Category Archives: job search

….why George (And hundreds of other like him) are shocked that they can’t find a job

There are hundreds of people out there like George. He came to us last week and can’t understand why he can’t find a job. Some of it is plain circumstance, but some of it is self-inflicted.

George is 52 years old and been with the same company for the past 20 years. He had a great ride with them and got promoted a number of times. He was always told that he was doing a great job and getting reasonable raises along the way. In the last three years of his employment at the company, it was bought by a private equity firm and George started to receive all of his stock that he had earned while he was at the company. PE firms are notorious about making things a lot less “family oriented,” and a lot more “what you do for me today, dammit!”

In spite of the antiseptic approach that the PE firm took, George still had a job and was making close to $300,000 a year. He could’ve stayed on, but the culture of the organization had totally changed to be much more mercenary and, since he had been told he had been doing so well he thought, “you know, I’ve got such a great track record and I know so many people in the industry, I’ll find another job.” (Now this is the story that George tells. I’m never sure when I hear the stories, and it took me a few years to catch on to this, if George was the one that decided to leave on his own accord, or the PE firm pushed George out.)

Since the buyout, George didn’t have an enforceable noncompete and he had many contacts in the industry and after all, his track record was excellent. He thought he would have absolutely no problem getting a job. He made a lot of money on the stock and doesn’t need to work, but wants to. He thought that since he had a lot of money and didn’t have to work, companies would love to have him because he wouldn’t be “in it for the money.” He even took six months off to get his IRA accounts and lots of other things “in order.”

George figured that since he had such a wonderful track record, was so well known in his industry, had money and didn’t have to work for money, he’d get scooped up any time he wanted. After six months of doing whatever he wanted to do he decided it was time to find a job. It is now three months later and he is so surprised, and eventually shocked, that this was going to be a whole lot harder than he thought.

He has only had two interviews and those were more courtesy than anything else. He quickly found out that very few people a higher VPs off the street and so a month or two ago he “announced” that he would accept a sales job. George has learned that his ideas are real hard to sell to anybody.

The first thing that comes to a hiring authorities mind is, “well, if George has so much money and he doesn’t have to work, the first time he doesn’t like the way we do things here he can just walk out.” To the vast majority of hiring authorities, “not needing to work” means that the person they hire might not do just that. Most of them can’t afford to run the risk of, if it doesn’t work out, their boss saying to them, “why in the hell did you hire somebody that really didn’t need to work.” So, George is going to have to change that approach big time.

George, thinking theoretically, that someone might appreciate someone who just works for the love of working is totally miscalculating 99% of the people that are hiring. George has to forget this comment totally.

What George has to say is something along this line, “I was 20 years at an organization and consistently moved up. I loved the job, the company and everyone there. I did a great job and I was appreciated as much as I appreciated the opportunity. When a PE firm bought us, the complexion of the whole organization changed and it was to their benefit to ease out all of the people had been there for a very long time. Admittedly, it was a different place than it was when I joined 20 years ago or even three years ago when we sold.”

“I know they’re not very many VP opportunities that I would slip right into, but the one I had, I had to work for from the beginning position. I realize that it is likely that I may have to start out at a sales position and work my way up, if indeed that kind of thing presents itself. But I’m just as comfortable at taking a sales position where I can earn depending on my own production. I realize that I may not earn that $300,000 that I was making the first year or maybe even two, but the opportunity to be paid based on my own performance is all I need.”

“I am 52, but as you can see I’m in great shape and I have a tremendous amount of energy. I was a top salesperson before I moved into management and still love selling. Even while I was in management I spent a lot of my time in front of customers and selling. I don’t expect you or anyone else to pay me for the experience I’ve had in the past. All I’m looking for is an opportunity to prove myself, again. Let’s face it, you’re going to get a very mature, experienced salesperson with a lot of energy and a proven track record and everything else will take care of itself.”

