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Can’t find a Job? Time to have a closer look.

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Can’t find a Job? Time to have a closer look.


Your Biggest Barrier if you can’t find a job

If you are an adult looking for a job and have been unsuccessful to date, there is a common belief that age may be the biggest barrier to getting a job or changing careers. While this could be the case in some instances, unfortunately what other people won’t tell you is the biggest overwhelming barrier can, in fact, be a negative attitude.

A great or negative attitude is easy to pick up on, particularly when you know that 55% of our communication comes through body language. Add what comes out of your mouth and it is pretty easy to spot. Your attitude has the potential to attract or repel the people you want to impress. Ever heard of that proverb, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, my mother taught me this from a young age and it’s served me well. Good proverbs always have their place even in the 21st century when you are competing for a career position you want or need.

When looking for a job or changing careers, a negative attitude regardless of age looks a bit like this.

1. Having a Fixed Mindset & an Ego to Match

The candidate adopts the thinking ‘I know everything so you can’t tell me’. I’ve seen this in individuals aged in their 20s and 50s.They basically shut the door to a key employability skill called ‘Life Long Learning’, a concept that is widely now adopted around the world as detailed in the UNESCO Education Strategy 2014-2021. It’s a real turnoff for potential employers & recruiters. Ask yourself if you were recruiting would you want to work with someone who is a know it all or somebody who wants to learn and embrace the changes of the ebbs and flow of business.

For mature individuals, although they have lots of life experiences, the biggest mistake they can make is to stop learning & think they know everything. The ego kicks in and presents itself as Ryan Holiday describes in his latest book ‘Ego is the Enemy’ as “an unhealthy belief in one’s self-importance”, “sense of superiority & certainty that exceeds the bounds of confidence & talent”. Remember if you remain open to learning, you may pick up just one new piece of information that could be the key to you opening a door to a possible job/career option.

2. Burning your Bridges

Regardless of who you are interacting with, being rude and unprofessional has the potential to backfire on you. Everybody has the potential to be an employer or know of an employer that could employ you in the future. When you interact with people whether it’s buying a coffee at your favourite café or visiting your GP, they are all part of your network, your social capital. Behaviour that is toxic is not nice and will have you being shown a red card and marched off the career/job search field.

3. Bringing personal issues to the interview room

When you offer your services to any employer, you are bringing your whole self to that place of employment. It is next to impossible to leave your personal issues at home and push them under the carpet. If you are in personal pain, it will show up usually as part of a bad attitude. Issues such as unhappy personal relationships, fear, anger, jealousy, envy can present themselves and will keep being obstacles if not dealt with. The way you seek work, the way you approach career planning, the way you interview and network will all be affected by what is happening internally for you.

So if you can’t find a job, assess where your attitude is at, you may be using age as an excuse rather than dealing with the real underlying issue. A positive attitude is just one of many soft skills that are heavily in demand by today’s employers. Other soft skills include good communication, self-confidence, problem solving, adaptability, self-management and emotional intelligence. Remember your employment prospects rely on soft skills, an employer is not going to put you in front of their clients if your attitude is less than desirable. If you need help with attitude or getting confident with how you present in front of recruiters, ask for help from a career coach. We want you to be successful but you need to want this for yourself. Remember that proverb, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!


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