There are plenty of blog posts, articles, and videos about how to find a job but not too many about why you’re NOT finding one so we decided to play (insert your favorite doc) on (ER, House, Grey’s Anatomy or whatever your favorite medical drama is) and try to diagnose the problem.
With that in mind, here are some of the most common causes of not being able to find a new job:
You’re not Evel Knievel. In an interview several years back Evel Knievel was asked why he performed a particular stunt if he knew there was a 50% chance of him dying trying to attempt it. His was response was, “Do you know who the hell I am?”
I get this attitude from candidates quite a bit and I want to answer them with a quick, “No, no I do not” before they even ask.
The solution? To quote Ice Cube from one of his earlier songs, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” It’s great to have confidence in yourself (and is required to be succesful in the job-search) but having the, “do you know who the hell I am” type of attitude will not get you far.
You stink at job-search. Not comfortable anywhere around networking? Send out 1,000’s of résumés and interview hundreds of times and no closer to the finish line? It’s more common that you think.
The solution? DO NOT STRESS!! No one is born being a pro at job-search – it is a skill-set that takes practice, time, and educating yourself to master.
You are unrealistic. Making 50k right now but think you’re underpaid and want 85k to make a move? Been out of work for 18 months but still think you are gonna get above the going rate? Won’t make a move unless someone gives you five weeks of vacation right off of the bat? I don’t think so.
The solution? Come back and see me when you come back and join the rest of us in reality.
You aren’t as good at your job as you think you are. Do you feel you are a 9/10 in your job and everyone else feels you are a 3/10?
The solution? Before you try to sell yourself as the second coming do an HONEST assessment of your skills, strengths and weaknesses so you know exactly where you stand and what types of positions you should go after.
You are very unlucky. A big piece of job-search is being at the right place at the right time and maybe so far that has escaped you.
The solution? Be patient and continue to do the things that have proven to work for so many others (networking, networking, networking).
You’re ‘that’ guy. Send an email and leave a voicemail everyday just so that the 20 employers you have applied to over and over and over and over know that you’re still interested in the 40 positions they have open that you are not a fit for?
The solution? Calm down, take a breath and go after some new opportunities that fit your skill-set without harassing anyone.
You are abrasive, angry and full of hate. This is more common is more than you think. Maybe you are angry about your current situation, or about being laid off, or that your lawnmower didn’t start on Saturday. Whatever the case is you are angry, mad, abrasive, and just unpleasant to be around.
The solution? I wish I knew. When I find myself feeling angry at the world I always find that speaking to someone helps me with the process of putting myself together.
You are stuck in the 80’s (or maybe even the 70’s). Have no idea what LinkedIn is? Anti Twitter & Facebook? Don’t know how to use MS Word? Think the Internet is the devil himself? Ouch.
The solution? Learn how to use today’s technologies NOW (and I mean NOW) whether you use them in your job-search today or not you will need them for future searches.
The world is out to get you. Maybe you are 55 (or 45, or 35, or 25) and no one will hire you because of your age (at least in your own head). Maybe your old boss has let everyone know in the state that you live in that he would not hire you (at least in your own head). This list could go on and on.
The solution? Get over yourself and your hangups and get to work getting to work and don’t worry about whatever everyone else is doing.
You don’t believe in yourself. Maybe you have never been out of work before, maybe you have never had to look for a job – they have always found you, maybe you have been out of work for a while and are questioning your abilities.
The solution? Boy, I wish there was an easy answer for this one but I really don’t have one. Real situation affecting many, many people? YES. Easily solved in a blog post? NO.
Hopefully you are the exception to the rule, you don’t fit into any of these categories and your search will be short and sweet. If that be the case good luck in your new job.
If you fall into one (or more of these categories) examine your current situation and what you have done in your search so far and take a different course of action if needed.
Until next time – good hunting and good luck!