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Assumptions Can Hurt in a Job Search


It seems like I am always talking about change, the pace of change and in particular what that means to people in today’s work force.  Just about a year ago I wrote about how the Talent Landscape has Changed, and what that might mean to you.

IF you, like me, believe that SO MUCH has changed in just a few short years, then you need to be very wary of OLD ASSUMPTIONS!

We all tend to have them, they come from previous experiences, they are bred into us as children from our parent’s experiences and over a lifetime we tend to adopt them as fact.

If you look at the job market today it would be easy to apply the same beliefs you had years ago, or even just a few years ago before the recession.  Yet the job market in particular has changed enormously in a short space of time.

Canada’s economy is one of the best in the world but we still have more than 7% unemployment, AND we have jobs going unfilled every day!

If you are looking for work you might need to reset your expectations.  Here are some thoughts for you:

1. Temporary and contract work is growing… even if it is not your preferred answer, it gives you (a) a pay cheque; (b) an “in” to an employer; (c) good experience; and (d) it is always better to look for work when employed!

2.  The work may not be available in your geography… but maybe you should consider moving to where the work is.  traditionally Canadians have been slower to move for work, unlike the US, but being employed is a big part of anyone’s life so you should give it real consideration, even if the math is tough at the beginning.

3.  You have always been a <fill in the blank> … but just maybe you need to consider something different that could take advantage of your skills.  Maybe you are an out of work programmer with “old skills” … you could consider becoming a recruiter for instance.  Maybe you worked in an auto plant, maybe you should consider the oil fields of Alberta.

4.  The “salesperson” is one of the more maligned professions, with a hangover from the “car salesman” perceptions.  Almost every company needs a sales force and it is salespeople that generate the business that keeps those companies going.  Do you have what it takes to be a salesperson … or do your old attitudes, opinions and assumptions get in the way?

Don’t answer any of these questions based on your immediate “gut reaction” … take some time to research, ask questions and truly understand what opportunities you might be overlooking.

The people that figure out this new world first will be the winners!

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.”  Alan Alda