“I know you may be concerned that if you hired me for a lesser position than what I was in, someone might give me a call with the VP type of job and your fear is that I would leave for the higher position. Let me share with you that the position isn’t as important as the company, the people and the success I’m having. I know from hiring people over many years that if an employee is happy with what they’re doing and really enjoys the company, the product and the people they work with, they don’t just leave when someone calls them about another opportunity. Look at my track record… I was 20 years with the last company!”

“If we have a good match with what I’m doing and the people in his company, I’m committed for the long haul. I always have been. Once I get into a situation and am experiencing success, I’m not likely to go anywhere. I haven’t before and it is not likely I would ever do it.”

“Now, let’s talk about the opportunity you have here and the way I might be able to benefit you….”

This is the only way to George is going to get hired. It’s still going to be very challenging for him to get an interview and get hired, but it is the way he has to approach it. The way he’s approaching it now is going to get him another nine months or more of unemployment.

All those who think that, “you know I’m so good and I’m so wonderful these people can take this job and stuff it. I can go to work just about anywhere,” need to take a lesson from George.

…CBD story continued..

 

We interrupt last week’s blog to bring you up-to-date on the CBD oil story I wrote about a few weeks ago. It’s going to be hard to believe what you’re going to read here.

If you will recall, our candidate got “temporarily” eliminated because he failed a drug test because he had been using CBD oil. He had barely failed the drug test our client’s company had him take and the people that gave the test called him and asked him what was going on. He explained that he had been using CBD oil for his joints. The testing lab told him that they had old equipment that couldn’t tell the difference between CBD oil (from hemp) and the THC that is a result of smoking marijuana.

So, our client was kind enough to convince their HR (Hiring Roadblock) department to let the candidate take the test again because, even the testing lab admitted that they didn’t think it was THC because the percentages of the positive test were so low. So, our anxious candidate goes down and takes it again. Same lab.

Three or four days after he took the test again the HR (Hiring Roadblock) department calls the hiring authority and the candidate and says that the tests were either mislabeled or he took the wrong one and they weren’t sure but he needed to go back to the lab and have a follicle test (hair) done. Of course, we’re asking what about the second urine sample that he gave. Well, HR (Hiring Roadblock) is insisting that they are not going to use the second urinalysis. He absolutely has to take a test using his hair.

So, the candidate drives down to the place where he gave the first urinalysis and he is told that the lab there doesn’t do follicle testing and he has to go to another one of their labs. Okay, so he drives all the way across town to another lab site only to be told that his hair was too short to have a follicle test done. So what now?

Both the hiring authority and his boss are anxious to get this guy hired so they start asking the HR (Hiring Roadblock) what they should do. Almost one week later the HR (Hiring Roadblock) department tells the two hiring authorities that they will go back and use the results of the second urinalysis. The HR (Hiring Roadblock) department tells the two hiring managers that they can’t do anything until they get results back from the lab. So everyone waits and waits and waits. Our poor candidate has now been going through this ordeal for almost a month and he needs to go to work. He’s getting frustrated almost to the point of telling them to shove it.

One week after the HR (Hiring Roadblock) department says they are still waiting for the results of the second test, our candidate goes online to the website of the lab where he took the tests, and sees a “check results here” tab, opens it up and finds that the results of his test were not only negative but they had been posted on the website four days earlier. The company’s HR (Hiring Roadblock) department  says they still hadn’t gotten the results of the test.

I couldn’t make this story up if I tried. So, I get the candidate to send me a picture of the lab report that he took off the lab’s website showing that his tests were all negative and I sent it to the HR (…you  know) department along with the two hiring authorities. One day later the HR (…you know) sends me an email and says “Your candidate can start tomorrow.”

So, the candidate started this week. So far so good. Moral to the story: don’t use CBD oil if you’re looking for a job… try to go to a modern drug testing lab…and make sure that lab not only communicates with you but with the people they have a contract with.

This situation turned out okay, but I wonder how many people have or could lose their job opportunity because they used CBD oil and the company they were applying to just wasn’t that open-minded. Think about it.

