Telling It Like It Is


Sorry if it sounds rather blunt, but there are certain jobs in this world you just aren’t cut out for. This statement is I’m guessing coming as no big surprise. Together, you and I can probably come up with many jobs that are way beyond what you’re qualified to do; an Astronaut, Nuclear Technician, Rocket Scientist, Head of the United Nations. No problem agreeing these jobs are way beyond your ability to obtain. Am I right?

However, where you might take an issue with me and/or with other professionals in your community that are in a position to give you employment coaching advice,  is that there are other kinds of jobs you’re likely never to get either; jobs closer to home; jobs you think you have a shot at. I’m here to tell you…you don’t.

“Now hang on a second”, you say. “Aren’t you supposed to be encouraging me? Be positive? Tell me I can be anything I put my mind to?” Well, that may be what mom and dad told you years ago; might even be what you’re hearing from people who want you to like them now. The blunt truth however is that there are some jobs you think you’ve got a good shot at that you, uh, well…don’t. It’s never going to happen. The odds are so stacked against you and you’re deluding yourself if you think you’ve got a legitimate shot at getting these jobs. Sorry, but there it is.

Now why would I or any other person in the employment coaching business tell you something that appears on the surface to be callous, hurtful and just plain mean? Believe it or not, it may just be to help you avoid putting in a lot of effort, time and money and ultimately being discouraged, frustrated and in debt. After all, if I encouraged you to go after a job for a couple of years with no success and then you came to the realization yourself that it wasn’t going to happen for you, the last thing you’d want me to then say is, “Yeah I’ve known all along you didn’t have a smidge of a chance but I decided to let you find that out for yourself.”

You see, were I to meet you and sit down for a few conversations with you, I’d start assessing you right from the moment I laid eyes on you. (You by the way would be doing exactly the same thing of me so don’t say you wouldn’t judge me like I’m judging you.) I’d be sizing up your first impression on me, listening to your language skills, determining your listening skills, check your written language skills. I’d inquire about your education level, aspirations, what you’ve done in the past, whether you had a licence to drive, a vehicle, criminal convictions. I look at your clothes, ask about your wardrobe, what you’re interested in, how much or little you’re prepared to work etc. And these are just for starters.

What I – and others like me – am really doing is listening to what you say you want in the future, contrasting it with your present reality, and then assessing the gulf between the two. How likely is it therefore that you who wants to work in some capacity with people is likely to be successful with your attitude, patience (or lack of it), listening skills and your commitment to go to school and get some formal education in the field you want to work in?

What I’d also want to learn is why you have failed in the past to achieve whatever goals you’ve had; assuming in the past you’ve had some goals for yourself at all. Here’s what might come as a shocker to you: The single biggest obstacle to realizing success (whatever that represents for you personally), isn’t the economy. Nor is it demanding employers, the time of year, the floundering dollar, or anything else you can point to, ‘out there’. The single biggest obstacle to realizing success is you. There; I’ve said it. Get all worked up and your nose out of joint if you want, but there it is…you.

Conversely, when you are successful in obtaining whatever job is in fact within your capability of getting, you alone are deserving of all the credit in doing so too. It’s a two-way street. So give me some credit for giving you the credit. Even if you work with an Employment Coach or Counsellor and they teach you all kinds of new things that you put into action and get a job because of it, you alone made the decision to accept that help, use those techniques, and you alone went to that interview and you alone impressed enough to get offered a job. A job I say, that is within your abilities.

Here’s an easy thing to ask and a hard thing to do. If you are working with a professional, ask them right at the start to be honest with you. Be prepared if you do, to hear things that you might otherwise take offence to or want to argue. Let their words sink in and reflect on their words for a day or two. They may or may not be right of course, but you still need to check out what it is about you that is giving off whatever impression they are receiving. All the best.

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