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  • David Still

Thoughts on Two Job Myths

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

Myth 1: No one wants to hire someone that is unemployed.

Thank goodness this is not really the case and that more people are coming around to realizing this. The hiring manager that truly believes this is one that you do not want to work for.

Anyone who reduces the complexity of people, the marketplace, and life’s multitude of circumstances to hard and fast, black and white rules is someone better left to manage someone else. Consider yourself lucky they overlooked you so you can get to the more well-adjusted hiring manager and organization that will give you the growth opportunity you are seeking.

In November 2020, I think we all realize that anything can happen. And “anything” is often not good. So many people are laid off these days for a plethora of reasons having nothing to do with their job performance or ability to blend well with corporate culture.

In our current era, which is characterized by technology acceleration, globalization, voluminous M&A activity and often over-inflated corporate Wall Street expectations, employees can easily find themselves on the unlucky side of change. It is just the way it is nowadays, and few need any further explanation. And to think I have not even mentioned something like a once in a century pandemic.

So, if you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed, take a deep breath, exhale and then move on. Life goes on and so will you.

Myth 2: You must match all job requirements within a job description.

It has generally been well-documented that this is, indeed, a myth but I cannot resist sharing a few of my own thoughts on this given that it is a real pet-peeve of mine.

If you can get to, say, 65% alignment with a job description, I would move forward and try your luck. You may be thinking: “This is is not even hitting the often referenced 80/20 rule.” And you would be right. But I still say move forward. The reason? The reason is similar to some of the rationale that I provided in debunking myth 1: People in positions of power tend to want to over-play their hand and demand more from people or the marketplace than is necessary or that they deserve. It is natural to want it all when you think you can demand it all but thinking this way does not make it so.

To be clear, most job descriptions are “perfect world” descriptions of the skills and attributes that a candidate would possess if every wish on the wish list were checked-off. The term often used for such candidates is “purple squirrel” because they are generally as difficult to find as a purple squirrel.

The name of the game for you is to always give yourself the greatest chance to progress to the next stage in the hiring process. If you feel you are genuinely approximating a 6.5 or 7 grade out of 10, then by all means put your best/ honest cover letter and resume together and take your shot. The operative word here is honest. If you feel you honestly could perform well in the role, move forward. If not, then do not.

Again, almost no one is going to fully match the full job description. Life is tough enough. Let the recruiter(s) or hiring manager(s) disqualify you if you are genuinely not qualified for the role; you don’t need to screen yourself out via your own insecurities or baked-in biases.

Often, if you are indeed, say, a 7 out of 10 on the perfect list, the hiring powers that be will recognize this and realize that perfect should not get in the way of a real solid, strong candidate. You will adapt and grow into the strong and competent brown squirrel they really need.

Please see the following links for similar videos we feel identify additional myths.

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