“Comparison is the Thief of Happiness.”
I read this quote a few days ago and it got me thinking. I work with a lot of job seekers, many of whom have been unemployed for over 3 months and are generally overqualified and can’t find a job.
Most of the people I talk to seem “hollow” and frustrated and sometimes you can feel the desperation emanating from them because they can’t find a job. They aren’t happy.
Older job seekers that can’t find a job, the over qualified, long- term unemployed and re-educated have totally different circumstances, needs and even more importantly challenges or barriers to getting hired. Yet, we offer you the same “standard” advice as the new grad or even worse the 30 something, gainfully employed job seeker and wonder why you can’t find a job– it doesn’t make sense.
You have been told to fight for jobs with tools and techniques designed for someone else! You’ve been told your resume has to look a certain way, you have to answer interview questions a certain way and even worse you have to get inside the head of the people who can hire you and then we wonder what the problem is? Why can’t you find a job? You have to do things the same way as everyone else but make sure you stand out because the person who stands out (but not too much) will get the job – what?
We as advice giving professionals have screwed up! We have told you to be the same but different. It’s our fault you can’t find a job.
An even bigger truth is that we haven’t actually given you advice that will get you hired. We have given you advice to go in and “not get eliminated.” Be the same as everyone else but a little different, but not too different. Compare yourself to every other person out there then be just a little different. If everyone else get’s eliminated and I’m the last one standing they have to give me the job. That is some shitty advice!
How can you possibly have the confidence you need to walk in and be yourself when people are telling you how to be yourself? Stop listening to people who tell you what to do, be or say and start listening to people who can help you get to the real you – what you have to offer and what you need to maximize your performance.
The way to happiness, confidence, and swagger in your job search is to “know thyself.” Please, I am begging you. Spend the next 2 or 3 hours researching YOURSELF. I take people through exercises to do exactly this and I am always amazed at the transformation I see in people when they realize they do offer value just the way they are. Knowledge breeds confidence, so get knowledgeable about your most valuable resource – YOU!
Seth Godin says it beautifully in his short but awesome article Beggars can’t be choosers
You deserve to be happy. Happy people are confident. Confident people get hired!