“Beautiful day today isn’t it?”
“Yeah but their calling for rain later this week.”
“Heard you got a new car. That must be nice.”
“Not as nice as you’d think, now I’ve got monthly payments to make.”

Can you spot the negativity in the conversation between two people above? Do you know anyone who strikes you as a generally pessimistic or negative person? You know, someone who can always find the downside of situations or warn of impending doom to come? I’m willing to bet that you know or have known at least one if not a few people who too easily could be described as pessimistic.

While everyone is entitled to their opinion, it can be disheartening and discouraging to have to work with a pessimistic person on a regular basis. Sometimes it can even feel like that person is pulling a project in the wrong direction or hoping it will fail somehow just to justify their low expectations. For the rest of the people who are banking on success and optimistic as they go about their work, this kind of person can be anything from mildly annoying to openly hostile.

Now here’s a question for you to ponder. Do you yourself come across to others as being a pessimist, either in specific situations or perhaps in general? If the answer to that question is yes, do you enjoy that role? What if anything do you derive from being a pessimist and how do your co-workers interact with you? And finally, you’ve got to ask yourself if you want to continue to be pessimistic or whether you’d rather come across as optimistic as you go about your work and interacting with others.

Being pessimistic means you’ve got this gloomy outlook; you expect things to fail. I’ve heard people say that by having low expectations and expecting failure all the time, you can only be pleasantly surprised if things turn out good, but if they fail, you expected it and aren’t disappointed. In my opinion, that’s a sad and very unhealthy attitude.

Make no mistake about it, you could find that this kind of prevalent attitude can be a career killer, or at least limit your opportunities; opportunities you may one day dearly wish you could take advantage of. In other words, it’s in your own best interests NOT to be a pessimist, aside from the general climate you create for others working with you.

People in upper management often have to share their visions for the organization, establish goals to be aimed at, develop mission statements and come up with values that the company strives to live up to. In order to do this overall, these become guiding principles that drive day-to-day actions from employees. Get everyone on board pulling in the same direction and the customer or client experience starts to then view the company in a homogenous way and the branding experience is consistent.

If on the other hand you were to go about your work with low expectations, interacting with customers and clients expecting things to fail etc., you’d likely be creating doubt in their minds about their own association with your organization, and they may seek out partnerships and investments with others who are generally more positive and optimistic about the future.

Now don’t misconstrue a pessimist with a realist. A realist generally looks at things factually. String together a series of facts and the outcome is predictable as they view it. That outcome may be positive or not, but they see outcomes based on the facts as they come to be known. So their expectation of what the weather will be for the company picnic this coming weekend is based on weather forecasts from trusted and informed sources. If it doesn’t look good to them, they base that view on the best information they can gather. The pessimist anticipates poor weather without really checking, or may expect rain even when forecasts don’t call for it.

The optimist view of the above scenario would be to hope for the best even if a forecast calls for rain, but it doesn’t mean they show up without taking precautions like bringing umbrella’s or arranging alternative sheltered locations just in case. You can still be optimistic but intelligent after all.

If you have aspirations of supervising people one day, know that most companies will steer clear of placing pessimistic people in positions of influence and leadership. Who wants to work for the gloomy boss who expects the worst all the time and goes about their job everyday with that outlook?

The most important thing to realize is that you have the ability to choose how you come across to others. It’s up to you what words leave your mouth, what facial expressions you put out to the world, what comments you write when asked for your input.

It costs so little to be more optimistic when the returns can be so enormous. Smile a little more, if you’ve nothing but bad things to contribute bite your tongue. You can still be cautious and point out things to be wary of without predicting doom and gloom consistently. You may find a change not only in your own outlook on things but, also a change in who you attract in those around you.

And by chance you’ve had this put before you by persons unknown, it’s possible someone is hopeful you’ll consider a change.

Your Resume; Too Early To Think About 2015?

As it’s now the mid-point of October, the calendar will roll into 2015 in 2 1/2 months. Now is the time to start thinking therefore about the connection between that event and your resume.

So why now you ask? Well if you are unemployed at the moment, or your hopes of landing a job different from the one you have at present haven’t been yet fulfilled, it could be that your resume isn’t as strong as it could be. One of the reasons might be a lack of current training, experience that’s too far in the past, and even a lack of references. In short, you need to do something about these situations instead of just putting the same resume with the same issues in front of different employers and hoping.

