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Using Fear As A Job Search Tactic

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.

I have heard many preconceived fears that paralyze job searches – I’m too old, my school isn’t a top 10, 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 discrimination out there.  Or sometimes companies just prefer candidates who went to a certain school or have a certain type of experience.  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 background 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 is ceding control over your search to whoever happens to see your resume.  Network and make your pitch.  Craft a compelling letter 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.  Your fear is real to youScience Articles, so use your fear to make yourself a better candidate.

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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.



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