Think You May Lose Your Job?


There are several reasons you might find yourself thinking more often about losing your job. Has your company been downsizing and your seniority eroding so quickly your long-held belief that it couldn’t happen to you is eroding right along with it?

Maybe it’s restructuring, poor performance on your part, a change in Supervisor and it’s pretty clear they want to clear house and hire their own people or for some reason, the boss you knew and liked has changed and their new behaviours and actions have given you reason for concern. There are many reasons you see, for being worried about your employment. So what’s a person supposed to do?

For starters, and this is nothing really new, find your resume and start updating it with all the training, additional education and employment you’ve had since you last looked at it. Open up that drawer of certificates you’ve earned at work, or that computer file with the courses you’ve taken. Now is the time to get those things on your resume; and take these certificates home!

Why now? Okay let’s get to the worst case scenario. Suppose some people come to your work area today about 15 minutes before your lunch and tell you that you’re being let go. Suppose too they tell you they are here to walk you out, that your things will be boxed up and ready for you to pick up in a couple of days. You’re to take nothing but your coat, your lunch and they’ve brought backup just in case by the looks of it.

Not very nice I admit, but my point is to make it clear that you may not have the time to get things before the axe falls. Oh and by the way, employer’s walk you out not because they feed off the power of humiliating you, but rather they want to protect their assets, and emotional employees (and you will be) sometimes don’t act fully rationally, nor do employers and employees always agree on who owns what. While your personal photos and knick-knacks are clearly yours, other things that aren’t so clear might be materials you created on behalf of the employer, USB sticks, cell phones, personal computers, keys, access cards, etc. Yes, the escorted walk out off the property might be embarrassing but it could have you later wishing you’d taken the time to gather your things personally.

So it comes down to two things; is your looming departure beyond or within your control? If you feel your performance is the cause for your worry, then you must ask yourself if you’re interested and motivated enough to change your ways and up your performance. If you don’t care whether they fire you or not and you plan on behaving exactly the way you have been, that’s your call.

Now, another thing to consider is whether you’re up for a personal, closed door chat with the boss. Knowing where you stand is important for many people; even when the news is bad, a lot of people actually feel better knowing the situation they are truly in rather than stressing over the situation they think they might be in. You might not be called on to use your imagination much at work, but it will be working overtime creating all kinds of possible scenario’s in your mind until you know the truth of where things are.

Why does imminent loss of employment worry people so? Well it’s more than just the loss of a job. It’s the loss of a reputation, the loss of an identity as an employee and whatever your job title is at the moment. It’s financial worry too, and depending on your age and job prospects, it could have you fearing your days of having an ongoing income are done if you lose this job. When you fear this, you fear the future and however you imagined it is now in jeopardy.  There’s also the stigmatism of telling family and friends or doing what some do; leaving for work as usual but having no job to go to while they job search so they can avoid upsetting others in the hopes they’ll get another job immediately.

When you really feel the axe could fall any day now, best to start taking home whatever personal possessions you’ve got in the workplace. The last thing you want is to suddenly recall 4 weeks after being let go, some item you believe you left at work and having to contact the employer in the hopes of getting it. If they tell you it’s not there, you may be convinced they threw it out or possibly even kept it and this will just result in more anxiety, more bitterness and this isn’t healthy.

Start getting your references together too. You know, the phone numbers, job titles and emails of the people you trust at work will speak well of you if/when you’re gone. It’s so much easier now rather than later.

Whatever you do, don’t start stealing company property. This is one way to get fired for sure. Do check into your financial situation. Cut back on your spending now to buffer the possibility of a loss of income. If you have benefits, think about a dental or optical visit now too.

Start looking for other employment; put out feelers and network. Wouldn’t you rather leave on your own terms?

 

 

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Tomorrow I’m 60. Yahoo! Yippee!


Way back in 1959 on June 13th at 2:30 a.m., I entered this world, born into a middle class family in Etobicoke, Ontario – then a suburb of Toronto, Ontario in Canada. Tomorrow will mark a full 60 year anniversary of that event, and I’m obviously not hiding it.

