And The Hardest Thing About Looking For A Job Is…

I think it’s important for those of us with employment who are in the business of helping others look for work, to check with our clients and get their point of view. So today I’m throwing a fairly basic question out to you the person looking for work; “What’s the hardest thing you experience in looking for work?”

I could speculate myself on this, based on my dealings with the large number of clients that I see on a daily basis, and believe me I think I have a pretty accurate idea of the major barriers. However, checking assumptions and asking the questions is relevant and important in order to remain consistently helpful. It’s just not good enough in my opinion to go forward basing my workshops, instruction, guidance and counselling based on past assumptions.

So here’s some ideas to get you thinking, but you are more than welcome to add ideas not presented here. These are not meant to confine a discussion to those in a list, but rather to spur conscious thought. I’d really like it if you would go so far as to make a comment on what’s hard for you, or if you are employed but work with helping others to find employment as do I, weigh in on what your clients tell you for the benefit of all.

If you would be so kind, make your comment or feedback at the source which is You might have to paste that into your browser. Thanks!

Some barriers:

Transportation: Getting around to drop off all those applications, networking meetings and interviews
Interviewing: Some people just don’t have the comfort and the skills to do this well.
Good Resume: Does your resume market you the way it should and get you interviews or not?
Attitude: Staying positive is challenging when rejections mounts
Drive: It’s hard to maintain momentum day in and day out.
Direction: Maybe you’re feeling the heat to have it all figured out, and you still don’t.
Education: Whether it’s grade 12 or University, your education isn’t what it needs to be.
Experience: Not enough. How can you get experience if nobody gives you a chance?
Volunteering: Somebody told you that volunteer work should be on your resume; but you’ve got none.
References: Perhaps you have poor references or none whatsoever.
Left On Bad Terms: If you were fired or terminated with or without just cause, how do you deal with that?
Childcare: Practically speaking, how do you look for work with pre-school kids in tow?
Support: Nobody wants to hear your story, or is there to help you out.
Basic Needs: Hard to keep up your stamina without eating properly.
Housing: Without a home, you’re splitting energy between both housing and job searches.
Pride: Maybe you’re not willing to take a job with lower pay than the last job you had?
Responsibilities: Maybe you feel you can’t take a job with lower pay than the job you last had?
Rejection: It’s easier maybe to avoid rejection altogether if you don’t apply for anything.
Pressure: The spouse, mom and dad, siblings, kids; everybody is on my back!
Addictions: Your alcohol and/or other drug dependency derails your job searching.
Gaps: You haven’t worked in years, and don’t know how to best respond to this problem.
Fear: You’ve never found it hard to get a job; what if you never do?
Age: You’re viewed as too young and inexperienced; your too old and set in your ways.
Health: You’ve got issues that prevent you from job searching full-time.
Criminal Record: Some past offence keeps you from passing the final test – a criminal records check.
Language: You’re not bilingual or English is your second language
History: Unemployment is the norm with your family and friends. Breaking out is hard.
Minority: You feel your lack of success os because of your skin colour and others prejudices.
Sexual Orientation: You’re not getting fairly considered based on your gender.
Clothing: You don’t have the clothes to make the right first impression.
Identification: You have no ID, or some key pieces are missing.
Job Hopping: You’ve got too many short-term jobs on your resume and worry about that.
Hope: Your losing hope more and more and depression is creeping in.
Supplies: You haven’t got the paper, pens, portfolios, computer etc. to job search.
Literacy: Reading and writing are a challenge and your spelling is weak.
Computer Skills: You don’t know how to use them or have very limited skills.
Technology Challenged: Don’t have an email, don’t know how to attach a resume to one etc.

The above list is just a sample of some of the issues and barriers that many people have. Your personal list and the one that you would describe as your key problem may or may not be on this list. Aside from commenting back to me with what you find to be your chief problem, may I suggest that while it may be hard to put in black and white what your issues are, (especially when your list is longer than you would like) it is a good start to really identifying where you need the most help. An Employment Advisor, Job Counsellor or Job Coach can help you in prioritizing how to start addressing some of your issues, and then as you check off your barriers, your personal self-esteem will rise.

All the best and THANK YOU for feedback!


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