Wouldn’t it be great if job searching were a “piece of cake,” with no real challenges or speed-bumps to get past? Theoretically, that would mean you wouldn’t face any serious tests of your self-respect and integrity during the job search.
Is that likely to happen in practice? Maybe not. Even the best-planned and -executed job search campaign can encounter obstacles. The list of possible obstructions is too long to include here!
If you start out with healthy self-respect, you have better odds of managing your job search to a successful conclusion. For example, you know that you probably won’t land every job you interview for–your competitors will undoubtedly succeed at least part of the time. Consequently, you won’t consider each job that gets away as a personal blow to your sense of value (self-worth). In other words, you consider yourself a top contender because you know what you’re capable of.
With that thought in mind, you might also consider steps you can take to present yourself more compellingly to employers, making sure they can easily see how you can make them successful–or more successful than they already are. You will approach this challenge with confidence because you know you can contribute essential value to their organization.
Does this mean you approach employers with an “I am the greatest, and you’d be stupid not to hire me” attitude? Hardly! Self-respect and self-confidence go hand-in-hand but don’t “play well” with arrogance and conceit.
Which brings us to the next point.
Having integrity–and holding to it in stressful circumstances–can come with a cost.
You need to be aware of your core values and understand how essential they can be to your career management and job search success. At the same time, it’s critical to realize that you could encounter employment-related situations where your integrity and other key values are put to the test.
That’s true both during a job search and on the job, of course, but for now I’m focusing on the pre-job part of the process. What would you do, for instance, if a potential employer asked you about your experience in a part of the job that was critical to it–and you knew you might be ruled out if you didn’t fudge the truth just a bit? Especially since you knew you could actually do the job well?
There are choices and decisions to be made here–and possible repercussions down the road if you make the wrong decision.
Sometimes the issue of integrity crops up from the employer side rather than from you. Is the prospective employer treating its job candidates (including you) with at least a moderate amount of integrity and consideration? Too often these days, that seems to be a challenging question!
If an employer is asking (even expecting) you to make sacrifices to get to an interview, with no guarantees (of course), are they serious about potentially hiring you? And how would they treat you if that did happen?
Sometimes you need to stand your ground, and it’s not always easy. However, it might be easier to live with in the long run. The prize you’re really after is a job you’d be happy doing and can do well, but also one where your employer recognizes and appreciates your sense of self-respect and your integrity. That’s probably worth fighting for.