Those 2 1/2 months are going to come and go pretty quickly; you have a chance at the moment to look into upgrading some of your current skills therefore, or acquiring new ones. Whether it’s a night course at a College or Adult Education Centre, returning to school part-time or full-time, or even taking short-term courses like First Aid training, you should look into these things now.

Okay for starters, let’s say you’re only interested in taking a WHMIS class, a First Aid and CPR course or getting your SMARTSERVE certification (responsible alcohol service). If you look into those courses now, you might find places running those programs within a month or two, and you can update your resume before the end of the year. This gives you the chance to hit 2015 with valid, current certification on resume; ahead of others who are waiting to start fresh in the new year.

On the other hand, suppose it’s a return to school you are considering, possibly including night classes, part-time or full-time. If you wait until January to look into these things, you might find courses started in January and you missed the chance. Now you might have to wait until late Spring or early Summer admissions open up. Many orientations and admissions are going on now or have in fact already been done and you might already be too late. Surprised? Don’t be. Those institutions plan things in advance, need to get people registered, hire the teaching faculty, give administration time to hand out funding applications, review the applications they receive and notify students.

The goal here is simple and straight forward; you want a stronger resume as soon as possible in 2015 that demonstrates to an employer you’ve got recent and current academic experience. Why then wait for 2015 to be here before you look into upgrading which could take a big chunk of the year before you can say you’ve successfully passed a class? Don’t think it too much of a stretch to get in a class now and not even complete it until 2016 or 2017 depending on the course and how many classes you can handle at once. Yep, act now and you might have a good resume for the year 2017!

But what if a return to school isn’t in your plans? Could be that what you lack is experience. Your faced with that problem of not getting hired because you lack experience but you lack experience because no one will hire you. That’s not a new problem; people long before now have faced and overcome this problem.

A couple of suggestions to get experience on your resume quickly come to mind. First and foremost, volunteer your time with a non-profit organization. While it might be best to volunteer doing something exactly like the job you are looking for eventually, it can also be rewarding to volunteer with an organization who has a good reputation and is supported by the company or companies you wish to eventually apply to. If you can demonstrate that the skills you acquired in your volunteer position are transferable to the job you eventually want to apply to, this can help you feel your time isn’t being wasted, and it will strengthen both your resume and those previously tough interview questions.

The second suggestion is to take what one of my colleagues calls a, ‘survival job’. This would be short-term work outside your desired field that puts the present on your resume, raises your self-esteem, gives you some pocket-money, and strengthens the resume. Survival jobs could be taking a seasonal retail job in the mall when your long-term goal is actually working as an Addictions Counsellor. Maybe you see your future behind the wheels of an 18 wheeler, but for now you apply to work in a factory producing nuts and bolts.

These two suggestions; volunteering and a survival job, put 2014 on your resume, and if you are still there as the calendar rolls over, in January you have 2015 on your resume when others won’t have that luxury. That could be your edge in 2 1/2 months time over others. Employers like applicants with recent training, work history, education and experience. This demonstrates to them that you are used to routines, are dependable, and ‘work ready’.

So visit a school on-line or in person, meet a Guidance Counsellor for advice. Look into volunteering in your neighbourhood and offer your time. Contact a First Aid provider and get certified as a responder because that can be useful anywhere. Do any of the above or some other upgrading but do something and get going on it now!

Did I mention that now is the time to get going?

What Day On The Calendar Is THE Best Day To Jobsearch?

You want to increase the odds of eventually getting hired right? I mean if you’re going to invest some time in finding the right job, applying for it, going to an interview and then living the dream, why wouldn’t you want to know which day on the calendar will give you the greatest chance of reaching your goal?

I’ll give you a hint; it ends with the letters, ‘d-a-y. Is it Friday? Wednesday? Thursday, Tuesday or Monday? Perhaps. The answer depends on what day it is right now of course, because the answer is T-O-D-A-Y. Today. Close in pronunciation to ‘Tuesday’, but without the ‘s’ sound. And the word, ‘today’ doesn’t sound at all like ‘tomorrow’ does it? No. And that’s why today is the best day to get going and tomorrow is a poor choice. The only day worse than ‘tomorrow’ to get going on your job search is ‘some day’ or even possibly, ‘one day’.

Come on, you know yourself better than anyone else. ‘Tomorrow’ is likely to depend largely on how motivated you are when you wake up in the morning, and if your recent past is any indication, tomorrow you’ll have about as much enthusiasm to get going and get serious as you had this morning.

