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.