Understand the emotions and actions, ignore the words.
Merrilee has Down Syndrome. At 9 years old she could read 150 words. She understands only very simple sentences. Yet, she is brilliant. She understands very clearly what people are doing and feeling. She is not distracted by their words, clothing or cars.
Job seekers with down syndrome communicate verbally and in writing much better than Merrilee. Their down syndrome, however, makes it very difficult for them to understand, interpret and act on the emotions and actions of others.
Attitude really is everything in job hunting. A hiring authority told me, “I hire almost entirely on attitude. It’s easy to train someone if they have a good attitude.” If a job hunter has down syndrome it doesn’t matter what they know, they will be a problem employee.
Job seekers with down syndrome assume the people around them are mean spirited, harsh, cruel, difficult and/or unfeeling. When an HR department fails to respond to their resume, they assume rudeness. When no one gets back to them after an interview they figure the interviewer is a rude jerk. When they are probed about why they left their last job they think it is an unnecessary mean streak. Having down syndrome causes you to find the worst no matter what happens.
When Merrilee, with Down Syndrome, is told, “No,” she understands the word. She doesn’t understand explanations so she figures out what the other person’s real emotions are. She understands that mostly “no” means not now. She can feel when “no” means not for a long time. She gets it when “no” means she could get seriously injured.
Your job hunting will be much more successful if you focus on what people are feeling and watch what they are actually doing. Make it a habit to never take offense. That company may literally have 500 worthless applications for one job and cannot reply to each applicant. Your interviewer may be impressed, but unable to hire you. He probably told HR that you have been turned down and HR is swamped with other work so they didn’t call to let you know.
Keep trying to get into the jobs and companies you are most interested in. This month I called a manager about a job he filled the previous month. He said, “That job is open again. Can you help me fill it?” One month later someone new will be hired. Those who already gave up are out of the running. His previous “no” meant “not now.”
Something To Do Today
If it has been over 3 months since you talked to someone at a target company, time to get back in touch. Things change. Find out what is happening there today.