….”but you called me”

My candidate is a guy that I’ve known for almost 20 years. He’s been both a client of mine as well as a candidate. He has a decent opportunity where he is. But the first line management job he’s got Isn’t really ever going to go anywhere and the company he’s with doesn’t wish to grow.

When opportunities come along that are better than what he’s got, he and I discuss them. An opportunity came along for him to be able to do what he’s doing now but expand his span of control to two other offices. So, he decides it would be a good idea to interview with the client.

I reminded him that it is a management job and that I don’t see many of them during the year and he should do his best. He has a low keyed style to begin with, but he is really good at what he does. I warned him that there are two other candidates like him interviewing and that he needs to sell himself harder than he thinks (…he knows he is good).

He does a good enough job to make it through the first interview and the VP who interviewed him decides that he should take the candidate to the next interview. The guy’s track record is stellar, but he’s interviewing style is relatively placid. I can’t seem to get him to understand that getting a job and doing a job are two different things. He might be the most qualified of the three (and he is) but he still has to sell himself and let the employer know what he can do for them that the other candidates can’t.

In spite of all of my coaching, teaching and cajoling he goes into the second interview and even says to the hiring authority, “what you see is what you get. My track record speaks for itself.” And that’s the extent that he sold himself.

What’s amazing about this whole thing is that his track record is absolutely excellent and it’s better than any of the other candidates. But just because he tells the hiring authority that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t prove it with numbers and examples. He doesn’t. He gets around to explaining how successful he has been, but he doesn’t do it with a lot of enthusiasm, fervor or passion. He tells the hiring authority, literally, “what you see is what you get.”

The hiring authority understood exactly what our candidate was saying. But the reason the hiring authority was looking to hire someone is that he just fired the last branch manager because he wasn’t very passionate or enthusiastic. The previous manager did an okay job but never really felt passionate or communicated enthusiasm to those he managed.

Our client passed on our candidate. When I explained to our candidate that he just didn’t really sell himself very hard even though he was the most qualified. Frankly, it was rather painful to tell him, because the job was really a good one and even though they would probably hire one of our other candidates, we really wanted to see the guy get the opportunity, because he was good and deserved a great opportunity.

In his frustration of listening to what I was saying and that he wasn’t going to get a chance to move further, he said, “Tony, remember, you called me!” I reminded him that when he was hiring candidates, he looked for candidates who would actually sell themselves and do it enthusiastically. He kept saying that it was different with him, because “he wasn’t looking for a job. I called him!”

Obviously, the lesson here is that if you’re going to interview, it doesn’t matter whether I or any other recruiter “calls you.” The person that’s doing the hiring is comparing you with any other candidate and how or why you got there, doesn’t matter. If you don’t sell yourself because you think it makes a difference who called you you’re grossly mistaken. You have to sell yourself as though you were actively looking for a job

 

…no expectations

Dan Ariely, the behavior economist who teaches at Duke and has written a number of books, was asked in his write-in article in the Wall Street Journal White a few week ago about what the most important quality that would help a marriage survive. His answer was to have “no expectations.” Those of us who had been married for a long period of time really understand this sage advice.

The same could be said for a job search. However, based on my experience I would amend this concept just a bit…even maybe marriage. The The biggest problem most job seekers is that they have an expectations Just about everything regarding their job search. They expect that when they see a job posting they know they can do, they will get interviewed and likely get hired. When they apply to hundreds of job opportunities they expect to get interviews. They expect to get interviews when they call their friends. They expect  to find a job easily, in a short period of time. They expect to do amazingly well on interviews. They expect to get hired when they interview and often get better money and title. They have way too many expectations.

Rarely do any of these expectations ever pan out. This is one of the greatest shocks of most job searches. And the whole problem is that people have expectations.

There is a place for expectations. And it has to do with what a candidate should expect of themselves in the job search process. A job seeker has to expect the search is going to be hard. They have to expect that they had better take massive, massive action to get interviews …with great intensity. They have to expect to make more contacts about their job search than they ever imagined. They had best expect to perform well on interviews…and get lost of them. They have to expect that they have absolutely nothing until they have a job offer….that they like.