I’ve yet to have one of, “those birthdays”. You know, the one that you absolutely live for such as when you can finally get your driver’s licence, drink alcohol or legally buy cigarettes. Nor have I yet to have the birthday that shatters your self-image, like dreading turning 30, hitting the big 4-0, or turning half a century old! To me, every birthday has been something to look forward to. This past year, it occurred to me that I could say I am 59 years old and born in 59. Well, tomorrow I can no longer make that claim – ever.

I don’t feel 60. Wait a minute; I don’t know what 60 is supposed to feel like, so I can’t say that. What I can say is that I don’t see turning 60 as a bad thing; and a bad thing is what I hear a lot of others say as they blow out all those candles with both a paid up insurance policy and fire extinguisher near at hand. I think I’ve always felt younger than the number itself suggests from a stereotyped point of view. I’ll see that as a good thing.

So it was funny to me yesterday when a colleague at work popped her head in to ask me a question about one of our co-workers who also shares June 13 as her own birthday. I volunteered in our conversation that I was in fact turning 60 and she immediately tilted her head slightly, looked sympathetic and said in a sweet voice that would give you a cavity just listening to her, “Oh! I’m sorry!” and she meant it too. She’s less than half my age at a guess.

My reaction was to laugh and say how I relished the opportunity to celebrate another birthday. After all, those who don’t want to celebrate their birthdays eventually get their wish…think about that one.

No seriously, I see a benefit to be had in turning 60. As an Employment Counsellor, a lot of people I partner with and support see their advancing years as a negative. I wish I had a buck for every man and woman who has said to me, “Well my age is a problem. I’m 46 and no offence but that’s old.” Well if 46 is old, I’m fossilized!

One of the things I’m grateful for (and there are many) is my general health at 60. I have an excellent record of attendance – missing less than 3 days a year for about 8 of the last 9 years. I’ve got drive, creativity, energy to burn throughout the work day and still feel totally invested in the people I work with. I love the role I’ve got at present and I know I make a difference which gives the work I do so much meaning.

I see turning 60 as a good thing for those older folks I come into contact with. Maybe I’m some kind of inspiration to some, perhaps they even view their age as a strength and an asset as I do after we spend some time together. You see by now, I’ve got this rich history of a life lived including work spanning Retail, Manufacturing, Social Services and Recreation sectors. I’ve experience as an entrepreneur, Executive Director, front-line and middle management employee. I’ve worked with two large municipalities and the Province of Ontario in unionized settings, plus worked in Not-For-Profit and private profit businesses. It takes time to accumulate all these experiences, and I draw on each and every one of them often in the course of my work. It’s this diversity of experience that helps me relate with people and be relatable to people.

I guess I don’t fit the idea of a worker slowing down, putting in time until retirement, coasting through the day, being a passenger more than a driver of change and innovation. Geez I must be annoying for some who’d like me to pull out a white flag and say, “I’m old and I feel my age is a problem too.” Well I don’t.

I have come to believe that what’s going in your head (what you believe and how you see yourself) is your biggest asset or liability when it comes to interacting with your world. See age as your problem and you’ll move, act and use words that affirm you see age as your problem. So the world will acknowledge how you feel and agree. Don’t be surprised then when others confirm it. On the other hand, see your years as an asset to be revered and proud of and you’ll move, act and use words that show gratitude and pride  and the world WILL acknowledge how you feel and agree.

It starts therefore in your head. If I see my age as a problem to be hid, I’ll get sympathy, pity and commiseration. I don’t want that! I want people to be happy for me, maybe even re-evaluate how they see aging; well a tad anyhow.

Having been diagnosed as having Type 2 Diabetes 3 years ago, there won’t be cake. Whatever! But presents? Oh yes, there should be presents! Yes, I’m still that little kid who loves presents. Best wishes will do as well; or donating to a charity. Now that’s cool.

60 is ‘gonna be great!

