Why You Might Be Your Biggest Barrier To Landing Your Next Job

At any time looking for and landing your next job is tough.

Add in the uncertainty around COVID-19 and it adds another challenge.

Employers, just like all of us don’t know what’s around the corner.

They will be cautious in their approach.

I’ve seen examples of interviews being cancelled at short notice.

It can be frustrating.

Equally organisations are dealing with a changing landscape.

They might start the hiring process hoping to land a new piece of work.

But it doesn’t work out.

Equally there can be a loss of significant client or customer out of the blue which requires a change of plan.

All of the above are real without a doubt.

And they have one thing in common.

They are outside of your control.

It’s so easy to look at the external factors as being the biggest barrier to landing your next job.

On the other hand you might be your biggest barrier to landing your next job.

Now you might think this is harsh, so let me explain.

You, I, all of us have patterns of behaviour.

Some help, some hinder and others just keep us stuck.

When looking for your next job these behaviours might include:

Failing to take the time to get clear about what you want from your next job

You might say money.  That’s fine.  You have bills to pay, so you need money.

Over and above money what else do you want.

Think about it, work consumes the biggest part of our week.

You want to be in an organisation and role that you really want to be part of.

Failing to take the time to get clear what you can offer your next employer

Hiring someone is a significant cost to any organisation, no matter what sector they operate in.

In many organisations employees can account for almost 60% of the expenditure.

So not unreasonably, the employer is only going to make that investment if they believe you are going to offer real value.

Sadly only a small proportion take the time to get really clear about what they can offer their next employer.

Without doing this it becomes really difficult to market and sell yourself as an asset rather than a cost to the business.

Falling into the self exclusion trap too easily

Every role has requirements.

Some apparently essential.  Others desirable.

Here’s something I’ve noticed over the years working with clients.

They fall into the self exclusion trap way too easily.

By that I mean they can do 80-90% of what’s needed for the role but don’t apply.

And if you don’t apply the outcome is certain.  You won’t get the job.

Letting a past experience carry too much weight

This is the situation where you maybe had one interview that didn’t go well.

And as a result that past experience is recalled every time you reach the job interview stage.

You then go into the interview in the wrong frame of mind, struggle and don’t get the outcome you wanted.

There’s always learning from a time things don’t go so well.  You want to focus on using that learning to help you do better rather than being a hinderance.

Failing to adapt to the way people are hired these days

This tends to be an issue if you haven’t been on the job market for a number of years.

In the past a recruiter may have been your primary way of finding your next job.

Right now recruiters themselves are not getting access to the number of opportunities they once did.

Often it’s very specialised roles where they are brought in.

Those who succeed adapt their approach to job search.

They use multiple channels, including their network and LinkedIn.

Failing to put in the hours ahead of a job interview

Job interviews are competitive.

Often there’s one job and five being interviewed.

4 or 80% of those being interviewed will be disappointed.

Sadly this will be down to not putting in the hours ahead of the job interview.

Even amongst smart professionals that I work with, only about 15-20% do enough ahead of the interview to give them the opportunity to perform well on the day.

So if you are struggling to land your next job right now stop and reflect whether your patterns of behaviour are helping or hindering your chances of success.