Notice that all these expectations are about themselves and no one else. Where job seekers always run into problems is when they have expectations about other people. Interesting, isn’t it…that is probably true about marriage also.

… Advice

Not a week goes by that at least three candidates turn down excellent job opportunities because of advice from other people. Instead of using common sense, they convolute the decision making process by becoming phenomenally confused because they ask the opinions about what they should do from people who really have no idea what they’re talking about. They get so many opinions from so many people they get confused. Confusion leads to fear and fear leads to them doing nothing.

Advice about changing jobs or what kind of job you ought to take is like advice about marriage. Everyone who has ever been married thinks they know something about it. Many people don’t know their own marriage very well, let alone, someone else’s. Most people know very little about what kind of job might be available for someone else, but because they have looked for a job or found a job before they will give their advice as though it was absolute and global.

So, the first thing a job seeker ought to do is to limit the number of people they get job search advice from. The second thing is to be sure that the people they ask are credible. Do they know you? Do they know your industry or profession you are in well enough to give valuable advice. Your loved ones, spouses, family and your close friends may know you really well, but they may not know the perspective of the kind of business you are in. They may act like it, but most of the time they don’t. Heavily consider the qualifications of the people you seek advice from. Your mother may think that your the best oceanographer in the world, and you may be, but she has absolutely no idea of the prospects of you finding a job in Dallas, Texas… (Very poor… we don’t have any oceans here).

Feature this, your pastor or spiritual adviser may know a great deal about spiritual life and even your spiritual practices. But he or she may not know squat about the accounting profession, or sales or engineering. Your spouse loves you but doubtfully knows the landscape of your profession. They probably think… In fact I hope they do.. that you ought to be the president of the Western world. Let’s face it, they love you and want what’s best for you but they really don’t know how you might get that job.

I have found that even 60% of the advice about finding a job on the Internet isn’t incredible and some of it is flat out awful. I’ve written in other posts about some of the junk posted on the Internet written by people who have either found a job or two or hired a few people and then write about ideas that are absolutely foolish. Quick example: there are literally hundreds of articles on the net about how to apply for job by sending your resume to a company’s job posting. These authors teach people how to “customize” their resume to the posting, etc. Out of close to 100 articles I reviewed, not one of them…NOT one..explains that 30% of the job opportunities that are “posted” are not really open or that the odds of finding a job in this way are 1 in 375. 99% of the people writing these articles are authors, researchers, professors, HR professionals, ex-HR professionals etc., most of whom have, at best, a very narrow perspective…theirs..of what’s going on with the job market.

So, get advice from whomever you wish. But realize the perspective from where the advice comes from. Take it with a big chunk of salt and compare it to what you are experiencing. Unless the people you are getting advice from are in the trenches, helping people find jobs every day be careful.

 

… You want how much?

 

There was an article in last week’s Wall Street Journal about how high salaries haunt some job hunters and eliminate them before they barely get started interviewing. The article claimed that:

  • Human resources executives say that asking about pay right off the bat helps contain compensation costs, insures that candidates have reasonable expectations and spares recruiters chasing prospects they can’t afford.
  • Focusing on compensation history “holds down wages because now the jobs are being filled by people with lower salary expectations”… “We have a whole generation of people who are permanently adversely affected.”
  • Finance chiefs are probably looking ahead and saying they want to keep the escalation of labor costs from going up in a way that will put pressure on earnings.
  • Employers may feel they can lowball applicants because they believe there is still a surplus of qualified candidates.
  • Workers over 45 years old take a bigger hit than workers under 35 years old
  • Some employers hesitate to hire at far below a past salary, concerned that the employee would resent earning so much less. (…and therefore leave or look for another job with a higher salary.)

The conclusion of the article is that when job candidates are asked what they want to earn and then tell a perspective employer what their desire is, they get eliminated.

