The Four Killer Mistakes That Could Derail Your Job Search
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If you’re searching for a new job, it’s important that you stay confident and upbeat. Making any of these four mistakes can hurt your morale and sap your energy.
- Delude yourself into thinking it’s easy to find a job these days.
True, every day, Baby Boomers are either leaving full-time employment or retiring altogether, so there’s bound to be plenty of room at the top. However, today’s employers are looking for people with specific skills, credentials, and experience. That’s your challenge: Convincing hiring managers that you can handle the job, even though your resume may not be an exact match with their requirements. To do that, it’s important that they get to know you, trust you and like you, which is why you should not make the next mistake.
People hire job candidates who they feel comfortable with and who seem to be a good fit with their company’s culture. If they’ve seen your confident smile and enjoyed your winsome personality, the chances of their hiring you—or of recommending you to a colleague—are much better than if they have seen only your resume. For that reason, it’s key that you network continually. Yes, it’s hard to network, especially for job candidates who are shy or introverted. But keep reminding yourself that to know you is to love you—or at least to offer you a job. Networking opportunities abound in your social life as well as your professional life. Finding your dream job will not happen if you’re sitting at home waiting for a call, an e-mail, a text. Waiting accomplishes (almost) nothing.
- Put your workout regimen on hold.
Looking for a new job takes a lot of energy. You might be tempted to stop going the gym or put your training for a 5K run on hold. Avoid making this mistake. You’re “on” 24/7 when you’re looking for a job, so physical energy is key to looking fit and focused. In addition to enhancing your mental energy, working out will ensure those feel-good endorphins keep you alert and intellectually sharp.
- Hold on to negative thoughts and feelings.
If you are looking for a new job because you’re unhappy in your present job, don’t bog yourself down with your disappointment, anger, or resentment. When things don’t work out, move on. Let go of emotions that weigh you down. Worst case: Bad feelings about your career might even spill over into how you present yourself at networking events or during interviews. When someone asks you why you’re looking for a new job, keep it cheerful and vague. “I’m always searching for new challenges and exploring my options.”
–Susan Mach, PhD
Susan Mach, PhD, is a communication coach, trainer, and strategist. She teaches management communication part time at major NYC-area business schools, and investment research report writing at NYSSA.