4 Fears Job Seekers Must Get Over And Why
1. Fear of being your own boss: You have no choice but to face this fear head on. Whether you like it or not, you are your own boss today. Due to the trend of shrinking job tenure, everyone needs to think about what their next step is going to be, on a regular and strategic basis. Long gone is the lifetime career working for “the Man”. People need to consider not just one, but multiple sources of income and manage their career like a business. As such you need to become your own Chief Marketing officer. This requires you to be more proactive than ever before in your own promotion process. In addition to the traditional job search methods, and the obvious fall back of seeking jobs online, you need to think about how you can develop a professional online presence, that it is branded and compelling, enough so that people will be intrigued to click on your profile if it comes in a Google search.
2. Fear of social media – There are valid reasons to be a cautious about increasing your social networking activity. Feelings of being exposed, and the fear of compromising your privacy are the most common ones I hear. The reality is that there probably is more information about you on the web than you are aware of. When was the last time you did a Google search of your name? By setting up your own social media profiles, you can start to control what comes up if someone searches for you. If you don’t come up at all, not only does this represent you in a negative light to recruiters (According to Execunet, 70% of hiring managers rejected candidates due to little or no information about you online or if there is digital dirt, unsavory and inappropriate material online). In fact the saying goes, if you can’t be found on Google, you don’t exist. By establishing your presence online via various social networking sites, you are leveraging your voice and taking control of your brand and message that people will find. Inversely, without using these tools, you can do little to manage the information that might come up in a Google search. The numbers speak for themselves: 86% of hiring managers said candidates with a good online reputation can positively influence their application
3. Fear of putting your photo on LinkedIn: In almost every group I present to on LinkedIn, there is always a small, but diverse group of people who are leery of putting their photo up. Underlying your fear of putting a photo on LinkedIn is possible fear of discrimination, lack of confidence, or heightened self-consciousness, or strong preference towards privacy. Well, if it’s any of the last three, I say, get over it. Regarding fear of discrimination, whether it’s race, gender, age or ethnicity, while these are certainly all prevalent to degree in our society, I don’t believe it will be the only reason you didn’t get the job. I have a number of successful 60+ clients who have landed work, simply due to their level of persistence and the fact that they were the best people for the job. If you aren’t convinced yet, read this: having a photo on LinkedIn is essential to getting to 100% (critical for a truly optimized profile that lead to you coming up in more searches). In fact, according to LinkedIn research, your profile is 9 times more likely to be viewed if you have a photo of yourself. Just smile, and you’ll look beautiful.
4. Fear of reaching out. Social networking sites have transformed the job search process. The potential to reach out and connect with relevant people in your field that you would not normally connect to is possible via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, as well as many other forms of social media. So why are so many people not doing it? It seems to be well understood that job searching is about networking, and here the opportunity to network is offered up, ostensibly free of charge to connect to almost anyone you want to. If referral is the most successful form of getting you hired today, then every job seeker or career changer needs get over this fear of reaching out and work on expanding their networks with key people who can help them land their next job. It is simply a matter of making the effort to find those people on these networks, and then crafting a short and compelling note asking them for some quick advise. It can be as simple as this:
I was intrigued by your background and experience and I was wondering if you could spare a few minutes to give me some advice about your industry/ company etc.
If you are writing to them via LinkedIn, they can take a look at your profile if they want to know more, which they most likely will.
Ok. Done!… Are you cured of your fears now?