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11/16/14 - 5 Job Search Fears And How To Conquer Them

By HEATHER R. HUHMAN @heatherhuhman 

Webmasters NOTE: this article was written on October 16, 2014


With Halloween approaching in a few weeks, it’s the perfect time for job seekers to recognize and conquer their job search fears.

When it comes to finding a job, there are a number of factors that scare job seekers. Whether it’s becoming unemployed for six months or being nervous about the interview process, looking for a for a job can be scary.

As you continue to search for jobs this fall, it’s time to conquer your fears and build more confidence as a job seeker. To get you started, here are five job search fears and how to conquer them:

1. Not finding a job, period.

There’s no doubt applying and interviewing for jobs is a challenge. This is why many job seekers fear not finding a job.

How to conquer: Instead of worrying about not finding a job, focus on the different ways you can improve your job search. Take a look at your current job search process and determine areas of improvement. You might be surprised at the different ways you can turn your job search around.

For example, if you haven’t secured a single job interview, you might consider networking with employees who work for companies you want to work for. By creating some inside connections with an employer, you’ll have a better chance of landing a job interview.

2. Working in a job that doesn’t require a degree.

This is a fear that many recent college graduates face. In fact, a new CareerBuilder study revealed more than half of 2014 graduates are working jobs that don’t require a college degree.

How to conquer: If you’re stuck working a job that doesn’t require a college degree, it’s essential to continue with your job search. Attend networking events, connect with recruiters on LinkedIn, and set up informational interviews. By focusing on building industry connections, you’ll likely find more opportunities related to your degree.

3. Working for a terrible boss.

Another common fear job seekers face is working for a terrible boss. In fact, one out of five workers have had a bad boss.

How to conquer: As you look for jobs, avoid accepting a job where you’ll work for a terrible manager. To help you spot a bad boss, there are a number of things you can do.

First, when you enter the job interview, pay attention to the manager’s body language and the type of questions they ask you. It’s also important to take a close look at your surroundings and what the manager’s office looks like. If the manager asks inappropriate questions or the workplace feels uncomfortable, you might want to reconsider the opportunity.

4. Failing in the interview.

Research shows 92 percent of Americans fear something about job interviews. Whether it’s being too nervous or not preparing enough for the interview, job seekers fear interviews.

How to conquer: Before any job interview, research the company, find out who you’ll interview with, and prepare a list of accomplishments to share with the employer. It’s also important to create questions to ask the interviewer and plan to show up at least 10 minutes early. By following these tips, you’ll feel more prepared for your interview.

5. Salary negotiation.

Many job seekers don’t realize the importance of salary negotiation during the interview process. In fact, only 45 percent of job seekers ages 18 to 34 have negotiated their salary.

How to conquer: When negotiating your salary or a job offer, it’s important to know your value as a professional. Use tools like Glassdoor to search salaries in your industry for similar positions and see if the job offer matches up. If you choose to negotiate your salary, be sure to bring a list of accomplishments that illustrate to the employer why you’re worth the higher salary.

These job search fears are real; however, if you can find the confidence to conquer them, you’ll create more success for your career. By understanding your fears and learning how to face them, you’ll become a smarter job seeker and discover more opportunities.

Have you conquered one of these fears? What helped you improve your job search?


Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and HR technologies. She’s also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle, and career and recruiting adviser for numerous outlets.