Only allow reality on your desk when you hunt for a job

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.  (Philip Dick)

Each week someone says, “Bryan, I have applied for hundreds of jobs and no one even acknowledges my application!”  That may mean it is time for a reality check.  If they have 10 very good candidates, is it a waste of time for those companies to talk to you? Are you betting that no one else sees the same online ad that you do?  Sometimes a reality check will tell you good things, sometimes bad things.

I only allow reality on my desk as a recruiter.  I don’t “hope” that a client will overlook my candidate’s surly disposition.  I don’t submit him.  If I have a programmer whose references say he can’t get projects done on time, I withdraw his candidacy even when the company has made a job offer.  A salesman who has 3 jobs in 3 years and no positive results won’t get a job through our agency.  Reality rules my desk. I can’t work any other way and feed my family.

Bow to reality in your job hunting.  Sure, apply for jobs you are only barely qualified for, but don’t be upset when your resume isn’t even acknowledged.  If a company is laying off people, still apply for a job, but don’t wait with quivering excitement for a call.

Too many people think that The Power Of Positive Thinking says that self delusion works.  It doesn’t.  In that book by Norman Vincent Peale, he spends a lot of time dealing with reality.  So should you.

If you really do deserve a 50% raise, hope for it, but acknowledge that raises that big are rare.   Most people can expect a 5% to 20% raise.  Most people get a job at the same level they are at and work their way up in their next job.  Some do find a new job at a higher management level.  They are exceptionally well qualified.

Become exceptional at your current job and reality is that you can get a big raise and a promotion into your next company. If you are very good, expect a raise and a chance to earn a promotion.  If you are average, or less, no one is going to be in a hurry to hire you.

That is reality.

Something To Do Today

Keep a list of every job you apply for.  Also list how well qualified you are for the job.  Take a reality check.  Are you over qualified, well qualified, barely qualified, or under qualified?  Keeping honest track of that answer will help you if your job hunt takes longer than you expect.

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