Have you ever conducted a job search that produced ZERO results–no interview opportunities, no phone calls, not even a template email saying, “Thanks for your submission. We’ll keep it on file”? This is the extreme scenario that keeps many job seekers awake at night.
It’s the job search black hole that sucks in all your efforts to attract employer attention and doesn’t shoot anything back out to you.
In other words, what if you gave a job search party and nobody came?
JOB SEARCH UNCERTAINTY BRINGS VULNERABILITY
If your confidence remains high, even in a difficult job search, you might not feel vulnerable because you still believe there’s good reason to remain optimistic. However, if you’re in a tight spot (financially, emotionally or otherwise), lack of a positive response from targeted employers can gradually erode your self-confidence.
Among other things, you might begin to question your professional value, your competence in your area of expertise, and so on. You could start asking yourself questions such as:
- What am I doing wrong?
- What am I supposed to be doing that I’m not doing?
- What’s wrong with me? (This one’s the “kicker.” Now you’re thinking there might be something wrong with you that isn’t even career- or job-related.)
And here’s one more that can really hammer your job search self-confidence, especially when you’ve passed the “mid-career” stage: Am I just too old?
What’s the magic answer? You guessed it–there might not be one!
NO ANSWER TO JOB SEARCH VULNERABILITY?
Not necessarily. There’s probably no “magic” answer, but that doesn’t mean there’s no answer and you should resign yourself to saying, “There’s nothing I can do.”
No, you can’t take a pill that somehow boosts your confidence and starts you moving forward strongly again with your job search activities. Such an effortless solution to your dilemma doesn’t exist.
However, that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel and accept that you’re doomed to failure–that you’ve given a job search party and nobody came.
INVITE THE RIGHT ‘PEOPLE’ TO YOUR JOB SEARCH PARTY
One of the key questions to ask yourself if your job search seems headed for failure is: “Am I asking the right ‘people’ to my party?”
What does that mean? Here are just a few ideas to consider:
YES, YOUR JOB SEARCH PARTY CAN PICK UP STEAM
- Do I have a strong support team at my back?
- Am I getting advice from people I trust–people who don’t have an axe to grind?
- Have I willfully ignored good advice because I just didn’t want to do what the person advised?
- Do I have a solid handle on the requirements for the kinds of positions I’m pursuing–and a strong sense that my qualifications are a great fit?
- Am I aware of weaknesses that could be getting in my way and, if so, am I doing something constructive about them?
Even if you’ve been persistently chipping away at the obstacles preventing you from celebrating a successful job search, the process can sometimes seem so prolonged that there’s no end in sight. That in itself often leads to discouragement and an urge to give up. However, that might be the very moment when you need to remind yourself that success might be just around the next corner–which you can’t see yet.
Keep asking yourself good questions and taking what seem like the best actions available to you. Remember that…
There’s no point in giving up after the first several hundred yards if your job search and career success could come to a successful conclusion at mile 26!