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It would be interesting to review a few perceptions that job seekers have on issues stemming from feelings rather than from logic. Such perceptions are based more on gut feelings rather than thinking. Examples follow.
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1. The interview is about me.
People feel good when asked to come in and interview, because they think the interview is about them. In fact, it is not. The interview is about the interviewer’s needs and the interviewer’s competitive evaluation process that considers the candidate’s ability to provide what the interviewer needs.
2. Accept LinkedIn invitations only from people you know.
When in transition, it’s not about whom you know so much as it is who knows you. After all, it’s you who is looking for a job. And the more connections you have, the more opportunities you’ll have. If you’re hiding in a box, no one will find you. Surprisingly enough, most help comes from the 2nd and 3rd degree connections and not from the 1st degree connections.
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3. Create your own résumé.
People in transition need to preserve their savings, and so many compose their own résumés, which eventually get changed or edited or rewritten by others equally unqualified yet willing to help. The typical outcome is a less than competitive résumé that generates very few or no bites. The best advice, therefore, is to hire a trusted and recommended professional, certified and experienced résumé writer. A less expensive solution — provided you’re absolutely certain your résumé is a good one — is to have it edited by a professional editor. Such an editor or resume writer knows what sells and would put that knowledge and expertise to work for you. And yes, the good ones are not inexpensive.
4. No need to tell family about being in transition.
Many people feel uneasy or embarrassed about revealing too many details of their transition. That’s a big mistake, because family and friends really are the people who will go out of their way to be of help.
5. No need to pay for career and/or interview preparation coaching.
Again, like with the résumé, people want to preserve their savings and do not want to spend on professional help such as experienced career and interview preparation coaches. This too is a huge mistake. A career coach will not only shorten the in-transition period but also teach you pertinent interviewing skills as well as how to negotiate a job offer. In most cases, fees spent on career coaching are dwarfed by the benefits gained from knowing how to negotiate a better compensation package.
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6. Focus only on your past career path and ignore other possibilities.
In today’s fast-changing business environment, new jobs are being invented every day, and many of the past’s traditional jobs are morphing into new ones or becoming totally eliminated. Job seekers who do not consider job opportunities in fields unrelated to their past ones make a mistake. Some reach a point — possibly because of age discrimination or the elimination of their traditional jobs — at which a change in career might be a wonderful solution. It worked for me extremely well.