You are not trying to get the job of “minion” or “muscle”. Don’t pretend that exploiting your life experience is wrong. It is not the same as shoving a gun in someone’s face and asking for their wallet.
The real reason most people don’t want to exploit their advantages is that they “want to stand on their own two feet”. It is a lovely macho phrase that means little. Our society, families and personal lives all rest on the shoulders of those who came before us. Admit that no matter what you do, others have helped you. Get on with using the advantages that parents, teachers, friends, clergy and God have given you.
Here are some excuses to fail and reasons to exploit a few of your advantages.
- I will not exploit my family connections to get a job.
Acorns don’t fall far from the tree. Employers need reliable hires. Getting someone from a good family is a much better bet than hiring a complete stranger. If they can’t hire you, but they suggest someone else hire you, they get brownie points from that other person. They win as much as you do.
- My friends are too close to my heart for me to ask them for help.
If your friends object to helping you get a job, they don’t trust you with THEIR reputation. If you are going to let them down, you are not a friend. If they trust you and you will follow through, helping is what builds friendships.
- I refuse to manipulate their emotions.
People always hire based on emotion. Always. Even if no one talks to you and they only give you a paper test, they hire on emotion. Paper tests are put together based on what people FEEL will give them the best employee. Your pay will be based on emotion – how well they FEEL you will do. Promotions are based on emotion – how do they FEEL you will do in the new job. Don’t be dishonest. Don’t be an actor. Tell the truth simply. The emotions behind the truth will help you Use them.
- Inviting them to lunch is brown nosing and sucking up.
Actually it is called networking. In many companies senior partners and executives can be fired for not having lunch with enough different people. They are evaluated on lunch. Literally.
- I won’t tell them I left because I was sick. I don’t want their sympathy.
You are fine now and it is relevant to understand your resume. If it will substantially help you get the job, tell them. Talk to a couple of job experts and get their opinion. If it will help, exploit it.
- I want the job, but I don’t feel right pressing them to choose me.
Aaargh! They want to hire the person with the best attitude. They want the person who will work the hardest. They want someone who they can promote. They want someone who is excited. They want to hire the hungriest person. How can they tell that about you unless you keep asking them, “When will you decide?”, and, “When can I start?”
- It is greedy asking for more money.
If the offer is very good, take it. Don’t argue. Otherwise, ask for more money. If you really are worth it, get the money. If they pay you more, you will be less likely to leave for another job because of more pay. They win too.
- Taking this job to get experience, when I plan to leave later, is wrong.
Hiring and training you does cost money. Companies that invest that money have already figured out how to profit from it. They will either give you a raise and promotion, or expect you to leave. They will make money. You won’t cost them a thing.
- I’m a veteran, but it is not fair to use that to get a job.
The leadership, teamwork, calmness under fire, discipline and fortitude veterans develop is uncommon. Bring it up.
Your life experience makes a difference. Whatever that experience is. You need to use it and exploit it.
Something To Do Today
Think about your job search. Just think. And then take notes about your conclusions.
For 2 weeks: Zen and the art of getting a job
Monday: Measure and maul
Later: Making a silk purse
Why you aren’t paid what you are worth
A man dying of thirst
Diamond in the rough
Cleat marks up your back