Category Archives: psychology

… perseveration

In psychology and psychiatry, perseveration is the repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder…

Perseveration takes place in the job search when a candidate plays over and over and over in their head what they should have or could have done differently in an interviewing or job search situation. It is a maddening exercise for candidates especially when they have screwed up an interview… They play it over and over and over and over in their heads… Like a hamster on a wheel…They get emotionally distracted by it and because they don’t have enough other opportunities going on, they replay this one over and over…

Objectively, they know that it does them absolutely no good to keep reliving or reciting what they could have said or should have said in the interview. The more they do it, the more frustrated they become and then the more they do it..They often even call me and want to review over and over what they should have said… It does absolutely no good!

Everyone, objectively, knows what the doctor says when the patient dies… “Next.” The outcome may not be what he or she wants, or even likes, but they can’t do anything about it and they can’t afford  to have it affect the future practice of even the immediate moment… They have to let it go…

If a job seeker has enough interviewing cycles going on they really don’t have much time to ruminate and practice perseveration… They simply replay the interview the correct way and then move on to the next one… If they do it right they don’t have time to do anything but figure out what they would have changed and move on…

… boomer women have left the workforce

Up until recently, more baby boomer women than men had been in the workforce… the current employment participation rate for adult men is 77.8% and for women it’s only 58.5%… Why?… How does it affect the economy? There are 1 million fewer women between the ages of 45 and 60 in the workplace today  than there were in 2009. The impact on the economy is obvious because there are 1 million fewer people earning money to move around in the economy. Here are the major reasons our society is experiencing this phenomenon. More women these days are having children when they are older. Many of them began their career, married later than previous generations and started having families later. At the “prime” age for earning… 45 to 55, many of these women still have children in a home that need to be cared for.  Even if they had children at a young age there “young adult” children,, being the lowest percentage of working Americans in the workforce …are moving home and often, these mothers  feel compelled to be at home with their adult children. A woman with children  who plans on going back to work when the children are still young  are faced with a very high cost of childcare.  Often the cost of the childcare outweighs a salary. In fact the cost of childcare is the single largest expense for families in almost half of the US and is growing, outweighing the cost of food and housing. So, faced with the cost of childcare, it might be more economical for a woman to stay home rather than work outside the home and pay for child care. The elderly are living longer these days and when their health fails it is logical for their female daughters to stay home and care for them. The average age of unpaid, adult family caregivers, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance is 48 years old…In the sweet spot of a person’s prime professional earnings age range. And making matters worse,  when these women do come back into the workforce after a three or four year period of time, their skills are perceived to be more outdated than with men. This must be because of the perceived jobs and skills that are associated with women. The truth is that there are no more deterioration of skills with out of work women then there are with out of work men. Next week: … How these women can get back into the workplace.

… Some of the reasons why people get discouraged about working

We’ve created an interesting approach to finding a job in this country… in the guise of “safety nets”, we have created a society where individuals feel that they should be able to find a job exactly like you want easily and on their terms… there seems to be a level of “I want job, but, I’m not gonna…”

People don’t want to take a pay cut. 40% of Americans who have seen long-term unemployment benefits have previously earned between $30,000 and $75,000 a year. They are considered “poor.” The vast majority of these people will not consider interviewing for a job at less money than what they were earning before even though they’ve been out of work for a long period of time… they will claim “I really don’t want us to”… once they pass up one or two opportunities, they feel compelled to pass up other ones that aren’t as good as the first one or two they were presented with…

Amazingly enough, 69% of Americans surveyed in 2013 by the Allegis Group stated that they would not take a job with the company would have any “bad reputation, even if they were unemployed”… and here is a phenomenally ironic twist, 33% of this group said that the only thing that would change their mind about a company’s “reputation” would be if they received a 50% increase in their previous page. It appears that a bad reputation is “relative” to the money people are paying … go figure! It’s hard to decide what a “bad reputation” means

Many people, often unemployed for long periods of time, try to find the “perfect” fit in finding a job… many have lost so much confidence in themselves they are afraid to accept any kind of job… because of low self-esteem ,they even quit job hunting altogether… a great many job seekers fall prey to the confusion of activity with productivity and spend their time sending resumes over the Internet… this is a really quick way to become discouraged… they hear nothing from the people they send their resumes to and become very discouraged very fast… unfortunately if you Google the search phrase “how do people find jobs?” The vast majority of articles and answers center around online job search of some sort… in other words people are encouraged to seek a job “online”…

Next week, more discouraging facts and attitudes

…”I never expected it would be this hard”

We hear this daily…candidates that are finding out that it is sooooo much harder to find a job than it was in the past…

A recent survey I read stated that the average professional thinks it takes 60 days to find a job when they are out of one…try an average of 180 to 220…They found jobs in the mid 2000’s or mid ’90’s…it was easier then…

We placed a sales candidate today who accepted a base salary of $85,000…she told us four months ago that  she wouldn’t take less than $100,000 base…since her last base was $135,000 in spite of the fact that she was on maternity leave for one year and had taken the last year off to be with her baby…

