Fear is defined in the dictionary as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., regardless of whether the threat is real or imagined. Clearly, there are many fears associated with the job search process. The key is to overcome them one by one.
Here are some common fears that job seekers have along with some suggestions to overcome each:
- Fear of making phone calls:
Phone calls are important for many reasons. You might be calling recruiters, referrals, and prospective hiring managers to introduce yourself as a potential candidate. You may be calling interviewers to follow up a week or two after your interview. You might decide to call HR departments to see if they have received your resume. To avoid having your heart racing faster than the speed of light during these calls, remember that you are calling to offer them a solution to their current problem, and that solution is you. You are doing them a favor by filling a need they currently have. You are the solution they have been waiting for. It's just up to you to explain it to them concisely and coherently.
- Fear of networking:
It never fails. At every networking event I attend there is always someone standing on the sidelines watching, as if they are about to play a game of Twister with a bunch of people they don't know. Networking should be fun. It's about meeting new people, some of whom may even become new friends. Approaching people standing alone is the easiest way to begin to "work the room". To get started quickly, create three basic questions that you can ask a fellow networker at an event such as "where do you live?" or "what do you think of this venue?" or "have you been to this event before?" These kinds of questions break the ice so that smooth sailing can begin. Go to an event with the goal of meeting three people and helping them solve a problem or connecting them to someone they need. Inevitably, you'll find people who can help you as well.
- Fear of being unqualified:
Rarely if ever will you find a job that you are 100% perfectly qualified for. Just realizing this is a huge step in the right direction. This means that you are probably either overqualified or underqualified for most jobs that you apply for. Does that mean you should not apply for them? Of course not! When your child makes a birthday list, do they ever get everything on the list? Generally not. A wish list is just that – it's a list of what we wish we could get for our birthday and what we wish we could find in a candidate. Eventually we realize that there are no perfect candidates and we relax the requirements a bit. If you are at least 75% qualified for a job, there is absolutely no reason why you should not apply. Now, normally you wouldn't want to apply for a position you knew you overqualified for, however, when changing industries or when making a lateral shift into a different position in the same industry, you may be overqualified in some ways but lacking in others. Ultimately, when you receive a call, you'll know that you're qualified enough to be considered. Be ready to explain why your other qualifications are strong enough to overcome the lack of skills that you are missing.
Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
The biggest fear we have to overcome when we are searching is the fear of rejection. Unfortunately, it's all part of the game. Some people are going to like you and some aren't. Some are going to think you are the best thing since sliced bread, and those are the people you need to find. You don't need every company to like you – you just need one. The more companies who reject you, the closer you'll be getting to the one who you will be perfect for. So keep up the search! One day soon, you will meet your match!