5 Ways to Avoid Poisonous People During Your Job Search
Job search takes a certain kind of energy. On top of the job you’re in, family life, and other responsibilities, you now have to reach down further and update your resume and LinkedIn, network, apply, and interview. So it’s important to keep your goal in mind. And keep your head on straight when you run into snags.
In a Monday check-in with a client, she mentioned a dispiriting conversation she had at a recent business networking event. A senior person who happened to be in the field told her “You won’t land a job in this field because they're hiring only younger people for that kind of position", "You don't have enough experience for that title", "Your new certification won't help you", and similar.
Naturally, the client was upset. She had been landing interviews and doing her networking, and now this, from someone who is an expert! What should she do?
Has this or something similar happened to you in your search?
Well, if so, here are 5 antidotes to this kind of poisonous negativity:
1. The first thing to do is get away from this person! Seriously -- physically remove yourself. Use any means necessary, like pretending you have a root canal this afternoon; even a real one would be less painful than listening to more of what this person is saying. So finding someone else to talk with is the first, best thing to do.
2. Remind yourself of what you have going for you. Re-read your success stories, your recommendations and endorsements. Think of all people in your field AND outside it, who are cheering you on! Know that you have so much to bring to a new employer, AND if you do the right things in your search, someone WILL see it and snap you up.
3. Realize that if you absorb the message that a negative person is trying to give you, however intentionally or non-intentionally, you are giving the power of your search to them, to their thinking. To their "They won't hire you". To excuses like "those applicant tracking systems", to "circumstances" to "the economy", to "age discrimination", to "you don't have enough experience", to any of the many other things beyond your control. Why even try, right? Once you listen and give away your power, it can become a self-fulfilling situation. So shut out their words so they won't worm their way into your brain! Plus, why believe them over everyone else who’s being supportive? Easy: don't.
4. I've seen so many people in search get around barriers -- perceived or real -- because they were told "You can't do this". They responded with "Oh yeah? Watch me!" And they DID IT. They held onto the reins of their search, said "Get outta my way", and made it happen.
5. Use their negativity to step up your networking and contact development, with people who are encouraging to you and are repeatedly impressed by you, and who are introducing you to others. It's just a matter of time before you land more interviews, and get an offer.
Do these things to avoid poisonous, negative people, and you, too, will prove those very people wrong, in the end.
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