HOW you get started isn’t as important really as just starting. Depending on your individual circumstances, you’ll start this job search perhaps at a different spot than other people you know. Could be that you’ve already got your resume and know the kind of work you are after. Or it could be that you’ve got no resume or a very outdated version of one, and you’ve little idea of exactly what it is you want to do. And not to be forgotten, you could be receiving a nice income like severance pay and just lack the financial motivation at this point to get going. Everybody starts job searching at a different place.

So how do I possibly begin to advise you personally on where to start? I can’t. I’d have to hear you tell me where you are at. Like anything worth having though, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ultimately succeed without putting forth some effort on your part. When was the last time employers went door-to-door looking for potential employees? Well they don’t. So if they aren’t going to come knocking on your door with job offers, it stands to reason you’ll need to go to them.

Okay but again where to start? Well you could randomly knock on every employers door in your city or town and hope they just happen to have a job you’d be qualified for that you’d actually enjoy doing that would actually pay you a decent wage. What are the odds on that happening? Low I agree. This is the strategy used most by those who have identified, “anything” as their career of choice. Saying, “I’ll do anything”, is one of the biggest problems you’ll have if you want to be successful; no one knows exactly what you’d really be happy or qualified doing, so they can’t really keep an eye out for the right job for you, so they don’t bother at all.

One place you could start if you haven’t done so already, is identify what your strengths are. If you like analogies, you don’t go into battle without knowing the strength of your forces, and if you are into sports, you don’t win a lot unless you know the capabilities of your players and what their strengths are. So what are you good at? What education do you have? Special certificates? How mobile are you? Are you willing to move? What past work experience have you got? What did you enjoy and loathe in past jobs? Take an inventory.

Next, let’s look at your weaknesses or liabilities. Your list might include: criminal record, anxiety, depression, physical or mental health problems, low self-esteem, less than grade 12 education, out-of-date references, no experience, age issues and maybe even poor clothing choices and hygiene. Be honest. Don’t gloss over your problems when it’s only you who is taking the inventory.

So far by the way, you could do the above from the comfort of your couch while clothed in your jammies and your bunny slippers. Hey, it’s a start isn’t it?

Okay. The resume. Dust off an old one or if you haven’t even got one, start by writing down where you’ve worked and the dates. What did you do in those jobs? What did you accomplish, get praised for doing, and what skills did you have to use in that job? Where did you go to school or volunteer?

That information would be very valuable to have if I was sitting down with you and constructing a resume with you. Would you like to have someone who is good at job searching helping you out along the way so you didn’t feel so isolated? You know, someone to help you figure out the kind of jobs out there that might be good fits for someone just like you? And would it be at all helpful to have this help prepare you for interviews and fix up that resume?

Nothing will happen however. None of it. Oh unless of course you do something yourself to initiate that process. When? Why TODAY of course!

Call or drop into an Employment Resource Centre. See an Employment Counsellor or Career Advisor. It’s what we do and it might cost you absolutely nothing.

How You Deal With It Is What Counts

Whether its losing a job, a loved one, a disagreement or a promotion, how you deal with the loss is what really matters. Some people appear better equipped to deal with disappointments, moments of crisis and negative events. And if you are like me, you undoubtedly know some people whom bad news tends to immobilize for long periods of time.

If we look at minor setbacks first, such as waking up feeling tired and aching all over but not really ill, some people will get up and shower, go through the routine of getting ready for work and gather their strength on the way to work. On the other hand, some will do what’s easier at that moment of waking and call in sick and go back to bed. In neither situation is the person really ill, but the two reactions to the same situation are different. Over a period of time, whichever decision you make of the two tends to perpetuate and repeat itself; so you generally push yourself through mornings like these or you develop a pattern of satisfying the immediate urge to stay home or go in late.

Any pattern of behaviour when noted by others becomes your reputation. “Jim’s off work again today everybody”, or “I appreciate you coming in even though you’re not at your best just now.” I can tell you that there are some mornings I wake up feeling groggy, and it’s dark outside, and the bed I’m leaving is warm and part of me wants to go back to sleep. But I know that if I get up, have a cup of tea, shower and get dressed, I’m well on my way to arriving at work with energy and enthusiasm.

But let’s say your confronted with news of a more serious nature. Suppose you’ve just been told that the job you were hoping to get has been offered and accepted by someone else and your still out of work. The relief employment would have brought you is gone, and you’re under immense financial pressure to pay your bills. The strain on your mind and your self-confidence is tremendous and you’ve got to somehow find the motivation to keep looking for work when a growing part of you wants to just pack it all in. Give up or get on with it?

