Tag Archives: reality

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.


Tomorrow:     Double your value, make more money

Later:              Surveys

Please discriminate against me

How to get a friend a job

How To Be Imperfect and Highly Paid

My daughter Merrilee has Down Syndrome and is low functioning within that group.  My son James got a perfect score on the SAT Advanced Calculus II college entrance exam.  Each can do things the other can’t.  We look at James and say, “He can do anything!”   No, he can’t.  He doesn’t have the patience his sister does.  They have different realities and infinite possibilities.

The highly paid people I recruit all know their strengths and weaknesses.  When I call up their references, every reference lists the same strengths and weaknesses the candidate lists.  Often the poorly paid people give me a list of strengths and weaknesses that bear no resemblance to what their references think.

Really knowing your strengths and weaknesses allows you to do three things:

  1. Play to your strength
  2. Get someone to cover for your weaknesses
  3. Turn your weakness into a strength

Stephen Cannell flunked three grades in school.  He is severely dyslexic. He can’t write readably. He also won two Emmy awards for his writing. He created 40 television shows and 6 novels.  He has learned to compensate for his severe problem. He plays to his greatest strengths, creating fun characters and complex plots. His assistants translate his unreadable typing into the words he wanted to put on paper.

Figure out what your talents really are.  Do you have one or two real weaknesses that prevent you from exploiting that talent?  Find a way to compensate.  Get help. Find out what others have done to overcome that weakness.  You may have to adequately do the part of the job that the weakness prevents you from doing excellently. Better yet, can you get someone else to help with your weakness?

No one can do everything.  Figure out what help you need to achieve your dreams.

Something To Do Today

Take an aptitude test and a personality test.  Free ones are available at your local Job Center.  Some are available online.

Do you know anyone who would dare to tell you what your real strengths and weaknesses are?  Ask them.

Make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses.  Are you exploiting your best qualities?