Career Advice – Wanting A Job Too Much
May 19, 2009
Recently, I have been working with a number of talented information security professionals that are currently in between positions. This recent change in their employment is most caused by external factors, mostly focused on broader economic environment, then their individual performance. These professionals find themselves in an unfamiliar position, and under a good amount of stress. From my perspective, the stress comes in two different categories, financial and personal.
The financial stress is quite easy to figure out. Severances are running out, savings are depleting, and resposnibilites remain. The personal stress traditional begins with a deflation of one’s self -esteem. People question their value, their roie in their profession, and their overall usefulness. The idle time does not help.
The idle time is mostly spent worrying about the future. It illustrates how liitle control that you currently have over your present situation. The silence and lack of feedback becomes deafening. You become consumed with questions /statements that include- “Why have I not heard back from that company”, “Is my resume correct?”, “When is the right time to follow-up?”, “Am I being a pest?”, “Have they decided to go another direction?” etc.
When people start asking these questions to themselves, they begin to create a feeling of anxiety. When these feelings begin to creep up on you, many times it clouds your judgement, and produces a feeling of desperation. When you begin to have these feelings internally, it is almost impossible for them to not come out in conversations with perspective employers and during interviews. Many times, without realizing it, candidates will share some of their personal hardships during these discussions and it creates an uncomfortable mood. It also creates the feeling of desperation. This causes these potential employers to believe that you are searching for “any position” as opposed to “their position”.
So, how do you avoid “Wanting a Job Too Much?” Here are some things that you might want to consider:
1) Remember that you have talent, and know what that talent is. Talent is the key to any professional,s career. Chances are if you have built a career in the Information Security profession, you have built it on a foundation of skills. Knowing those skills, and how to apply them to the role that you are searching for is key.
2) Think back to the time when you were “over recruited.” You all remember those times when you were gainfully employed and you had multiple employment offers from competing companies. You remember how it felt to be wanted and to be in demand. That was a good feeling to have. Those people who came looking for you in the past, will come looking for you again. It just may take a little longer to find you. Carry that attitude into any interview situation. Exhibit confidence, without being “cocky”.
3) Take your mind off the job search. Regardless of how much stress that you are under at home or financially, you have to take your mind off that for a period of time each day. Use that time to do something that makes you happy or that you have neglected due to your work schedule. Maybe this will remind you why you do work, and give you more incentive to balance your career and your life. It might also provide you with some clarity as to what type of position that you are searching for.
The three items above are geared to help you more mentally then financially. However, if you take care of the mental aspects of a job search, you should find yourself with the abillity to think clearly, be exposed to more opportunites and leave yourself with better options.
In closing, I think that everyone should look around what is happening to themselves or to their peers. This can happen to anyone. Plan accordingly. The better you plan, the less stress you will have.