There’s an old saying that goes, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” That saying means that if you can struggle through adversity and problems, you’ll be better of character and have developed survivor skills in the process, making you ultimately better prepared to deal with future adversity in the end. Seems awfully appropriate in this discussion.

We’ve all experienced situations where we see two people faced with similar situations and they handle it very differently. I personally think the reason that some handle these events differently is because of how they’ve dealt with many situations in the past; and those past situations have built upon one another, in essence preparing the person to deal with the situation a certain way. From the outside, you and I might get pretty accurate predicting how a person will react to ill news based on how we’ve seen them deal with adversity in the past, even when that adversity was for minor events. Therefore, we can say how someone reacts to bad news is in or out of character.

So you won’t be the first or last person to lose a loved one, get fired, be overlooked for a promotion, have a car accident, miss a deadline or some other negative event. What is of greater significance therefore is not the event itself but how we react to the news.

Okay so take the loss of a loved one. If you are old enough to read this blog, you’ve survived childhood. People around you are going to pass away sooner or later. You’ll be confronted with such news every so often over your lifetime, and yet the world will keep turning, the sun will keep rising, and things will still need to get done. How you get through those minutes, hours, days and weeks will be unique to you, but you’re not the only one impacted. You’ll be counted on by employers to get back to work, by family members for support, possibly by your children for guidance and ‘how’ to deal with such events.

While an employer may look at a manual and say, “Your entitled to 3 days off with pay”, the human psyche doesn’t operate the same for everyone where we, ‘get over it’, or ‘deal with it’, in the same way. Some people I know who are out of work tell me they aren’t ready to look for work because they are still dealing with the loss of a parent; and the parent passed away more than a year ago. So is that a genuine impairment or as some see it a convenient excuse for not looking? Does it depend on your own inner strength, past experiences or how you’d deal with such news?

For your own mental and physical health and well-being, find ways to work through your lows. All of us experience highs and lows, good and bad; it’s HOW we deal with events that’s important. Unable to cope? Seek out counselling and share your issues with others that can help you through.

Reaching out shows others your wisdom, not your weakness.

Is Your Career All Over The Map?

Some people have those nice orderly transitions in their professional careers; you look at their resume and you can see education in a particular field followed by a work history that draws on that education. Each new job on the resume comes across as a promotion, the length of service for employers is significant and when you look at the person’s work life as a whole, everything makes perfect sense.

There are others of course who on first glance, appear to have leapfrogged from one job to another. Their education sometimes supports the job they are in and at other times you can’t help but wonder what was going on that caused them to move from job to job, in and out of fields of training and education.

Now if you are in the second situation, you can and should anticipate in any future job application that interviewers and anyone in a position of attempting to help you is going to ask you to explain and possibly defend your employment history. Can you? Can you do it confidently so by the time you are done talking you have reassured the person that you are going to stick around if hired here in the present?

I’m a strong believer in taking what you’ve got and finding the positives in your situation instead of easily gravitating to the negatives. The challenge then becomes two-fold; find the pro instead of the con, and secondly sell it with conviction. You have to believe it yourself if you are ever going to persuade someone else to share your point of view.

Okay so let’s look at the positives. For starters, an employment history that spans different fields of work provides a great perspective for the person. It certainly allows you to have an appreciation for people who work in those sectors. So if you’ve worked in factories and in retail as an example, and are now looking at working in a job that requires people skills, you can talk about being able to identify with people from different walks of life because you’ve been there. You can carry on conversations with folks from both fields, share stories, understand their motivation.

Another plus is you’ve probably worked under different kinds of supervisors in you’ve worked in various fields; some were supportive and discussed options with you and others before coming to decisions, while others made decisions and expected workers to adhere to them. This makes you adaptable and can fit in with a minimum adjustment period. That’ll be an asset over the person who perhaps only knows one way of doing things or has been used to only one style of leadership and assumes all leaders work the same way, which they don’t.

Now I myself have worked in retail, non-profits, social services, been self-employed, worked for municipal and provincial governments, worked solo and as part of a team, made budgetary decisions and work for others who made those decisions, worked in large, medium and small organizations. What I’ve done makes me very versatile, allows me to bring a multitude of perspectives to conversations and helps me identify with people from all walks of life. This isn’t a liability or something to apologize for, but rather plays to my strengths. I’m resilient, adaptable, deal well with change and I survive and thrive.

