Look At Every Available Option To Land A Job

by Salpeter, Miriam Monday, November 09, 2009
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I recently watched 20/20. A very interesting show with the authors of Superfreakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. James Altucher from the Wall Street Journal writes:

SuperFreakonomics,” by the economist Steven Levitt and writer Stephen Dubner, is not only a book with mind-blowing ideas, innovative research and quality investigative journalism, it’s also a story about creativity and what it takes to get the mindset to turn conventional concepts upside down.

(Follow the link to learn more about the book. Suffice to say they have some pretty outrageous ideas and suggestions for solving problems. For example, to alleviate global warming, send a hose into the sky. Really.)

The point is that they are clearly thinking “outside of the box.” Let’s say their ideas would blow box wrappers away!

What does this have to do with you?

More often than not, I believe that job seekers with the gumption to see beyond the obvious are the ones who land the jobs. Several points struck me when I was watching this story on 20/20. I tweeted them (see below). Coincidentally, these tweets came right after I shared a link to Harry Urschel’s post listing reasons job seekers often give for not getting the job.

Look at every available options to solve your problem - another good idea for #jobseekers from #20/20's piece on global warming!
about 11 hours ago from TweetDeck

Forget about what you want to be true - also good advice for #jobseekers. Quote on #20/20 from Freakonomics author.
about 11 hours ago from TweetDeck

RT @GLHoffman: RT @eExecutives: Why Can't YOU Get a Job? http://short.to/d1rk
about 11 hours ago from web

Harry Urschel (@eExecutives) notes: “I regularly hear people tell me that they can’t get a job because:

I’m too old and face age discrimination.
I’m too young and companies are hiring older more experienced people.
I don’t have a degree.
I’m over qualified with my graduate degree.
They are only hiring men.
They are only hiring women.
I have physical restrictions.
Companies want more experience with a particular skill.
Companies don’t want much experience these days.
I have too many jobs on my resume.
I’ve been at one company too long.
Companies are only hiring consultants.
Companies are focused on diversity, and I’m not “diverse”.
I’m a minority and face discrimination.
It’s a “Good Old Boys” network, and I’m not a “Good Old Boy”.
...and many, many more.


He goes on:

After 23 years in the executive search business, I can honestly tell you that many of the traditional barriers that used to be common, are all but gone. “Conventional Wisdom” about age, or race, disability, or sex discrimination just don’t exist anywhere near where they used to even 10 or 20 years ago. Certainly there are instances where it occurs, however, they are isolated and rare. Most people that are convinced that they are being singled out though, “find” discrimination, or negative business reasons everywhere.

Even more interesting, Harry comments:

In fact, for almost any person that gives a reason why they cannot get hired, you can find another person with the same circumstances that got a job. It may take more effort. It may take a different approach. However, the biggest stumbling block to getting a job is often the mindset of the seeker.


Be sure to read his full post using the link above.

This reminds me a lot of my friend Stephanie A. Lloyd’s post, “75 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job.” An excerpt:

You laughed too much.
You didn’t show a sense of humor.
You talked too loud.
You talked too softly.
You seemed arrogant.
You didn’t show enough confidence.
You were late.
You arrived *way* too early.
Your resume is too long.
Your resume is too short.
Your hair is too long.
Your hair is too short.

Hmm...Can’t win, can you? The fact is, there is no perfect job search technique. We coaches suggest best practices, advise what not to do, but there is really no magic wand...no silver bullet.

So – back to Freakonomics...Are you looking at EVERY AVAILABLE OPTION? Are you FORGETTING WHAT YOU WANT TO BE TRUE? Think about it...Let me know what you are doing and thinking!