Unfortunately, what the article doesn’t tell the prospective job seeker is how to deal with this issue. Here are ways a job seeker can deal with this question and keep themselves in contention for the job.

  • When asked, “What kind of money are you looking for?”, don’t try to guess what’s on the mind of the interviewer. Answer the question by stating something like, “In my last position I was earning $XXXXX. I’m not as concerned about what the starting salary is as I’m concerned about the opportunity in my ability to perform. My experiences have been that if I give good service, the money is going to take care of itself.”
  • Don’t pay any attention to what a “published” salary might be. Just because an organization publishes a certain salary doesn’t mean they’re going to pay that.
  • Quit thinking that people are trying to “lowball” you are anybody else. When you deal from a defensive attitude like that you won’t negotiate very well.
  • Remember to communicate that money is the fourth or fifth reason that people work. The company, what they do, the people… all are a lot more important than just money.
  • Quit thinking that just because you’ve made a certain amount of money that you “owe it to yourself and your family to get an increase.” An increase may not be what the market will bear. A lateral move or even a step backwards in salary is common in today’s market.
  • Communicate as much as you can that you are “open” regarding money. You might even give an example like, “In the last two jobs that I’ve had I started out at a lower salary than what I had made before and I wound up getting salary advances because of my performance. Again, I’m not as concerned about the entry salary as I am about the company, the people and the opportunity. If all of those things work well, the money usually works itself out.”

It doesn’t take a mental giant to know that older employees, because they usually make higher salaries, are more likely to take less money in finding a new job than younger workers. But that’s not because they’re older, it’s because they have been making more money. A “younger” candidate making more money than a hiring organization might want to pay will have the same problem.

For a while, companies will try to “contain” salaries and earnings. But as candidates become harder to find and the job market gets better, these companies will have to pay more and increase starting salaries to compete for good candidates. It happens every time we come out of a recession.

A job seeker’s pay history may very well be a challenge to deal with. But if it’s handled the right way, it can become no more than a minor issue.

…DWI’s, bankruptcy, credit problems, misdemeanors and felonies

 Not a week goes by that a candidate represented by our firm reveals one of the above just about the time they are going to get a job offer from one of our clients. My sense is that probably 25% to maybe even 30% of professional job candidates have one of these issues in their background. Certainly, nobody really wants to talk about it and most candidates won’t even bring it up until the issue is either discovered by the hiring organization or they offer it up in the final stages of the interviewing process.

Most of the time, these issues stop the offer. Sometimes they can be worked around by the hiring authority and the company, but they are always problems. There are some graceful ways of dealing with them to minimize their impact but every candidate who has a ding like this knows it’s going to be a problem and they are usually scared to death of its impact.

Unfortunately, felonies are almost always insurmountable, especially in professional positions. Only 10 or 12 times in my 43 years of doing this, have I had a company hire a candidate with a felony in their recent past. The empathetic part of me realizes how sad this might be, but the business side of me realizes why companies can’t run that risk. The situations where candidates with felonies have been hired have usually been in sales environments where they potential employee does not handle cash or money. If you’re an accountant with a felony of embezzlement, you need to change professions.

DWI’s and misdemeanors can often be explained and overlooked by some firms, but it is hard. I suggest people get an attorney to find out how, if enough time has elapsed, these records might be removed from a person’s public background. Everybody has an opinion about how long these things stay on a person’s record. Don’t rely on a friend that thinks they know. Find an attorney that deals with these things all the time and find out exactly what to do.

If you aren’t sure of what is on your record, and it’s amazing the number of people who don’t really know of their misdeeds, run a background check on yourself for around $40 (that is the cheapest service) and you can see what most employers will find. Every once in a while we run into a situation of identity theft as well as the wrong identity being checked.

If there are some of these issues in your background, I’d recommend discussing them with the hiring authority if you think you are going to be a finalist for the job opportunity. And be sure that you discuss them before a background check is made on you by the employer.

