You know me. I don’t do warm and fuzzy when it comes to the job search or career changes. You see, I’m a big believer in you knowing the good, the bad and the ugly (with an emphasis on the latter 2) so that you can be prepared. Knowing what can come allows you to come up with a plan. Either a plan of how you will handle it, so that you can overcome these challenges. Or a plan of how you can mitigate these risks, so that they either pass you by or hit with a softer punch.
1. Ageism Exists
No one wants to believe it. Especially since it is ILLEGAL for companies and managers to discriminate you. But it does, I’ve seen it first hand. In a recent AARP survey they found that 48% of people over 50 have witnessed or experienced ageism.
This reverberates throughout the last decade or two of your career. Meaning that you’re more likely to be passed up for a promotion and definitely more likely to be laid off. Compounding the problem is that for individuals over 55, a job search takes longer due to pervading stereotypes preventing companies from requesting an interview or presenting an offer.
It also exists the other way too, there is a stereotype of millennials that has pervaded the thoughts of companies, especially ones that are holding on to their “traditional” culture. But it doesn’t just impact their ability to get a job but also impacts their salary as they make 20% less than Gen X and other generations did at the same age.
Want more? I did a Facebook Live about this very topic.
2. Most People Hate Their Jobs
52% of people hate their job. Every time I write that out I’m floored. I don’t know why it shocks me though since I spent 15 years in a career I didn’t like! It is hard to find true success and happiness in our careers and jobs if we don't like them.
This means we are less engaged, less productive and less everything. It has a detrimental impact on our feelings of self-worth.
So when you are finally ready to find that fulfilling career it is a little bit harder. Find ways to love the job you hate so that you can find the career you love.
3. Professional Ghosting is a Thing
It shouldn’t be a thing. But it is. And it is a two-way street, candidates ghosting companies and companies ghosting clients. In fact, CareerBuilder states that 75% of applicants never heard back from an employer during the job search!
It is so unprofessional on both ends. But instead of ranting, let’s talk what YOU can do about it.
Number 1, obviously, don’t ghost. If you change your mind or circumstances just let an interviewer know. Blacklisting can happen and you don’t want to take that chance.
Number 2, if you are ghosted. Follow-Up 2-3x max. If it really rankles you leave a negative review for them on Glassdoor. Then move on, you can’t let the negativity ruin your whole search!
4. Burn Out is on the Rise
Burn Out has gotten so bad that WHO has included it in its International Classification of Diseases . I’ve helped clients in the throes of it and others who are finally seeing the light. I’ve heard from HR across the country who has seen a rise in sick leave due to stress. It is spreading and it can completely derail your career.
Full blown burn out can take a long time to recover from, and there are cases where a person never fully does. Meaning that they need to change working conditions and sometimes careers to stay healthy.
First off, read this article on the signs and symptoms to see if you have Burn Out. Then do something – maybe call your Doctor if it is really bad, hire a coach to ease the suffering or pick ONE thing to get you moving towards a healthier work-life.
5. Your Online Presence is Being Judged
Are you one of the 50% who’ve been passed over because of your online presence? The scary thing is, you can’t even answer that question because you will never know.
I know privacy is becoming a thing of the past, but for the sake of your career you need to be mindful of how you portray yourself.
First off, ignoring LinkedIn, let’s focus instead on the personal social media channels. Are your profiles set to private? If not, have they been scrubbed clean of inappropriate content? Who do you allow to see your profiles from work and if everyone, including management, are you portraying yourself in a way that would discourage promotions? Are you even on social media, if you don’t have any online presence that could also be a problem.
LinkedIn is still important as well. Do you have a personal brand and is your LinkedIn in line with that? Is your profile set up and optimized to showcase you as a leader in your field and to be found by recruiters (giving you more control over the future of your career). Here is my Facebook live where I talked about this.
6. AI is Coming For Your Job
Maybe not everyone’s jobs but there are many jobs that are predicted to be impacted with some resulting in job changes and some resulting in the elimination of certain careers with the introduction of technology, robots and automation never mind Artificial Intelligence.