Now re-read that paragraph above. Am I just spinning a yarn or do you think that I really feel confident about my work life? Check out my LinkedIn profile please and see how all that experience gets presented there. You’ll see not only what I’ve done but why I’ve done it, what I got from each job. You find a presentation imbedded in my summary section which will open up a timeline. First of all its demonstrating my ability to use such a tool, but it also shows someone who cares to see it the reasons for all the job and career shifts and changes.

Now the key thing for dealing with a varied work history is to both market and sell yourself with confidence. Viewing yourself as a product, you need to pitch your value to a perspective employer. If you don’t sell yourself with confidence, you’ll come across as less than genuine and honesty is a desired trait that every employer shares.

Your varied background isn’t a liability but rather a strength. You can readily adapt to changes in the workplace, work productively and effectively with a variety of people from various backgrounds. Your flexibility, skills at dealing with change show a great attitude in action. You’re an asset that an organization would be fortunate to have on their payroll.

So what is your real challenge? You challenge as I see it is to convince an interviewer that at this time you are ready and willing to make a longer-term commitment and are seeking an employer where you will provide value in return. This is really going to be a partnership between you and them.

You diverse background is what sets you apart and makes you the uniquely qualified candidate that they are looking for. Don’t apologize for your resume, celebrate it and be proud of it! You’ve got a lot to offer and are looking for a position where all that past experience can be utilized.

Now this is a person I want to hire!

Who Can I Network With?

Networking; everybody promotes it these days as something people looking for work or looking to advance in their work should do. “But how do I get going? What do I say? I don’t even know what networking really is in the first place!”

Networking is having conversations with people about topics that go beyond the original reason for speaking. By way of example, you go in and buy a hammer at the hardware store and talk about two or three different styles before buying one. Essentially the clerk interviewed you to determine what your needs are, but then the sale was made and you walked out. No networking happened even though you talked to each other. Now you go back and buy a tape measure. Again he asks a few things:

“What do you need it for and how long?”
“I’m helping a neighbour frame his basement and 45′ should do it.”
“Done this kind of thing before or first time?”
“Oh yes. I’m a framer by trade; looking for full-time work actually, having recently moved to this area.”
“I might know a guy. Many contractors buy their supplies here. You should leave me your name and number.”
“I’ll do better than that. I’m just a few doors down, I’ll bring you back a resume to pass on if that’s okay.”
“Sure thing. My name is Nick. You ask for me.”

The original reason for the conversation was to buy a tape measure but you can see the conversation expanded and soon it had moved beyond a tape measure and the opportunity to talk about work and job searching was seized. Networking; a conversation where the topic went beyond the original reason for speaking.

Fair enough but who to network with? Could I suggest the answer is everybody? One of my co-workers shared a tool she came across some time ago. It’s called a FRANK list. Under each of the 5 letters in the word, “FRANK” there is a column for you to write down people you know who are a good fit in the column. ‘F’ is for Friends, ‘R’ is for Relatives, ‘A is for Acquaintances, ‘N’ is for Neighbours, and the ‘K’ is for Kids.

For the purposes of this exercise, you would write down everyone you know who should fall into one of the categories. Your Dentist, the Dental Receptionist, the Bus Driver on your route, he kid who delivers the papers, the guy at the hardware store, your mom and dad, former teachers, the neighbour two units down, EVERYBODY. At this stage what you don’t do, is mentally rule out people you know but don’t want to talk to. So yes, your ex-spouse goes down, the brother you don’t talk to, the guy who picks up your garbage etc. This is a brainstorming exercise after all at this point.

Now the natural instinct when you are out of work is to tell as few people as necessary. We don’t want our shame or unemployed status to be shared with everyone out of a sense of personal pride, but the second we get a job, we’ll be telling everyone the good news! How ironic. Ironic? Why is that ironic? It’ ironic because right now would actually be the ideal time to tell all those people we’re looking for work and put our resume in all those people’s hands! In other words, because we never know exactly where our next job will come from, it could very well come directly or indirectly from one of the people we currently know. If they don’t know we are even looking for work or what work we are looking for, how could they possibly think of us when opportunities arise that they hear of?

Now in the case of the paper boy who I mentioned earlier, ‘kids’ is the final column and I want to clarify how that column works. Don’t think for a minute I’m going to take my newspaper with my left hand and with my right hand give him my resume and say, “Hey kid, know anyone who’s hiring a Framer?” That’s funny.