Times have changed…it was no where as easy as she thought it was going to be…and she was lucky that we could find her a job…It is a very rough job market…take nothing for granted…

….shock and awe

i spoke to a candidate of mine today who i have placed twice over the last 15 years…he lost his job, his company went broke seven months ago…he has never been out of work this long…he has always had an easy time finding a job…in fact, in the mid 90’s i got him three offers within one week..

things have changed…he was actually mad and frustrated at me because, “after all the money i have made you, you have only gotten me three interviews…”

i had to remind him that this isn’t whataburger, you can’t always “have it your way”…this market is very, very tight and just because it was easier to find a job a few years ago..it isn’t now…and frankly we were fortunate to have had the three interviews ..(which he didn’t do well on)

and it had nothing to do with his dazzling brilliance…there aren’t as many opportunities for his skills as there was and he can’t do much about that…

i didn’t rub it in, because his life is rough enough…but he didn’t listen well in the begining of his search when i tried to explain that the market was very difficult…

he dismissed the instructions i gave him about interviewing…tried to get him to review www.thejobsearchsolution.com …especially about interviewing…he tought that since he had made $250,000 to $300,000 selling software, he didn’t have to worry about how to interview…

he was condecending during two of those interviews because he thought he was better than the jobs….now he wishes he had the oppotunities back…he blew the other by going in explaining what “he wanted”…instead of what he could do for the potential employer..

the  lessons: this market is very tight…you will be shocked by it sooner or later…take nothing for granted…get lots of interviews…sell yourself really hard…be prepared for a long job search…

…stories

one of the most powerful strategies you can develope in the interviewing process is to be able to tell stories about yourself that prove you are a good employee  and that you will be an assett to any organization..

stories tell…they are more than enertainment, they train us in the art of being human…stories remove the listener’s immediate prejudices to you as a person and get them to focus on what you are talking about…

so, as you develope the presentation portion of your interview, make sure you tell stories that demonstrate your advaqntages and benefits..

keep the stories short and to the point…they will make a difference in how you are received

goatees and beards

i know that many will say that i ain’t “with it” or an old fuddy-duddy…BUT…men (..women too, i guess) who grow or keep goatees and beards while job searching, should rethink the decision..

employers are prone to ..even subconsciously..question a candidate’s viability if the candidate is wearing a goatee or beard more than those that are clean shaven..

don’t ask me why…and you can claim all you want that it isn’t fair …but there is a tendency to think that people are covering up “something” when they grow at goatee or beard

and the truth is, they are…they are covering up…. their face..

studies have shown that there is a slightly subconscious, distrustful, negative feeling toward candidates with goatees or beards…it is very subtle, but nonetheless, there…and, as a candidate, you simply don’t need even a subtle negative feeling toward you

it doesn’t matter if your wife, girl friend, mother, etc. think you look great with a beard…unless they want to hire you, get rid of any facial hair during your interviewing process..

you can always grow it back after you find a job…

…the funeral

my candidate’s wife’s grandmother died…rather suddenly..he and his wife have to explain to their small children ..4 and 5 years old about death, etc.

our client had scheduled a dinner with the candidate and the president of his company …a semi-final interview…and, wouldn’t you know, the evening right after the funeral…

so my candidate leaves his wife and kids at the family gathering after the funeral and goes to the dinner interview..

needless to say he was distracted and unfocused just enough to screw up the interview…

his mistake was that he should have explained that he had just come from a family funeral and he was a bit unfocused and emotionally depleted…

most people would have empathy for that kind of thing and take it into account …soooo, the lesson: if you are experiencing an emotionally stressful personal issue that is going to impact your being able to interview well…tell the interviewing authority at the beginning of the interview

he did not

odd first impressions…tone it down a bit

you never know how candidates are perceived…

one of our candidates who is a very successful sales person goes to an interview…the hiring authority loves her, but is concerned about her motivation..

why?…well she had, according to him, a four carat diamond ring on (…really only two) and drove a brand new mercedes and wore at least a $500 outfit (…how does he know?)

…he wondered if she was motivated???…oh, brother

the truth is that she was able to afford these things because she is one hell of a sales lady…she also has two kids in college that she supports..

now, i might agree that when you combine the ring, the car and the suit, the hiring authority might have been put off a bit…

lesson:..tone it down a bit…dress professionally, but not over the top..

always, always, always follow up!

every counselor/coach/recruiter in the world tells a candidate to follow up with a “thank you” note as well as a note as to what the candidate can do for the company..

well, our candidate thought he had a lousy interview so he didn’t follow up with the note…

well, the hiring authority thought the guy was great..couldn’t understand why the guy didn’t follow up..

when the candidate found out that the hiring authority really liked him, he was motivated..wrote the note….too late, the hiring authority thought about it…decided to go after someone else..

LESSON:…follow up…always follow up with a thanks!