We all want to have our dream jobs. But Why are we scared of our dream jobs?
There are a few reasons / excuses often given.
1. The myth of “not reflecting well on me”
We all know that to have more job offers, we need more interviews, and to have more interviews, we need to send out more applications.
Yet many people are extremely cautious of sending their CVs around, because “it will not reflect well on me”. This can be true if you are highly qualified or in C-level types of jobs. Say, if the news of you looking out could affect your company’s share price, or be used by your competitor, then you want to keep your job search process exclusive and secretive.
The thing is, it’s not the case for most of the people. And, all recruitment professionals need to follow the ethics of keeping your application confidential. Also, in the case of recruitment agencies, they are not supposed to send your profiles around without your consent.
Still, most people don’t apply to enough jobs. We tend to apply for only jobs we are familiar with, and the jobs we think we have a good chance for. Otherwise, we are worried “if I apply for a job not for me, they will think I’m stupid.“
This is the real reason.
Now let’s take a step back and look at it this way:
Wendy says she is not applying for a job, because Wendy is worried about what the employer thinks of her. I like to say that we should not care what the employer thinks but, what to do, Wendy is a good person and she’s being very considerate to the employers.
Alright, say, if Wendy does send out the application and it causes some inconvenience to the employer, how much damage is it? Perhaps a 2 second wasted on his profile before trashing it. At worst, some displeasure. But it’s also possible that the employer finds her profile interesting and keeps it for future roles. It may even be possible that the employer calls her up for an interview.
For the same reason, fresh graduates tend to worry about them being “disqualified for the role”. But there are many people who end up getting jobs which were originally asking for a few years of work experience. So you should just try and there is NO HARM. Look here on how you can stand out as a fresh graduate.
Don’t we hear this sometimes? You do not have the profile I had in mind, but there’s something interesting about you so I wanted to find out more!
Now, enough about the employer.
Let’s look at what Wendy wants to achieve. She wants to get more interviews. For each job she has two choices:
- Unlikely I will get the job, I’m not sending my profile, so no rejection.
- Or Unlikely I will get the job, but it’s interesting, let me still try.
The result? Either a 0% chance or something 0.0001% – 50%
Choose to apply for more jobs, get your profile seen by more people, is a win-win scenario. It increases the employers’ chance of finding a great candidate, and increases your chance of finding a great job.
And if you have spent a lot of time writing that awesome resume, why hide it?
Another path parallel to direct job application you should consider, is to work with headhunters. Here are some tips on how to work with headhunters to get more opportunities.
2. How to not feel terrible about rejection
Sometimes we don’t want to admit, the real reason of holding back, is fear of rejection.
We can find rejection letters extremely demoralizing.
- One of my clients told me, “I’m already feeling so low, and every rejection letter weighs me down even more.”
- So I asked, “Do you believe the person they chose is better than you?”
- “Hm, not necessarily.”
- “So what are the reasons they choose the other person over you?”
- My client said, “Many reasons, sometimes could be just because we didn’t have chemistry, or they are looking for a specific thing that I don’t have.”
- “Very good, so you are saying rejection does not mean you are not good. It just means the company didn’t think you are suitable.”
The company could be right, that someone else is more suitable. Or the company could be wrong, they are missing a great candidate like you.
Whatever it is, a rejection letter is only rejection to your application, NOT a rejection to you. And it definitely doesn’t mean you are not good.
You need to be anchored in such a way that, other people’s comments and feedback do not affect how you see yourself. In terms of career, it is knowing your “worth”, or what your career capital is. Also see my article on How to take stock of your career capital.
I know, if you were retrenched or have not been in the market for some time, it’s going to be extremely difficult, because you feel rusty, and wonder if your skills are still relevant. Look here on how to power re-start your career after retrenchment or long break.
3. You only need one offer to be happy “ever after”
You only need 1 offer to be happy “ever after”, well, for a period of time.
Let’s say you applied for 100 jobs and even if you are rejected by 99 of them, and 1 gave you an offer you like, I would still call it a perfect scenario. Congratulations, you found a match.
But if for the 100 jobs, no one rejected you and you got all 100 offers, but all of them are rubbish and you’d never go for them. Then it means nothing to you.
So you see, it is true quantity does not matter as much as quality. It’s true I have been encouraging you to apply for jobs as many as possible. But you should only apply for jobs that you are interested in, whether or not you think you are qualified for it. Stay away from the jobs you will never, ever, take up.
To be able to do such filtering, you need to know what the right career is for you.
This is because, just like finding a life partner, you only need to find the one person who likes you, whom you also like.
In conclusion, apply for more jobs, get your profile seen by more people, this is win-win for both yourself and your potential employers.
If fear of rejection is blocking you, remember it does not say anything about who you are. Lastly, you only need one offer that you like, so don’t waste time on jobs you will never take up.
Good luck on getting more interviews.