, for almost any person that gives a reason why they cannot get hired, you can find another person with the same circumstances that got a job. It may take more effort. It may take a different approach. However, the biggest stumbling block to getting a job is often the mindset of the seeker.
As in anyone’s job search, they can benefit by some good search tips:
- Call company contacts instead of applying online and waiting.
- Network, Network, Network!
- Follow up regularly – persistence pays.
- Pursue all leads, you don’t know where the right job will come from.
- Put in enough daily time and effort – treat your search like a full-time job.
- Be prepared – in introductions, interviews, phone calls, follow ups, etc.
- Keep a positive attitude!
Most people don’t treat their job hunt like a full-time job, and so their search drags on much longer than necessary. When the job doesn’t come in the timeframe they’d like, it’s easier to blame it on other circumstances.
Plan your work, and work your plan and the right situation will come!
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