What are your biggest barriers when it comes to job search? Do you have large employment gaps? Do you lack experience? Are you overqualified? Do you not have any formal degree or certification other than your High School Diploma? Is English your second language and do you speak with a heavy accent? Do you feel like you are being discriminated against, due to your age, gender, race or any other reason not related to your ability to do the job? If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, read on as I have something important I want to share with you.
Job search can be daunting and frustrating to anyone. We all get rejected at times and companies almost never give us feedback or tell us why we weren’t selected. This leaves us wondering, assuming the worst. But when we do learn what it could possibly be, it doesn’t make it easier on us. Especially if it is something we cannot change now, in the near future or ever. So we go on, feeling discouraged and apprehensive about the entire job search process and expecting people to reject us before we even apply.
When You Expect Rejection, You Will Most Likely Get Rejection
Unfortunately, when you are discouraged, unmotivated or expect rejection, you will most likely get rejection. And, more often than not, you will be turned down for different reasons than what you thought. People will pick up the negativity, uncertainty or apprehension in the way you show up and that alone could be a turn off.
I would be lying if I said that bias or discrimination doesn’t exist in the workplace, even now at the end of second decade of 21st century. And I understand that those barriers in the job search are real. However, the biggest question is, how do you deal with it and what can you do about it? I am not suggesting you should pretend those job search barriers don’t exist. Certainly being aware of what’s happening can be helpful and, in a way, justified and empowering. However, focusing on your issue and continuing to feel insecure, angry or bitter about it will only make it worse.
Go For It No Matter What
The key is to continue putting yourself out there, networking and applying for your dream jobs as if you have the same privileges as everyone else. Because that’s the way it should be. You know your value, you know what you are capable of and you know any employer would be lucky to have someone like you on their team. And if you don’t know this, then listen to what I’m telling you – you are valuable.
It is true, some people out there may have their reasons not to hire you. And certainly, some of those reasons may not be based on anything solid, other than their personal opinions. But on the other hand, there will be the ones who would want to hire you anyway, for the value you bring. And as far as the ones who are biased, you don’t want to work for them anyway.
Everyone has challenges when it comes to job search. Perhaps the challenges are not there all the time, but we all experience them sometimes. These challenges are not there to stop you or discourage you from going after your dream job. They are there to make it even more worthwhile for you to go for it.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who want to discover their passion in life and build careers of their dreams. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.