Now it is very important and I need to emphasize, very important, that when you go to explain these incidences, don’t be angry or try to justify how you were “wronged” or how you had just a little too much to drink, and you got sassy with the policeman so he decided to claim that you were DWI. The best way to deal with these kind of things in your background is to be remorseful, apologetic and have a “how can we work this out?” attitude. Anything less than a remorseful, apologetic attitude simply won’t fly. I’ve seen felons get hired simply because they presented themselves as remorseful and apologetic. One guy I knew even made it a “positive” benefit.

If a company simply can’t work around the issue, be graceful and understanding. There is absolutely no sense in burning the bridge with the company or the people in it.

Bankruptcies are a bit different. Some companies don’t care; others might. We had a banking client that refused to hire one of our candidates because of a previous bankruptcy. They really wanted to hire the candidate but they had just fired an officer for embezzlement. They couldn’t take the chance. We recently placed a banker that did have a bankruptcy in his background, but the bank hired him anyway because they really liked him. Other than financial institutions, most organizations will consider someone with a bankruptcy. But they better be a really good candidate and sell themselves really well.

“Bruised” credit falls in the same category as bankruptcies. Financial organizations will usually have a rough time with it. But especially since the last recession where lots of people had bruised credit, most firms will overlook it provided the candidate is really good.

Whatever the issue, a candidate is going to have to explain it really well. Again, it’s important for the candidate to bring these issues up before the employer discovers it on his own.

 

 

 

… Reaction to the 99 million out of work

It’s really interesting reaction that we got for the post two weeks ago about why the 99 million people that are permanently out of work are there. Most of the reactions claimed that the article was spot on. And there were quite a few others that voiced the fact that, “I’ve been among the 99 million for years… clueless hiring managers, HR fools and time wasting recruiters treat people such as myself like absolute s—t!” or comments like, “let’s see, bogus job advertisements, cronyism, much cheaper labor overseas, globalization, zillions of H1B visas…”

The numbers of these comments were surprising. This small sampling though, reinforce the idea that for some reason our society is accepting and tolerating this low rate of employment participation on everyone’s part. The major reason, and I do mean major, is that looking for a job is a phenomenally emotionally stressful thing to do. When the job market is tight and job seekers don’t get fairly immediate positive response to their efforts they lose momentum and because they really don’t know what to do in order to get a job they decide that, “there are no jobs out there” and they quit looking. On top of all of this, and this is important, the distance between the hiring authority and the job seeker is greater than it’s ever been. There are going to be 15 negative events for every positive one. Job seekers are lied to, storied, left on hold and simply ignored.The inability for a job seeker to communicate directly with hiring authority is greater than it’s ever been. It’s harder and harder, because of the Internet, because of applicant tracking systems and, yes, people who “review” resumes who know absolutely nothing about what they’re looking for for candidates to actually get an interview. And, on top of that most candidates don’t know how to perform well when they get the interview.

After a while, jobseekers become depressed and cynical about the whole situation. They quit. No one has prepared them for how really hard and difficult looking for a job is. Nobody has prepared them to realize the phenomenal amount of rejection and refusal that goes on in getting a job. No one has said to them, “look, you’re going to have to make 100 phone calls before you get one person to call you back. You’re going to have to get 10 of those calls before you have one of those people interested in speaking with you. Forget sending your resume. You’re going to have to send 180 album before you get anybody to respond. Pick up the phone and call a hiring manager and ask for an interview. You’re going to have to have 14 interviews… to maybe 18 interviews to get a job offer. And that might not even be one you want. It’s going to take 4 to 5 months just to get this far and then you’re likely is not to have to start all over. Are you ready for that?”

Some people get so depressed just upon hearing this, they quit looking and give up. But look, that is the way it is. That is  reality. You can believe me now or bleed me later and you can either face it or not. But that’s the truth.