We Don’t All Have The Same Agenda


Whenever you work with people, it’s inevitable that you’ll find varying levels of commitment, investment and purpose. It is precisely because of this reality that you’d be wise to make no assumptions; assuming that they all come before you with the same goals, the same drive, the same motivation that matches your hopes and expectations. They don’t.

Imagine a couple planning out their future together. While they both want a home and to live well in their retirement years, each has a different comfort level with the amount of their mortgage payments, the amount they are happy setting aside each pay day to invest. Then in walks another couple, and like the first, they aren’t unified in their investment strategies, and as a couple, they don’t mirror the first either. And so it goes.

So when you’re standing in front of a group making a presentation on any given subject matter, it’s presumptuous to assume that everyone before you has the same motives for attending; that everyone wants to get the same things out of your talk. Some might be there entirely because they want to hear and learn, while others are there out of compulsion. Some are curious and hang on every word while others are wondering how they can cut your time together short.

What becomes of critical importance therefore is the need to ask your audience what they want, what they hope for; their motives, even their reservations and their doubts. If you set the right atmosphere where they can openly share their truths with you, you have a better opportunity of connecting with your audience at their level. They listen more attentively, they invest with more interest and commitment, and in the end, they leave feeling valued, having spent their time wisely and they’ll be back. If there’s no trust established, no benefit perceived or derived, they may or may not come back, they may go elsewhere where they perceive better experiences to be had.

What separates a novice from someone seasoned and experienced, is their ability to respond in the moment and on the fly with their audience. When you’re just starting out in your field, you tend to come to situations with your own agenda; I’ll start with this, I’ll move to this, I’ll conclude with this and everyone will leave happy. If it goes well, you feel you’re on to something and you present the next time using the same formula. When it inevitably doesn’t run as smoothly, you sense the disconnect with your audience and you finish feeling a disconnect with your audience, you wonder what went astray.

If you’re just starting out, you might even wonder what was wrong with that audience. If you’ve been around long enough, you have the wisdom to turn and look at yourself, evaluating your own performance first. Did you take the time to connect with your audience? Did you respond to their needs? Did you take the time to even find out what their needs were or did you start with some assumptions and actually get off on the wrong foot right from the start?

Whether you’re a Musician on a stage, a Financial Advisor, a Motivational Speaker, a Politician addressing a townhall or a Social Services Caseworker, you would be wise to never assume your audience is always before you with the same level of motivation; has the same goals for your time together. Your own agenda is known to you of course. But what of theirs? Do you take the time to determine what they want out of the time spent together? All it takes is an ask.

“What are your hopes for our time together?” “What are your expectations?” “Why are you here?” “What do you want to hear?” “How will you measure success and whether or time together was well spent?” These are some questions you might consider – and there are many more of course – asking of your audience.

As I alluded to a few paragraphs earlier, one difference between the novice and the seasoned veteran is the ability to adjust on the fly. The novice, out of necessity is often less comfortable with the idea of gathering expectations of their audience because they don’t have the extensive knowledge yet to truly make adjustments to their own agenda. Those with greater experience have more resources to draw on and can think on their feet with greater mastery.

The major thing you want to avoid is spending time believing you’re delivering on what your audience wants, only to find out too late you didn’t. This leaves your audience feeling disappointed, and as their expectations were not met, they may even spread that disappointment to their friends, personal and professional contacts, etc. As goes their experience, so then goes your reputation.

Testimonials of great experiences had by your audience are then as no surprise, valued highly and you’ll see these on LinkedIn profiles, websites in a, “What our customers are saying” section, and in marketing and public relations pieces.

When both your agenda and your audiences agenda come together, you have a much higher probability of a mutually positive outcome. One note of caution however; if and when you ask your audience for their expectations, the worse thing you can do is make no adjustments to your personal agenda, and fail to deliver.

Something to think about today as you go forward.

Must A Short-Term Job Be In Your Career Field?


I had the opportunity yesterday to listen as a 22 year-old woman explained to her fellow classmates what job or career she was after. She cited her long-term objective in Policy Development and went on to say that in the short-term she would do just about anything but it absolutely had to be related to her long-term objective or she’d feel it was a waste of her time.

