Three Persistent Job-Search Myths

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN
  • Updated: November 10, 2008 - 11:39 AM

In good times and bad, some people struggle to find jobs, while others seem to succeed almost effortlessly. What’s the difference? I submit that successful job seekers aren’t hamstrung by any of the following three myths. Are you?

Myth 1) “Nobody will give me a job.”

Would you walk into Wal-Mart and expect them to just give you a sack of potatoes, a new computer, or a set of luggage? No. First, you must give them something of value, which is money in this case. Only then can you get what you want.

It’s the same when shopping for a job.

Before any employer will “give” you a position, you must give them something of value, to convince them to enter into an employment transaction. What can you offer? In 99% of all cases, it’s proof that you can make or save more money than you’ll be paid in salary.

Note: I didn’t suggest you should prove you’re the right one for the job. That assumes a job is already open. But why limit yourself? Smart employers don’t. They are willing to create a job, on the spot, if the right person makes them an irresistible offer -- if only to keep that person from working for the competition.

What’s your offer? How much money can you save or make for employers, specifically?

Stop waiting for someone to give you a job and start figuring out the value you can offer. Only then can you expect employers to exchange a paycheck for your work.

Myth 2) “I’m getting interviews, but no job offers. Guess I need more interviews.”

That’s like a basketball player saying, “I’m missing all my free throws. Guess I need more free throws.”

What you need is to practice interviewing now, to improve your performance later. Just like in basketball or any competitive pursuit.

The simple solution is to study, practice, review, and improve.

Study by getting a book on job interviewing from the library or Amazon.com (just look for the perennial best sellers).

Practice by asking a friend to sit down and pepper you with real interview questions. (Don’t do this with a family member -- they can’t be objective.)

Review by capturing your practice session on video. Then analyze your performance like a football coach watching game film.

Finally, look for ways to improve. Did you hesitate here or ramble there? Is your body language undermining your verbal language? You get the idea.

The more comprehensive solution is to find a qualified job interview coach and work with them to improve your skills. It may be the smartest money you invest all year.

Myth 3) “I’ve looked, but there are no jobs out there.”

This is a cousin of “Nobody will give me a job.” And it can be just as damaging to your bank account.

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