A job search can be a stressful scenario and, as with many stressful scenarios, it has the power to bring out the worst in each and every one of us. As a job seeker under pressure, you are faced with decisions that could make or break your future. If you take one path, then you are likely to end up at a certain destination; follow the other fork in the road and you will almost certainly end up at another. With your future hanging in the balance, emotions can run high and your capacity to remain considered and honour your true virtues may be compromised.
This week we have decided to consider the seven deadly sins of job hunting. Are you guilty of any of these vices in the context of your job search?
Remember, money is not everything. When looking for a new job, don’t just be tempted by the salary. Make sure it is the role itself that appeals and one that you feel, in your heart, that you could take on and enjoy. It’s been known that people have gone for well-paid jobs and found that the role doesn’t fit with their aspirations or skill set, or that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.
“Greed is not a financial issue. It’s a heart issue.” ~ Andy Stanley
Don’t be lured into making your job applications too fat! Remember, a two-page CV is the ideal maximum. Don’t be excessive and cram every single bit of experience into your CV. Indulge your inner gourmet and keep it selective but informative. This also applies to job application forms. Make sure you answer the questions and keep to the point.
“Gluttony is a great fault; but we do not necessarily dislike a glutton. We only dislike a glutton when he becomes a gourmet…” ~ GK Chesterton
There is no point in coveting and applying for every single job you see in the hopes that one application will pay off. Make sure you only apply for the roles you really desire and are seriously considering, ensuring that your CV is targeted to these roles.
“Curiosity is the lust of the mind.” ~ Thomas Hobbes
As the saying goes “the grass is always greener”. You may see your friend in a seemingly dream role, benefiting from exciting projects, a fantastic salary and generous bonus. It can be tempting to compare yourself to them and find your own job lacking. Have a good long think about what you love or don’t love about your current role before you think about leaving. Consider the pros and cons of staying on before convincing yourself that a different job would fulfil your desires.
“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” ~ Socrates
Don’t be lazy with your job hunt, don’t expect jobs to come to you. Some people are lucky enough to be head-hunted for a job that represents a great match with their skills, experience and career dreams, but most of us have to work hard at finding a new position. Therefore, it is important to keep checking relevant websites, check in with your recruitment agent regularly, keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and research target companies or industries in preparation for that all-important interview.
“We excuse our sloth under the pretext of difficulty.” ~ Quintilian
Don’t make the mistake of ‘jacking in your job’ because someone or something has angered you. It can be self-destructive to throw away a good role, which could potentially lead to something bigger in the future, because you couldn’t stand the company politics, or a colleague got on your nerves, or because you’ve been passed over for a promotion. When you make your decision to leave a job, it should be a measured choice rather than one made in a flash of anger.
“Men often make up in wrath what they want in reason.” ~ William R. Alger
Pride is considered to be the original and most serious of the deadly sins, and can be the downfall of many a jobseeker. Don’t be too proud to ask for help with your CV, especially if it’s not getting you any interviews. It is worth having a friend to look it over or, even better, asking a professional CV writer to deliver a free CV review. Also, don’t be reticent in asking for help from your network, whether it be for job ideas, CV tips or even interview tips.
“In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.” ~ John Ruskin
If you can honestly say that you are innocent of these vices, then you truly are a job search angel. If not, chin up, you’re only human after all!