So how do you feel about that statement? Would you agree that short-term jobs should be related to your own long-term goals in order to be a valuable use of your time?

It’s commendable of course that she’s got a long-term career objective. While it’s not mandatory in order to have a rewarding career, having a vision of what you want and knowing how you’re going to achieve it is one way to successfully move forward. It is, and I say with personal experience, not the only recipe for success.

This I hope comes as good news if you feel anxious about what your future holds. If you should be undecided about what you want to do on a long-term basis, it can feel paralyzing as well in the short-term should you feel you can’t apply for jobs not knowing if they’ll help you or not in the long run.

Allow me to share a little of my own experience in the hopes you might find it comforting. It wasn’t until 13 years ago, back in 2006 that I became an Employment Counsellor. That would put me at 46 years old as I embarked on what has been a rewarding, successful and fulfilling career. Prior to this I’d held a variety of different positions; some of them careers and others I’d call jobs. Whichever they were at the time didn’t really concern me as much as enjoying each I had, finding the pros and cons of each once in them and moving on when the cons outweighed the pros.

I didn’t have a long-term goal to work towards. I didn’t in my early twenties, even know that Employment Counsellors existed, so it was impossible therefore for me to have aspired to be one. Further, I suspect that had I graduated out of University and immediately had the fortune to be hired as an Employment Counsellor, my effectiveness would be very different without my life experiences to draw on.

Looking back in no particular order, I ran my own New and Cooperative Games business for 16 years after a year-long position working for the Province of Ontario; sold shoes and clothes; worked at a bowling alley; a video store; worked as a Programme Manger for a Boys and Girls Club; have been an Executive Director for a Social Services agency; worked for two municipalities as a Social Services Caseworker, and another for years in the field of Recreation. I have also worked in the private sector as an Area Supervisor, leading those who provided care in schools before, between and after classes. I’ve sold photography equipment in a mall, worked in a toy department of a major retailer, even spent one day filling in for a friend in a hot plastics factory. I’ve got summer residential camp experience, sat on volunteer boards and committees too. One year I was asked to lead an International Drug Awareness team in St. Lucia.

Whew! All over the map and one of the best examples I can think of where there sure doesn’t appear to be a linear history of progressive experience in the same field. I’ve worked for a province, two municipalities, the private and non-profit sectors as well as having been self-employed. My work has been in Retail, Recreation, Social Services and the Education sectors. I’ve also been on the front-line, middle management and senior management. I’ve had employment ended, quit, been promoted, been on strike, had to reinvent myself, and build up skills I didn’t know I had, use transferable skills and learn job-specific skills. In short, I’ve become resilient.

Now, here’s the best part. If you can believe it, all of these experiences have shaped who I am, how I think and act, given me empathy and understanding for a wide diversity of people with whom I partner. In short, I’m a decent Employment Counsellor today at 59 years-old BECAUSE of the path I took to get here.

My 22 year-old woman will likely change careers and jobs over the course of her lifetime. Jobs she eventually holds and loves might not even exist in 2019; maybe they’ll appear in 2032. Who knows?

Advice I believe to be sound is to gain experiences; paid and unpaid. Learn from what you do not just about the work, but how you feel as you do it. Always do your best to reward those who hired you and best serve those you call customers, clients, etc. You never know where life will take you; which job you may return to having left once (as I did). Treat employees and your Supervisors well for these are your future references.

All of the combined experiences I’ve had – just as you are collecting your own – are the things that are going to uniquely position us for jobs moving forward. “Why should I hire you?” is my favourite interview question. I can draw on all my past experiences; both the pros and the cons. Nobody out there has the same path as me. Or you for that matter!

Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?


When I’m facilitating workshops on improving one’s performance in job interviews, I often begin by asking those participating to share with me any questions they find difficult to answer. Among the questions which often come up is, ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’

In coming up with your answer for this question; and every other question you will be asked by the way, do your best to understand the purpose of the question. While you are doing your best to impress the interviewers and get a job offer, from their side of the table, they are looking for reasons to rule candidates out and hire the last person remaining. In other words, answering this question well can leave you in the hunt, answering it poorly can leave you out of the running.

