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Nervous Jobseekers, Use Your Fear

When fear inhibits action, it is not helpful.  However, it is not feasible or even desirable just to ignore it.  In fact, fear can be quite useful.  It sends a signal that something needs attention. 

A 50-year old jobseeker described the idea of launching a job search after 25 years in one company as “paralyzing” and asked about how to improve her chances in the job market given her age.

Even if you are not in this exact circumstance, I have heard other preconceived fears that paralyze job searches – my school isn’t a top 10, my major wasn’t business-related, my experience isn’t analytical enough, there is a glass ceiling for women anyway.  The subtext is, “Why bother trying?”

When fear inhibits action, it is not helpful.  However, it is not feasible or even desirable just to ignore it.  In fact, fear can be quite useful.  It sends a signal that something needs attention.  There is age discrimination out there.  Sometimes companies prefer candidates with experience at various companies.  A second-tier school, unrelated major, lack of analytical experience, and, discrimination of gender or race may also affect a search.  Therefore, rather than dismiss a fear outright, a proactive candidate anticipates possible outcomes and develops strategic responses to combat these.

If a company is going to discriminate by age or school or major or gender, they can do this easily via the resume.  Knowing this, a candidate who fears having a red flag should spend more time and energy getting to know decision-makers directly.  Take the resume out of the picture.  Relying on someone to read your resume and select you (even if your credentials are outstanding) cedes control of your search to whoever happens to see your resume.  Network and make your pitch directly.  Craft a compelling letter of inquiry that entices an employer to want to meet you.  Conduct an informational interview with intelligent, business-savvy questions that show employers that you know their industry and their company and therefore you deserve to be their colleague.

By taking action around your fear, you move past the paralysis and empower yourself to be responsible for your search and your career.  An empowered candidate is confident, and confidence attracts.  In a down market, a candidate with a positive, can-do spirit is especially appealing.  You may not even encounter resistance around the fears that you have, and you may never know whether what you feared was ever an issue.  But don’t just try to ignore it or convince yourself not to care.  You fear what you fearFree Web Content, so use your fear to make yourself a better candidate.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Caroline Ceniza-Levine helps people find fulfilling jobs and careers, as the co-founder of SixFigureStart®, career coaching by former Fortune 500 recruiters.   Caroline has recruited for leading companies in financial services, consulting, media, pharmaceutical/ healthcare, and technology. She is the co-author (along with Donald Trump, Jack Canfield and others) of the best-selling“How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times” 2010; Two Harbors Press.  Visit http://www.sixfigurestart.com/about-sixfigurestart/sixfigurestart-free-resources/ to see how you can get free coaching advice and access to coaching workshops for your job search and career success.



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