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Dealing with Common Myths & Obstacles

Enda Goodwin

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Field Agent

Field Agent

You’ve probably heard some of the stories before. You might be so convinced that these stories – myths – are true, that they’re keeping you from even starting your job search. You know the ones:

  • I can't get a job because I don’t have a job. 
  • I’m too old (or young) to get hired. 
  • I can’t get hired at that company because they just downsized. 
  • I have no experience in that industry – I can’t get hired there. 
  • There are no jobs in the summer or over the holidays.

Dispelling these myths is an important part of moving forward. They are nothing more than self-defeating barriers that will hinder your search and stifle your confidence.

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

When job searching, some people might use myths as “crutch,” or excuse for not putting their full effort into finding a new job. If you’re serious about finding a job, don’t believe everything you hear. They are called myths for a reason.

  • I can’t get a job if I don’t have one.This is a common misconception. It’s simply not true that if you’re currently out of work you won’t get hired. LHH candidates dispel this belief all the time as they see those around them getting prospects and jobs – and then they confidently go forth and land one themselves.
  • I’m too old (or young) to get hired.There are three components of age – chronological age, skillset, and the impression you make. If your skillset is up to date in your field and you appear enthusiastic, age won’t matter.
  • I can’t get hired at that company because they just downsized.Companies adjust their staffing as business conditions change. Sometimes there is a need for new employees in one department, while changing conditions require cutbacks in another department. If both departments use the same skillsets, people can be moved from one area to another. But if different skills are required, the company will hire in one area while doing a layoff in another.
  • I have no experience in that industry – I can’t get hired there. This is not always true. Sometimes less-qualified candidates get hired because of their “fit” with a company. In addition to your specific background, you’re selling enthusiasm, intelligence, motivation, and interest in them.
  • There are no jobs in the summer or over the holidays. Schools may take a break during the summer, but employers certainly don’t. When hiring slows down during holiday periods there are always great opportunities to network and position yourself for the jobs that open-up after the holiday. Don’t pay attention to those who say, “There are no jobs out there – especially now,” or “Everyone is away for the summer.”

The Internet Trap

Taking your job search online is a necessary part of the process. Creating and developing your network on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, finding up-to-date information on prospective companies and competitive salaries, and staying current on industry trends are all great ways to leverage the internet.  

But having technology at your fingertips can also be a major time drain. You might think you’re doing the right thing by doing a deep dive on job sites like Monster, Indeed, Dice, CareerBuilder and so many others like them. And they are a good thing, to an extent. Except when a quick search leads you to an article, leads you to another, unrelated site, and then an hour is gone and nothing has been accomplished. The key is to not let them monopolize your time, which can lead to intense frustration. 

Consider the fact that this these are public postings, which means you and thousands of others are responding to the same jobUnless you have a direct connection with a hiring manager or have a contact inside the company that can help you, your chances of getting an interview or offer are slim.  

Our advice here is simple: Use the Internet but don't let it use you. Diversify your search so that the Internet is just one facet of your job hunt. 

At LHH, our recruiters have a rule when they're conducting an Internet search: Know what information you want before you go online. If you haven’t found it in 10 minutes, stop and get advice on where to find it. Even if you are finding useful information, stop and evaluate it after 10 minutes. What is its value to you? How do you plan to use it? This is a smart way to avoid information overload or that sickening feeling you get from surfing from one site to another.

The Time Warp

Why is everything moving sslowly? The feeling is real. When you were working, a week or two would whiz by, and you’d wonder where the time went. Now that you're in transition, waiting for people to respond to your resume, answer your calls, or invite you in for an interview, time drags – a day can seem like an eternity! Remember, you're on the slow side of the time warp. 

You may be saying to yourself"The recruiter said I’d hear this week! What's wrong with these people?" Recruiters, hiring managers, HR departments, and even your friends may promise one thing and do another. Why? Because despite how important hiring is, other things take priority. Let's say a company tells you that they're going to be interviewing in the next week or two and then you don't hear from them. Politely follow up and you may discover that the schedule slipped because someone had to go out of town, or there was a critical sales meeting or some other obligation. If you don’t hear back immediately, don’t panic or take it personally. There could be a very legitimate reason for the delay. 

One of the biggest adjustments after a job loss is dealing with a loss of structure. Without having to be anywhere or do anything, it's hard to be productive. Focus on your Marketing Plan for your search and proactively implement it, and you'll find that time will become a bit less frustrating. And by keeping your pipeline full, you'll begin to see results.

The Emotional Roller Coaster

You may end up being second in the selection process, maybe more than once. That is normal! It would be great to be hired for the one and only job you apply to, with all the bells and whistles, but know that it may not happen that way. Don't dwell on it, learn from it, and move on. You should always have three opportunities in your pipeline until you have a final offer in front of you. Remember: a promise of an offer is not an offer!

Stay the Course

Don’t let the myths you’ve heard time and time again stop you from getting started, keep focused on the matter at hand, and do not get discouraged. The hiring process takes time, and it’s important to spend that time productively and with confidence. Keep your pipeline full and the prospects will follow!

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