So, what’s behind the question? They might be checking to see if you’ve got ambition and see yourself having been promoted within the organization. While this strikes most people as surely a positive thing, it could trigger an area to be concerned about in the mind of the interviewer. Why? If they see you’ve already got your eyes on a more senior role in the organization, they could be going through this same hiring process in a short time; something they don’t want to do. Hiring and training people takes time and money, and in return for that investment in hiring new people, they want and expect to get a return on that investment. When it’s all about you and your career advancement, that doesn’t show an understanding and empathy for the employer’s situation.

Now on the other hand, some employer’s hope and expect you’ll outgrow an entry-level position, and if you stay with the company, they’d like you to advance having spent some time on the front-line. This way you’ve got an appreciation and first-hand experience of what it’s like to work at the bottom and this can shape your work as you move up. If you show no ambition beyond the job after 5 years, they may look at you as stagnating and dead weight.

I have found a combination of the two above positions to be ideal for most people in most job interviews. Doing research into an organization and the people who work in the role you’re after should reveal some insights that will aid you with the question. If however, you fail to unearth any clues about how long people typically stay in the job you’re after, you still need an answer. See what you think of this:

Let me assure you my focus at this time is securing this position and investing myself in the job; ensuring you in turn get a return on your investment in hiring me. That being said, I’d like to take part in any courses, cross-training or collaborative projects which will put me in a position to compete successfully for opportunities which may present themselves in the future.

You see a lot can happen in 5 years. While you and the interviewer might both have ideas of how things will look in that time, you both are looking at the future armed only with what you know in the present with respect to the future. As time evolves, opportunities may present themselves for an organization to launch new products, expand or contract, re-brand themselves entirely, move or perhaps stay largely exactly as they are. All kinds of factors may impact your personal direction and ambition.

Now there are some answers which effectively take you right out of the running in the mind of some interviewers. Suppose you shared that you and your partner plan on starting your family and having a couple of children over the next 5 years. Doing the math, this could mean you’re off for 2 of those 5 years on maternity leave, and your attendance and performance may become concerning both during pregnancy and once the children are born. Yes you’ve a right to start a family, but the interviewer knows there’ll still be work needing doing, and if they have to hire short-term help to cover your position, well, if they can avoid it, they just might choose someone who doesn’t raise this issue. Best to keep these plans to yourself.

Another possible problem answer is at the other end of the age spectrum. If see yourself as fully retired in 2-3 years, you could take yourself out of the running if they are wanting to hire someone they can make a long-term investment in. You might be perfect however if they are looking to hire someone for only 2-3 years while they restructure their workforce to compete better down the road. Getting what they can out of you for those few years might be pretty appealing and you part ways happily. Just don’t make this answer all about you. Sure you’ll get your pay for a few years and ride off into the sunset, but organizations aren’t entirely charitable. What’s in it for them? Productivity and someone who is totally invested in this single job and not looking beyond it to advance.

Some jobs have a high turnover precisely because they are entry-level, minimum wage jobs and employers expect if you have any ambition you’ll move on. Not everybody wants to climb the ladder though and that’s not a bad thing. Being consistently productive in a job is a wonderful quality; a win-win.

Age Discrimination And Employment


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One of my readers asked me this week for my thoughts on handling age discrimination. While this is a topic I’ve covered in past blogs and articles, (and you can read all my blogs on my website at https://myjobadvice.wordpress.com/ ) I believe there’s value in returning to this subject yet again.

As it applies to the job selection process, the issue of age generally comes up as:

  1. You’re viewed as too young.
  2. You’re age isn’t an issue.
  3. You’re viewed as too old.

My advice begins with doing an honest self-assessment before you even apply to work. Please note the words, ‘honest assessment’. There’s no point to talking about this age issue if you won’t or can’t see yourself through an objective lens. To assess yourself, you’ve got your chronological age which you can’t ignore or alter. Some jobs require by law employees to be of legal age. If you scream discrimination because you’re 16 and can’t get a job as a Driving Instructor or Bartender, there are laws that prohibit hiring you.

