We all get job search burnout. Some get it more than once. Let’s take a look at some of the things that push us there:
- “Not interested in older workers.”
- Don’t even get a chance to interview.
- Interviews don’t go well.
- and many more
Yes, they are all valid for some situations. But what are we going to do? I’ll tell you what most normal people do. They:
- Practice the art of inaction,
- Are not aggressive,
- Act defeated in their presentation to a prospective employer,
- Are not interested in suggestions from others (If this is you then stop reading now),
- Keep doing what hasn’t worked yet, or they
- Come to the point in a job search that they’ll take anything.
Do you see yourself in there? Can you add more to the list? Let’s relate all of these to the word “If” and test yourself to see if you have these of any other If”s.
Why did I use the term If? Many years ago I read a book by Napoleon Hill “Think and Grow Rich”. In his book Napoleon describes one word that has denied success to more people than any other word. Yes, even more than the word “no”. The word is “If”. Related to the burnout characteristics mentioned above:
- If I could overcome my inaction.
- If I was more aggressive.
- If I had a plan.
- If - keep adding your own.
Your If’s are going to limit or downright destroy your opportunity to find that next job. Should you need more If’s, the book lists 55. (request the list and I’ll send it to you)
Why do I go on about these attitudes? Very simply, if you don’t do what is necessary, whatever is necessary, to get yourself into a positive attitude and functioning mode for your job search, you will be perpetually at the end of the employment line. Those job seekers who are positive and aggressive will be ahead of you. But that’s not even enough in today’s job market. You need to be Bold! Yes, I know that is not a characteristic of our generation. But to compete we must be as Bold or Bolder than the younger generations. Writing on the topic of this post could result in an entire book. But, for the sake of this post, allow me to touch on some of the high points and I think you’ll get the message.
There is no question that as we get older there are more obstacles facing us in our search for employment. So let’s not make it worse by adding our own obstacles. Those danged If’s.
Job search burnout is tough. But only you can initiate the turn-around. Why do I say initiate? Well there is so much to do and so little time that you need to reach out to others for assistance. These could be family members, close friends and people you meet in similar situations. Also read books and articles on job search, find local group meetings for those who are unemployed. And, if affordable , obtain the services of a career coach to assist. Don’t forget the various government agencies such as the One Stop Career Centers.
Wow, sounds like a lot of work. It is and you should be working as if your job search were a full time job WITH overtime. I’m not going through all of the defeating If’s but will focus on a couple. The first being inaction.When I use the term inaction I use it in the context that you may be doing some things to make you feel that you are doing something. The general result is that you are only proving the other If”s valid. Is this what you want?
The job seeker that get’s up in the morning and searches a few online career sites and sends out a few resumes is not aggressive or bold and will be at the back of the line. We call these job seekers “the pajama crowd”.
There is so much more that you can be doing to enhance your success factor. I can guarantee you that if you work a full day, every day, plus overtime, you will be successful in your search. If you work at this the way that I am suggesting, your positive nature, aggressive actions and Bold approach will become a part of you.
Taken alone, the positive/bold persona that you develop will be apparent to those you are asking for help and to potential employers. Oh, by-the-way, surround yourself with positive people.
So how do you spend your day and overtime finding that next job? Use some of the time taking a class career related or for personal enjoyment. Read articles related to your career objectives and those providing information on your job search (Workforce50.com has a panel of career experts that regularly write on topics for the 50 plus crowd) and possibly contracting with a career coach.
Recognize that there are many sources for finding job opportunities beyond online and print classifieds. You need to explore these. Research a company before you send your first resume and certainly do much more research before that first interview. Just imagine how positive you can be with a potential employer the more you know about their business and products/services. Today it’s not so much about what you’ve done in the past but about demonstrating to the prospective employer that you know enough about their business that you can contribute to their future growth and success.
OK you might say that only applies to more senior positions. I remember when my children were in grammar school, the custodian (Charlie) was better known than the principle. His positive attitude and strong work ethic made for a better school. And likely had a positive effect on many of the children that passed through. This is what employers are looking for.
Did I mention Bold. In this economic/employment environment all job seekers need an edge. The research, planning and long days can be small elements of Bold but you can also make really bold moves. Several that I am familiar with are of individuals who performed in depth research of a company’s product and operational practices. They analyzed them and created a proposal for improvements, then obtained a 20 minute interview with the most senior executive they were able to get an audience with. And just who do you think the presenter recommended to implement the plan? A little extreme (Bold), but this can start you thinking about how you can orchestrate your own Bold moves.
Remember, these are tough times. There are many people applying for very few jobs. Who do you think will have the best opportunity to land the job? Certainly it will not be the burned out person with the long list of “If’s”.
Approach your search as a full time job (plus overtime), be positive and be bold. With this I guarantee your success will be improved multi-fold.
Comments to this article will be most welcome. We can use your stories of positive results to help others in their efforts to become #1 for that prized new position.