F.E.A.R. = False Expectations Appearing Real

One of the most persistent barriers to success for job seekers is fear of rejection. You may not realize that you are avoiding networking events, not connecting with people in your database and continue to constantly hang around your computer looking at internet job postings because you may be afraid of being told No!
Other times the fear is lurking in the background, making an impact you’re not always aware of. You may find yourself procrastinating about making a networking phone call or setting up a meeting or appointment. Or you may avoid following up because you “don’t want to bug people.” Or perhaps it makes you feel pushy to ask directly for a meeting or referral.

If this is you, face it – much of this subtle resistance to direct contact with your network may indicate that you are – consciously or unconsciously – avoiding situations where you might be told No!

But the reality is that if you don’t turn around and face your fear of rejection, you will extend the time it takes to land a new job. It’s going to keep you from making contacts you need to make and force you into choosing easier (but much less effective) ways to get a job!

Here is where to begin. You must recognize that rejection is not about you. When a company decides not to interview or hire you, it’s a business decision and has nothing whatsoever to do with your worth as a person, or even your abilities as a professional. There can be many factors about why you did not get the job offer and someone else did? Even when it sounds like it’s about you, it really isn’t.

When a company says you are over-qualified, what they mean is that your salary range is way over the budget level for the position they need to fill. (In reality, you may be aiming too low out of desperation, which is another problem in itself.) The company is simply choosing to spend that money on something else that values low price over high quality, or that they never meant to act in the first place because they don’t have an appropriate budget. None of this is about you.

A company that tells you that they found someone else more qualified simply means that there’s another person who happens to have experience more relevant than your own, or that the other person hired interviewed much better than you or had a better background, or had a more “clearly defined job objective”. Many times you will be judged by a poorly written resume and the company thinks your qualifications on paper mean more than real-world experience. This is also not about you, but you should seek a professional resume writer to develop a professional resume that demonstrates real value and success.

And most of the time when companies tell you, “not now,” “let us think about it,” or “we are not ready,” “we let you know,” “we will keep you resume on file and call you if we determine a possible match with organization.” Certainly none of that is about you.

Of course it’s disappointing to not be selected, but the real problem is when you allow the possibility of a disappointment to stop you from seeking more opportunities at all. Case and point: When you were young in school and missed the bus occasionally, did you stop taking the bus? If you sometimes lose at cards, do you refuse to play any more? If you had a less than enjoyable first date with someone, did you give up dating forever? If you have a terrible round of golf do you stop playing the game?

Of course not….You recognize that it would be unreasonable to expect the bus to always arrive on your schedule, or to win at cards every time you play, or for every first date to turn into marriage, get a par on every golf hole!

Then why should you allow the possibility of hearing someone say no stop you from making phone calls, or following up on leads, or setting up networking meetings to discuss your job search strategy?

The next time a company tells you they will not be hiring you or filled the position internally or hired someone else more qualified, don’t allow yourself to translate that refusal into a personal rejection. Companies who say no are not suggesting there is something wrong with you. They aren’t even talking about you; they are talking about themselves.

Instead, hear a “No” as what it truly means: a business decision based on a current set of circumstances that exist in the life, career, or workplace of your peers. It’s about their time, their money, their needs, their preferences, their priorities. It’s not about you
at all.

Fight the F.E.A.R and keep moving……Good Hunting!

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