“Why can’t I find a job?” is a common question among many job seekers who find themselves stuck in their job search. There are plenty of external factors that answer the question:
- low hiring rates in your location
- your skills are in a niche industry that doesn’t have many job openings
- an overabundance of job seekers in your position
This list goes on. However, during any job search, it’s important to look at internal factors that might be keeping you from finding a job as well. The internal factors are not as easy to assess, but consider these three.
Self-Aware of Your Skills
Do you have a good assessment of the skills you have and how marketable those skills are? If so, how did you come up with this assessment? Is it from prior performance reviews or from networking with hiring managers in the industry?
It’s necessary to have an accurate and objective assessment of where your skills stand for the positions you are applying for. This is where networking can be very handy as those individuals who you have built relationships with can help you with an objective review of where your skills stand in the marketplace.
Motivated and Giving It Your All
Ask yourself this question: “What is getting in the way of your job search?” Is it time? Is it energy? Are there job search areas (i.e. networking) that you haven’t fully committed to? Re-evaluate the reasons you might not be fully engaged in your job search and try to get to the root cause of what’s keeping you from giving it your all. We can all provide valid excuses as to why we aren’t fully committing to our job search, but it’s important to push past those excuses to see what the true cause is. Only then you can address it.
Focused and Specific
Do you know what you want? Can you articulate the position you are looking for? How focused are you? The more focused you are, the better your search will be. The more focused you are, typically the more specific your resume is and your explanation to others of what you are looking for.
You might think that the broader you are, the easier it is to find a job. But think about this scenario: if someone asks you what type of position you are looking for and you say “I just want a job“, what would you think? First, you might think, “I wouldn’t want to hire someone who just wants a job. What skills are they bringing to the table if they just want a job?” Plus, most people don’t know of ‘a job’. If you are a bit more specific (i.e. “I am looking for a position in marketing.”) the person you are speaking to might not know of any openings, but might connect you to a person they know in marketing. If you just say “a job” they might not think about their connection so get specific.
There are many obstacles in job searching. Some we cannot control and some we can. The 3 internal factors above are areas we have some control over. Now is the time to identify how they might be impacting your job search so you can address the necessary ones.
Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.
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