Here’s what I did just two weeks ago however. I actually came home just in time to catch the new newspaper boy walking up my driveway with the paper. He introduced himself as Jack, and Jack’s mom was pulling the wagon as she walked him around on his initial delivery route. After saying hello to Jack and showing him where I’d like him to put my paper, I walked down the driveway, introduced myself to his mom, and found out they live a block over from me. Then I pulled out a business card of mine and handed it to her. Jack came and got the next paper and walked to the next house while we too chatted about what she did and my job.

Now just imagine that scene if I was looking for work. I’d be seizing that chance to tell the woman what I was looking for in terms of a job, and instead of my business card, I’d be putting a resume in her hands and asking her to keep me in mind if she hears of anything be it an actual job or a lead. And I’d be friendly, smiling, and trying to make a good impression on the paper boy’s mom. How do I know her husband isn’t a contractor, or she herself isn’t a contractor? Bet you hadn’t thought of that possibility!

Sharing The Dark Truth With A Potential Employer

One of the activities a colleague of mine and I set out to complete with some job searchers yesterday was to have participants in our job seeking group make cold calls. The format was fairly straight forward in that we had a talk first about who they were calling, what they were attempting to achieve by making the call, and then we sat beside them and listened in while they phoned. After making a call, we’d debrief.

A teachable moment that I’d like to share happened with the first person to place such a call. The scenario was that our job hunter had compiled a list of companies that provided interior sprinkler installations and was attempting to see whom of the numerous companies was possibly hiring.

As I sat there listening in, I noticed first that the companies he was calling were small operations with some being no more than a single person, and all seemed to have less than 10 employees. The odds on getting through to people who actually do the hiring were pretty high therefore. Right off the bat I saw he’d been listening to advice given earlier and had his pen, paper, resume, calendar and references all at hand. This would allow him to refer to anything he’d need were he to say have a phone interview immediately; and that’s what happened.

First thing he asked for the name of the person he was speaking with and I observed him to write it down. That small thing is critical as more information would be shared back and forth and the name might get lost and forgotten as the call went on. As the conversation went back and forth, him asking if the company was hiring and explaining his credentials, I heard two things that you might also find interesting of note.

All of a sudden my job-seeker said, “41” which I took to be in answer to a question about his age. Now this is an illegal question here in Canada when considering someone for employment, but you can’t make someone not ask the question, and once asked, you have to be prepared to respond in some way. The callers reaction to, “41” was apparently to say he himself was 50 years old, so that wasn’t a problem. Whew! First hurdle passed.

But the real difficult thing came next. From the facial expression which all of a sudden became strained, and the body language which showed some discomfort, I could see from my end that this job-seeker was about to share something that he found uncomfortable. What could it be? Then I heard him say, “If it’s just the same I’d prefer to drive my own car for the first few months.” Pause noted while the person at the other end must have asked, “Why?” Then the bombshell hit as he replied, “Well I have a DUI (drinking under the influence) charge and I’ve got a breathing device hooked up to my car.”

For those of you not familiar with this device, what it does is force the driver to blow into it whenever entering the car. The car won’t start if the person’s breath has alcohol detected, and it digitally records all attempts. Each month, he has to at his own expense, pay for this service, have the machine examined, and in this way, he’s allowed behind the wheel. Don’t drink and you’ve got no problem and you’re still mobile.

Okay so he’s laid everything bare and exposed his darkest secret and is now at the mercy of the potential employer who up to this point has seemed interested enough in him to have this impromptu telephone interview. So what happened next? The guy at the other end replied, “That’s okay, I’ve had two DUI’s.” Then there was some commiserating and nervous laughter as this job-seeker realized his huge barrier to employment wasn’t a major issue for this employer.

As it turns out, he landed himself an in-person interview in the next few days. And when he goes to that interview, there are two things he doesn’t have to stress about: his age and his police record. In three months, the device will be no longer required assuming all goes well, and he’ll be able to drive the company vehicles like any other employee. Now he can concentrate on other aspects of the interview like his credentials and experience. For him, this is a major relief.

Now suppose it had gone badly and the employer had told him that this was a major problem and he couldn’t hire him. I really believe it’s better this information be determined now either way. After all, why get his hopes up, spend his time and gas money driving to an interview only to then find out the charge is a job killer? As things stand now, he’s got a fighting chance at a potential job, and it will come down to his experience, skills and attitude etc.

Not always therefore, but yes sometimes getting the one thing you most dread out early can play to your favour. He came across as honest, expressed regret at being in the situation and the pressure he was feeling about being judged and rejected for this mistake has been lifted.

If you have a major barrier to employment, consider this as an option to be used in your attempts to land employment. He could pack things in and not job search for three months, but he isn’t.