Lies We Tell Ourselves When Looking for A Job

Looking for a job can be frustrating especially when it’s taking longer than hoped.

Sometimes there are legitimate barriers, like a weak economy. But more often the source of the problem is a set of false narratives we tell ourselves.

For example:

1. I can’t network because I don’t have many contacts.

Yes, it is easier to find a job if you have an established network. But even if you don’t, you can still approach people and seek advice from them on their career, company, and industry.

2. It’s easier to find a job if I have a job.

Think of how many of your friends, relatives, and former co-workers have lost their job for one reason or another. Almost everyone has been downsized and there is no longer a stigma attached to being unemployed.

3. I don’t send cover letters. No one reads them.

True, some employers discard cover letters. But many others read them carefully. Don’t take the chance. A good cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain why you are interested in and qualified for the job.

4. I am over 50. No one hires older workers.

The important question is whether you have the skills, education and experience to do the job. Age is much less a factor than it was. Also, many employers like to hire older workers because they believe they will stay longer and are more reliable.

5. I will apply for many jobs to increase my chances of getting one.

Employers can easily spot a general, mass application and don’t like them. You should be selective and apply only for those jobs where you meet the qualifications.

6. I’m registered with a recruiter. They will find me a job.

Recruiters are hired by employers to fill their job openings. You are not their client. Recruiters will only recommend you to an employer if they think you are a strong fit for that employer’s needs.

7. I can’t find a job. Something must be wrong with my resume.

People spend far too much time worrying about their resume. For certain, you need a well-written resume. But you will see your greatest return by reaching out to personal and professional connections.

8. I have changed jobs a lot. That will work against me.

Employers understand a traditional career path with one employer is a thing of the past and people change jobs a lot to advance their careers, especially in early career.