Ten Things You Don't Want to Hear About Job Search - But Need To

by: Joanne Meehl

These are 10 things that need to be said about job search that people just don't want to hear. But unless you hear them and understand they come with the territory, you won't fully be prepared for a productive and effective job search.

1. Right now, it will take you longer to land that new job than it would in an "ordinary" economy. Like 1-6 months longer.

2. If all you do is update your ten year-old resume and send it out to job postings online -- which are only about 20-40% of all available openings -- you will double your job search time, if not triple it. Do you have enough savings? Or a trust fund?

3. What some will see -- and see everywhere -- as age discrimination, is really salary discrimination. You will not be able to lean on age discrimination to explain why you are not getting job offers. Forget that right now, or you will hide behind that for the rest of your career. Be honest: are you wearing glasses from 1995? Are you truly up to date on what's going on in your field? Do you know what your college's curriculum for your major is TODAY? Are you reading journals in your field? Are you flexible about salary or the exact job or title?

4. Bias does exist. Yes, age discrimination exists. So does bias based on color, weight, hair, no hair, beauty/plainness, taste in music...you name it. Accept it. Keep your activity level high so that you have so much going on that one loser hiring manager in your campaign doesn't really matter.

5. This will affect your family. Don't think you are "sparing them" by not talking about what you're doing. Every week or so, review with your spouse and kids what you're doing. Not every phone call or thought, but the variety of meetings you're doing, the contacts you are making or want to make. Without knowing this stuff, you are creating unnecessary mystery. And you're leaving them out and isolating yourself.

6. Waiting is dumb. Waiting to see what happens with your current interview cycle with Employer A, before applying to Employer B or C or D, is dumb. Treat your search like dating: see as many employers and as many contacts as humanly possible. Say yes to everything, until you really want to say No. Just don't wait, as that won't get you anywhere fast.

7. Expect to NOT hear from employers, even if they tell you "You would be great here" or "You will be one of our finalists!" Expect to suddenly not hear from them. Expect anonymous email rejections. Expect inconsistency between what they say they're going to do, and what they really do, no matter how "great" you may have clicked with them. Is all of this rude? Yes. Unprofessional? Yes.

Tough to endure? Yes. But it's reality. So keep moving, keep going on and don't look back.

8a. This is a biggie: If you are not overwhelmed with job search activity -- with numerous networking meetings, searching for and meeting contacts, attending seminars in your field for both the knowledge and the connections you'll make, using a spreadsheet or system to keep track of it all -- then you are not doing enough. Do you want to land? Then being overwhelmed with activity is what you have to do. Period. 8b: Yes, I said networking. All this means is talking with people you don't already know, and listening to them. Especially people in your field. Find out what they need, and speak to that by citing your successes. Connect, connect, connect.

9. Turn off the (negative) news. Ignore the toxic talk by that person in your networking group. Screen out the stuff that brings you down. You'll be tempted to let it in, because it can serve as an excuse for why it's taking you so long to find a job. Don't kid yourself. Instead, see #1- #8 above.

10. Don't go it alone. Sure, work with a buddy group or job search partner. But hire help if you are lost or can't stay on track or are stalled. You see an accountant for your taxes, you see a dentist for your teeth, a doctor for that pain. So hire a search coach. If you could see the relief on the faces of my clients, because they are making great progress each week, each day, you'd know what I mean. Why be in pain?


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