Look at yourself. Are you 22 but look and act like you’re 17? Or are you 54 but look and act 68? In other words, think about how you are marketing yourself to potential employers when they see and hear you. Do you have good posture both sitting and standing, walk with energy, speak with vitality and enthusiasm? Conversely, do you slouch, walk slowly and bent over, shuffling along and talk with a raspy, laboured tone and sound completely disinterested?

Think about your appearance. Whatever you’re wearing, is it appropriate for the interview? How’s your hair? What about your complexion? No matter your gender, give your face a critical look because interviewers sure will. Could you do with trimming those busy eyebrows, what about the hairs that might be peeking out of your ears or nose? Not the best image to present but in the privacy of your own home, you can do something about these before presenting yourself to the world. Maybe a little concealer or foundation – no matter your gender by the way, would smooth out some telling lines.

One thing you must do is understand and BELIEVE your age to be an asset or strength. If you don’t, you’ll actually say damaging things about yourself that point to your age as a liability. If you think you’re too young, you’ll say, “I know I don’t have much experience but…”. If you feel old, you’ll say, “Of course that was when computers were just coming out and …” Yikes!

If I may, wherever you are – young or old, get in sync with the general pros and cons of people your age – AS SEEN BY EMPLOYERS. Here’s a sampling:

Young

Pros: energetic, healthy, eager and quick to learn, technically savvy, recently educated, mobile, vitality, no bad work habits from other employers, potentially long work period

Cons: lack of experience (work and life), less committed and loyal, underdeveloped work ethics, punctuality (especially early mornings), easily distracted (cell phones), childcare

Old

Pros: life and work experience, problem-solving and negotiation skills, perspective, stable, committed, beyond childcare, responsible and punctual

Cons: set in ways, you graduated when?, failing health, fatigued easily, less invested, not into technology or social media, stubborn, retirement looming

Don’t get defensive if you don’t think that summary is fair of you personally; these are stereotypes of two groups as seen by some employers. They are what they are. Your job is to stress your positives and perhaps even address head-on how you don’t have the perceived liabilities of your peers.

The best way to deal with the issue of age however is to turn your age into a benefit to the employer. So for example, you walk through the office on the way to the interview room and from a glance around you notice every employee seems to be under 35. You realize you’re old enough to be their mother or father or worse, you could end up with the affectionate name of ‘Grandpa’ or ‘Grandma’ around the water cooler. Oh right, water coolers disappeared in the 90’s!

If things seem to be wrapping up too quickly and you feel somewhat dismissed because of your age, you worry that you this interviewer might see you as a poor fit, out-of-touch, etc. So it’s not really your age that’s a problem, it’s what that age represents to them. 

So go on the offensive without being offensive. Do the exact opposite of conventional advice and lay out your age. Explain that you noticed the general age of your potential co-workers would appear younger and you’ve recognized there’s an opportunity here for both you and the organization. Many customers prefer to be served by people of their own age; they feel better understood. While you can benefit from the help of your new co-workers in picking up technology, you offer in return your maturity, stability, life experience and this could help mentor younger and aspiring co-workers. Speak to your good health and downplay any negatives associated with your general age group.

In the end, you can only do your best to ensure you’re giving yourself the best possible shot at a job and you’re doing what you can to avoid being negatively viewed because of your age – young or old. If you can’t convince them of yourself as an asset, it might not even be your age that’s the issue. Don’t jump to age discrimination if you don’t meet the job requirements or just aren’t the chosen candidate as there’s a lot of good, qualified people out there.

 

STOP! Before You Job Search…


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Before you start or continue to look for work, what if I said you’re setting yourself up to fail? That the odds of finding work are stacked heavily against you? What if I suggested you should come to a complete halt?

Now why would I in my role as an Employment Counsellor advise you to stop; especially when I’ve got your best interests in mind and I want you to ultimately succeed in finding and keeping a job? The answer is I’ve got your best interests in mind and I want you to ultimately succeed in finding and keeping a job.