What can you do? Technology will never be able to cover the soft skills, that is why I focused on the soft skills YOU need to future proof your career in this article.
7. Pay Inequity Exists
Most of us know it, but not everyone truly believes it. But it does. Women make less, People of Colour make less, New Canadians make less. It sucks and it isn’t fair.
So much of it is rooted in ingrained belief systems that just do not hold up. It happens during the offer process when hiring managers just don’t see the person has deserving top dollar and it keeps happening during the performance reviews when those same managers again don’t see the value and therefore do not offer a big raise.
There isn’t much I can do as an individual except keep talking about it. What I do try to do is arm you with the best negotiation tips, tricks with articles and videos so that you can fight for your worth (even though you shouldn’t have to).
7 things that you don’t want to know about. But now that you do, you can come up with a plan. A plan to make sure that your career isn’t impacted by one (or more) of these 7 obstacles.
The other day, I joined Instagram (SaraTheCareerCoach). I've been avoiding joining because I knew that it would be a more personal way to connect with people. My confidence (and my INFJness) was getting in my way. So I began this practice which has helped me so much! Join me over on the 'gram where I go more Behind the Scenes while also still sharing motivational content.
Our lives aren’t a straight line always going up. Instead, the line is super squiggly with lots of ups and lots of downs.
So why should our job search or career changes be any different? Things can’t always feel easy, go smoothly or be full of wins. There will be weeks where nothing seems to be going right, with little to no calls for interviews. Where you are stuck in a serious drought and feel like giving up.
This holds true for our careers as well. Weeks of being on top of the world followed by weeks of drudgery and mistakes.
All of this takes a serious toll on our confidence. And if we aren’t careful, our self-esteem can continue to plummet making it difficult to recreate those seemingly perfect weeks.
When a client is faced with this, I immediately get them to do some self-appreciation exercises.
This is a consistent practice of sitting with yourself every day and asking yourself a few questions. You can sit in reflection, jot notes in your phone or on a piece of paper.
The main goal of this practice is to remind yourself just how amazing you are and to shift any cynical feelings into ones more optimistic. By doing it daily we are giving your brain “good things” to say to yourself which also means when you say these things to others (in a resume, networking meeting or interview) they will resonate more deeply because YOU will believe them.
But it also acts as a kind of meditation since you are sitting in reflection. This will allow yourself to be more mindful of your thoughts so that you can catch yourself when you go down a negative “I suck” spiral.
Do you want to institute your own daily Self-Appreciation? Just ask yourself these questions:
What are you proud of yourself for?
What did you work hard to achieve? This could be today, this week or even this year. Think through what YOU did to accomplish this.
This reminds you about what you have been able to do and motivate you to be able to do it again.
It can be as simple as, I’m proud of this awesome cover letter I wrote or as complicated as I’m proud of that major event I pulled off.
What about yourself are you thankful for?
A simple question that feels impossible to answer some days. In the beginning stages of this practice it is common to need some help with this. I encourage you to look into your superpower through some assessments, check out some performance reviews, and/or ask a family member, friend or trusted colleague.
This reminds you the specifics of what makes you so incredible and amazing. I love this list because whenever you are feeling especially negative you can return to it and pump yourself back up!
What are you celebrating today?
List at least 1 thing that has gone well today. It can be anything, meaning it doesn’t have to be specific to your career, job or job search. Maybe your coffee was excellent or you are having an exceptionally great hair day.
I want you to remember that even if one area isn’t going great it doesn’t mean your whole life sucks. Try and take some of the positive from other areas of your life to keep you moving forward on achieving your goals.
What are you looking forward to?
What are some things that you are excited about? I want these to be specific to your career change or job search. List them down and be detailed – why are you looking forward to these things.
I want you to get excited about your future and remind yourself why this is important to you.
Do this practice every day during your transition or reinvention. Even when everything is going peachy because when things aren’t you can reference those great days and use it to help inspire you.
If your confidence is at a rock bottom and you need help climbing out, consider a coach a lot of the work we do is in this arena. To see if I'm a good fit for you, feel free to schedule a free call.
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
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