Since we’re apparently in the mood to chastise people this month (what’s that they say about March coming in like a lion?) let’s continue on with another set of tough questions — this time related to the subject of “making assumptions” in the job search process. In addition to the occasional lapse of follow-through on networking leads, we’ve also seen a few too many people cause themselves a lot of pain, and frustration, by wading out into the job market armed with a number of logical (but wholly inaccurate) assumptions in their head about the job hunting and career transition process.
For example, if you’re in active job search mode, we’d urge you to ask yourself the following questions:
— Are you assuming your job search will only take a few months, at most, and are therefore failing to budget accordingly with your family or adjust your spending habits?
— Are you assuming that your friends, colleagues, and contacts clearly understand the type of job you’re looking for and are doing everything they can to assist you?
— Are you assuming your interviewing skills are up to snuff because you’ve never seemed to have a problem landing jobs in the past and/or because you’re used to interviewing other people, yourself?
— Are you assuming that your resume doesn’t have any typos in it? Or that companies have received your resume, even when you haven’t received an official confirmation back from them?
— Are you assuming that the compensation level you’re targeting is reasonable, and achievable, simply because that’s the amount of money you were paid in your previous position?
— Are you assuming that certain companies don’t have an appropriate opportunity available for you, simply because you don’t see an appropriate advertisement on their website?
These kinds of assumptions, and many more we could list, are perfectly understandable when one considers the human brain’s desire to categorize things, reduce unnecessary expenditures of energy, and find ways to avoid the unpleasantries of rejection. Take it from us, however. As much as people may think they can analyze the job market, and make accurate predictions about the above sorts of issues and how long their search campaign will take, these seemingly “logical” assumptions are often little more than comforting illusions. We’ve been doing this work a long time at Career Horizons, and despite the constant temptation to “assume” we know exactly how the job market works, we encounter surprises every day in terms of the relative success and failure of certain candidates — and therefore encourage our clients to guard against this same unproductive tendency, as well!