The concept of fairness may be ingrained in our psyches somewhere, but it often seems to get short shrift in practice. The all-important job search is no exception. Sometimes the lack of fairness seems so blatant that you want to cry (like a small child), “That’s just not fair!”
Where’s the problem here? You’re no longer a little child. What might bring out a kind response when you were a child isn’t going to get much sympathy now.
Start by recognizing that if you were expecting complete fairness from employers, competitors, etc., you’ve made a mistake. You assumed something that hasn’t panned out the way you thought it would. So what do you do next? You have at least two choices:
Try asking yourself, “Do I really want to keep going in this direction? If so, what do I need to do to get past the ‘unfairness’ and achieve my goals?” Your answers to those questions can motivate you to move from disappointment to a positive, “here I go” outlook.
Sometimes it seems as if unfair employer practices abound in the job search world. You might have encountered this in your own experience or heard about it from friends. It can actually get borderline frightening!
A post I just read by Nick Corcodillos (Ask The Headhunter) brings up a disturbing situation with a scary element. It’s called “Recruiting from the Panic Room.” I can’t do it justice in this blog post. Briefly, though, it involved someone who applied to a job posted online, sent a follow-up email a few days later and then another follow-up email about a week later, saying he/she would come by the office to talk to someone.
The company’s prompt response: A statement that no position was available–and a phone call shortly thereafter from the police, basically telling the individual to stop harassing the company and steer clear of it!
If this doesn’t strike you as unfair, it certainly should at least make you stop and think about how you apply for jobs!
Unfairness relates to luck and fate–things you largely can’t control. However, when dealing with unfair employer practices, you do have some control, based on your skills and your “smarts.” A healthy dose of self-respect and determination doesn’t hurt, either.
You can choose to ignore employers that use practices designed to put potential employees at a distinct disadvantage, get a lot for very little in return, and so on. They might seem frustratingly prevalent when you’re in the middle of a serious job search, but they probably aren’t really the only game in town–in most cases, anyway.
Take a creative approach. Look for solutions that help even the odds and maybe tilt them more in your favor. Find ways to enhance your value in the eyes of companies that need what you have to offer and communicate that value message compellingly.
Don’t let the “unfairness” of luck and fate call the shots in your job search. It’s your show–run it!