A job seeker just has to keep going, and going, and going and going. They have to develop a systematic approach to finding a job. And they have to approach looking for a job like any other sales process. Making a ton of prospecting calls or ton of prospecting events. Getting in front of as many people as possible to interview and then interviewing extremely well.

If job seekers began knowing that finding a job in today’s market is really, really, really hard and prepared for it, one half of those 99 million people would find jobs. Maybe not the perfect job… but they would find a job.

 

 

 

…the $90,000 ego mistake

‘Never let your ego get bigger than your game,’   …excellent candidate, Mark…needs to find a new gig..we present him an excellent opportunity …he interviews on two management levels..does real well…going to the next level… hiring authority says he’s the best he has seen…

In debriefing Mark about the two interviews he had with the firm, he says: “You know, you don’t remember it, but you all got me a job offer from this outfit three years ago.” “Really,” we say, “what happened?” “Well,” he says, “on top of a good job offer they even offered me 1000 shares of pre-IPO stock. They are now public and the stock is at $90  a share. I ought to have my ass kicked.”

He continues, “What happened was that they first offered the job to another guy. He turned it down. They then offered it to me. I got pissed that I was the #2 choice so turned it down. My ego got the best of me. I really should have taken the job. The company is doing great and now that they are public, I’ll be able to buy stock if they hire me, but i could be $90,000 richer today had I taken the job then, and I probably wouldn’t be looking for a job.”

never let your ego get in your way…could cost you $90,000

…the ‘stop gap’ job

i’m  asked every day about the wisdom of taking a ‘stop gap’…’put food on the table’ type job..it is a very tough question..

on the one hand, folks need to eat…you can’t blame someone for doing what they have to do by taking a ‘get by’ job and continuing to look for a more professional job commensurate with what they had before…

here are some challenges with a ‘stop gap’ job…even if you can find one…

they get in the way of interviewing for a better job…can’t tell you how many times a candidate has said to me, “well can you change the time of that interview, tony…i  have to be at my ‘get by’ job then”…

interviews…good interviews are hard to come by…OK…but the last thing a candidate wants is to miss one because of a job they aren’t going to keep, but have to in order to put bread on the table..it is frustrating and…if it happens too often, most recruiters won’t run the risk of getting this candidate an interview, only to be told that the candidate “can’t make it” because of their ‘stop gap’ job… there are too many qualified candidates that are looking for a job on a full time basis..

another challenge is that candidates start comparing a good job opportunity with their ‘stop gap’ job…they’ll say things like..”well, i’m making almost that much now in this ‘stop gap’ job…so if i can’t get more than what i was making in my last real job, i’ll keep this one until i find exactly what i’m looking for…” or they get picky about the location of the better real job interview, or the kind or size of company or all kinds of other things that keep them from interviewing…

a ‘stop gap’ job often creates a “fear of success” mentality… it happens when the candidate sets their sights so high about the real job they want, they never can seem to find it, because they get unrealistic about what kind of jobs are really available and they become so comfortable with their ‘stop gap’ job they use it as a crutch…they are always going to try to find a “better” job that only exists in their imagination… they never really have to leave their ‘stop gap’ job because they can’t find what they really want in a new job…

‘stop gap’ jobs e-l-o-n-g-a-t-e into months …even years…it is hard to convince a hiring authority that you are serious about your career when you explain that you have had your ‘stop gap’ job for eighteen months r two years…

this happens a lot…it isn’t intentional…candidates take these kind of jobs with the intention of leaving for a real job…but time passes and all of a sudden they see that they have been on the job eighteen months or two years…now they really have a ‘gap’ in their professional resume…it is really hard to explain…and most hiring managers, forgetting how difficult this market is, won’t believe that the candidate was really trying to leave the ‘stop gap’ job… 

 one tip is to take a ‘stop gap’ job that allows a lot of daily time to interview….an early morning shift at Starbucks…an evening gig as a waitstaff person at a local restaurant…even a night shift janitorial job…anything that leaves you free during the day to search for a full time, professional job…

take a ‘stop gap’ job if you must…but be aware of the challenges