The truth of the matter is looking for work is easy; the internet is full of them. However getting hired in a role that you find satisfying, one that you’re good at and one that brings in sufficient income – that’s more involved. Additionally, you’ve got to have things in place before you can pour the energy into a job search that you’ll need to be successful.

See how you measure up with these essential requirements needed to find work successfully.

  1. You have a clear job or career goal.
  2. You actually want to work and you want it bad enough to push yourself.
  3. When you apply for work, you tailor each resume to the specific needs of the job.
  4. Your resume doesn’t have your age on it.
  5. Your email doesn’t contain your birth year or age within it – or a number that could be interpreted as either.
  6. Your resume doesn’t have your address on it.
  7. You include a personalized cover letter with every application.
  8. You regularly check your email, including SPAM folders for replies.
  9. You sound friendly on your recorded phone message and identify yourself.
  10. You return phone calls and emails. Promptly.
  11. If you have pre-school age children, you have childcare and a backup in place.
  12. If you have school-age children, you have childcare and a backup in place.
  13. If you care for a family member, you have an alternative set in place for every day.
  14. You have reliable, dependable transportation.
  15. You have the funds to get around – gas money or transit funds.
  16. You have a minimum of three presentable outfits now for as many as three interviews with the same company.
  17. Your physical health is up to the demands of a full-time daily job search.
  18. Your mental health is up to the demands of a full-time daily job search.
  19. You’ve got a safe place to live and can focus on looking for work not housing.
  20. You’re eating properly, fueling yourself for the demands of an extended job search.
  21. You have the required education to compete for the job you want.
  22. You have the required experience called for by the employer’s in the ads you read.
  23. You know how to market your skills, experience and education.
  24. You can objectively state with confidence you’re a good fit for the job you want.
  25. You know your salary expectations and needs.
  26. The jobs you’re applying for meet your salary expectations and needs.
  27. You know the geographical limitations of where you can work.
  28. If you’re taking prescribed medications, you are actually taking the medications.
  29. Any medications you’re taking won’t interfere with your performance.
  30. You don’t have any immediate travel plans.
  31. You’re prepared to change any personal plans you have for interviews and of course to start working when offered employment.
  32. You have the support from your partner (if applicable) to job search.
  33. If you’re employed and looking for a new job, you’re prepared to work full-time in your current job and put in the extra hours to job search.
  34. You pay attention to your appearance and personal grooming.
  35. You’ve let go bitterness, anger, frustration, hostility or hate.
  36. You successfully mask bitterness, anger, frustration, hostility or hate and you’ve confirmed this by getting honest, objective feedback.
  37. Whatever job you’re going for now is something your prepared to actually do.
  38. You’re practicing your interview skills with someone who is trained to give you constructive criticism.
  39. You are receptive to constructive criticism.
  40. Your social skills are practiced; you’re polite, say please and thank you, cover your mouth when you yawn, don’t interrupt, you listen when others are talking.
  41. You pay attention to your posture both standing and sitting.
  42. Your clothing choices are appropriate in the employer’s eyes, not just yours.
  43. You have sufficient funds for unexpected expenses such as an interview over a meal, car repairs, increases in rent, insurance, additional clothing requirements.
  44. All job-specific licences are current and you have the certificates.
  45. You have 3 professional job references.
  46. All your references have your current resume to access when needed.
  47. You are tracking all the jobs you apply to and the outcomes.
  48. You are balancing your job search with personal interests and other commitments.
  49. You have a quiet place to take phone calls in your home.
  50. You are NOT applying for jobs where you’ll have to work hours you refuse to work.
  51. Your salary expectations are appropriate.
  52. You know your strengths.
  53. You know areas you need to improve AND you’re doing something about them.
  54. You know the kind of supervision style you’ll thrive under best.
  55. You know your problem-solving skills and you’ve got examples ready.
  56. You provide specific examples when asked of all claims you make in an interview.
  57. You have good things to say about your present and/or past employers.
  58. You have a solid answer for that one interview question you dread being asked.
  59. You’re punctual.
  60. You’re grateful for help received.