Top 4 Worst Job Search Myths – Debunked!

Changing jobs is scary. Let’s just call it what it is.  Of course the reward of a new, exciting, and fulfilling role is well worth the fear factor that goes along with the actual looking part, but it still doesn’t change the fact that the actual process of doing a job search is fraught with unknowns, blind corners, and job search myths.

So, how do we cope with scary things? We stay in our bathrobes, order UberEats, and binge-watch Netflix.  Once that gets old, we start to self talk. You know, don’t pretend like you don’t do it. Self talk, or “positive self talk” is a coping mechanism designed to boost one’s spirit, encourage one’s self. Perhaps with a little  “Eye of the Tiger” blasting in the background.

The problem with self talk, is that by nature, it’s biased.  We do it to feel better about ourselves, NOT actually speak truth. During a job search, that means we have the propensity to actually (unknowingly) mislead ourselves regarding the state of our candidacy AND the job market (gasp!).

These myths need to be exposed and debunked.  It might sting a little bit. But I think you’ll thank me for it.

Here goes… the top 4 biggest job search myths…debunked!

  1. I’ll get recruited, just like I’ve always been.  
    • Just because you’ve had a history of being recruited, does not mean it will happen again.  It’s a humbling conclusion to arrive upon, but the sooner you get there, the better off you’ll be.  Age & salary tend to have an inverse correlation with being recruited. Plainly put, as your age & salary increase,  your chances of being recruited decreases (not always…but often). No employer will ever say this, but it happens far more than people realize.  Counter measures need to be made. Consider your competition: Younger, less expensive, and more flexible. How will you compete against them? Once your mindset shifts, your whole strategy shifts.  Instead of waiting for something to happen, you get out there and compete with resolve and wisdom, two things your previously mentioned competitors are probably light on.
  1. I’ve got several strong leads, one of them will work out. 
    • We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard this.  Countless. Here at Floodgate, our average first line manager openings see approx. 200 applicants.  We screen roughly 40 by phone, and recommend 4-6 to our clients for in person interviews. They hire 1.  That’s a .5% chance. Read that again. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: You can increase your odds, by filling your pipeline.  Never turn down a lead, because you “feel good” about something else you’ve got lined up. If it’s a reasonable opportunity, explore it before you reject it.  You never know unless you give it a chance. The more job leads you have in your funnel, no matter where you are in the process with other opportunities, the better off you’ll be.
  1. I’m going to consider this RIF/realignment/fill in the blank, as a much needed break and focus on some things I’ve neglected for too long.
    • We are 100% supportive of family, traveling, and enjoying everything this life has to offer.  But please, do not put your job search on the back burner. The longer you are unemployed, the less desirable you become to a prospective employer.  Think about a gallon of milk. It’s got an expiration date stamped on the side. As harsh as this is going to sound, employers view you like a gallon of milk.  Are you fresh, or are you starting to sour? They begin asking themselves questions like “Why hasn’t this person been scooped up already? Is there something they’re hiding?”    So – if you want to become a Yoga instructor, take up stamp collecting or go backpacking in Burma – go for it, but do NOT let that interfere with making your job search your top priority.  
  1. I’ve had a couple of offers, but none of them were perfect – I’m going to wait for something else.  
    • Newsflash – there is NO perfect job.  It doesn’t exist. If you’re being overly selective, you need to adjust your mindset.  We aren’t suggesting you lower your standards, it’s crucially important to have a vision for your next role.  But if you’re nitpicking every job, looking for things wrong, then wise up and realize every job, every manager, and every company – they are all going to have their flaws.  Note: So do you (just ask someone you live with).

There you have it.  Don’t fall prey to the temporary “feel good” effects of these job search myths. They will mislead you and create significant setbacks that you can’t afford!

What about you?  What has your experience been with these job search myths and others like them?  Please share or simply leave a comment so others can learn from your experiences too!