The Hand-Written Thank You Note


How many of you have recently wrote a hand-written thank you note? Hands up out there. Hmm… not many; no not many indeed.

Okay, another question if I may. The last time you received a note of thanks from someone expressing their gratitude, how did it make you feel?

Interesting isn’t it? You enjoy receiving but aren’t doing the giving. Now of course many of you out there might just be the kind of people who are very thankful and gracious with your words of thanks, it’s just that your saying them face-to-face or in an email. After all email is so convenient, accessible and immediate. You can dash off an email expresses thanks in the same time it would take to put on your coat and find your car keys. That trip to the stationery store to buy a card just seems so unnecessary.

I admit the card of thanks takes more effort. Yes, you have to go to the store, pick out a card or a set of cards that expresses thanks but doesn’t communicate the wrong message with some flowery verse on the inside. Then there’s paying for the cards, (because email is free), and if you misspell a word as you write in pen, there’s no delete button to quickly erase your error. Then there’s the exorbitant cost of a postage stamp, addressing the envelope, the trip to a mailbox. Just too much effort!

Or is it?

Think for a moment what someone has done for you in the first place for which you might be contemplating issuing words of thanks. I suspect what they’ve done, or what they continue to do is worth a bit more than the total cost of an envelope, card, postage stamp and your time. In fact, I’d wager your effort and words of thanks pale mightily in comparison. Too much effort on your part? How unfortunate if you feel this way.

The thank you card could be composed and presented to any number of people and for many reasons. Here’s a few to inspire some action on your part:

  • An interviewer after a job interview
  • A co-worker who has your back when work piles up
  • Your Administrative Clerk; the one who ‘does everything’ for you
  • Your job search references; those who back your credentials
  • The Barista who makes your every morning must-have
  • The Teacher who instructs your child
  • The Child Care Provider who nurtures your child
  • Your neighbour who looks out for you in your absence
  • The Receptionist who greeted you on interview day

That’s a lot of people you COULD be thanking. Better get a stack of cards when you’re out and save yourself a lot of return trips. If you look over that list by the way, you’ll note I hope that not a single note of thanks requires postage at all. Nope, each one can be hand-delivered.

The thing about a note of thanks is that it is short and yet powerful; so powerful in fact that many people will hang on to notes of thanks long after they’ve been received. An email of thanks by comparison may be read and deleted in the same day, or immediately after the person replies with a ‘Thanks’.  Then they switch gears and get on with their day.

I give my job seekers with 5 cards of thanks – blank on the inside – and 5 envelopes. I recommend they make use of them and there’s more available if they need them. Sadly, many don’t even issue one. Those that do however, find them surprisingly effective. Oddly enough, they feel better too when the person expresses thanks and a little shock at having received one.

Take your references as an example of people to thank. These are the people you provide to a potential employer as those who will attest to your work ethic, accomplishments, personality, teamwork, etc. After you’ve done your best to wow an employer, they are the ones who will either close the deal or raise some doubt on your application. Suddenly I think your protest that a card of thanks being too much work is failing miserably.

“Just  a few words of appreciation for standing with me as a valued reference. As I transition to a new place, I’m grateful to have your support.”

Now honestly, how long do you think that would take for you to write? Time surely then, can’t be your argument for not writing one, and we’ve already talked about the cost.

So if time and money aren’t the real reasons, we’re left with you don’t know what to say – see example above – or you just can’t be bothered – which means you truly aren’t that grateful. You could have literacy issues I suppose, which I grant.

Need another example? Okay…

Thank you for meeting with me this afternoon. I found our interview informative and enlightening. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work together and look forward to this with enthusiasm. I am excited about the next step in the hiring process.

Short and to the point. Come on people, you can do this. You’re looking for an edge over your competition aren’t you? Don’t be the candidate who just goes home and waits for the phone to ring. You can pen this one sitting in reception and hand it in right after the interview to the Receptionist.

Or not.

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You Need Acknowledgement, Progress And Success


Talk to anyone looking for a job and you’ll find what they expect at the minimum is to have their efforts acknowledged and feel progress is being made towards ultimately being successful.

If a person applies for work repeatedly without any acknowledgement from employer’s, or if they feel stuck without making any progress, their effort will likely ebb and flow at best, or they will give up altogether.

Now, depending on your personal circumstances, your motivation for seeking this new job and the results you are achieving, can have a significant impact on your self-worth, self-esteem and your confidence. Although very similar, they are different from one another, and all three are critical to your self-perception. You do want to feel good about yourself, feel valued; that you have something to give which others recognize and appreciate. When we feel appreciated, we feel better about who we are and that positivity  carries over into other aspects of our lives. Without feeling valued, we can start to feel doubtful, our ability to contribute suspect, and our worth as a person comes into question.

Acknowledgement and progress lead to success no matter what the situation. Were you to buy some carrot seeds and plant them in the garden, you’d feel optimistic when you laid them in that shallow trench. With the first sightings of some fragile green leaves popping up through the soil, you’d feel encouraged. As the plants take root and sprout, the higher the green leaves grow, the more you believe the orange carrots below are getting bigger and thicker. The promise of successfully harvesting some vegetables becomes stronger. When you do dig up those carrots, there’s satisfaction in washing them up and eating them.

However, without any seeds germinating, you wonder what went wrong. Not enough sun or water? Planted them too shallow or too deep? Bad soil? Bad seeds? Or maybe you just say you obviously don’t have a green thumb. That lack of progress in seeing something grow can put you off trying again. If that lack of success happens not only with the carrots but also the onions, potatoes and tomatoes, you might believe you’re not cut out to be a Gardener. In short, you’ll give up.

The thing about growing your own vegetables is that if you’ve never done it before, you might ask others with more experience or at the very least, read the instructions on the packets you buy and follow the directions. When you do this, you’re taking advice from professionals, and you do this because you trust their experience and want to give your seeds the best chance of ultimately being successful vegetables.

When it comes to applying for jobs, you’d be surprised how many people don’t follow this same pattern of behaviour. No, a lot of people – perhaps yourself – go about applying for work as best they can figure out on their own. It’s ironic don’t you think that someone will buy a package of carrots for $1.50, read the instructions and follow the advice to the letter, but then ignore the advice that’s available from professionals when it comes to finding work that could potentially bring in tens of thousands of dollars a year?

As I’ve said in many articles over the years, job searching without success is frustrating. That’s got to be a major understatement of the obvious. However, job searching with progress or even basic acknowledgement is even more disheartening. Resumes and cover letters take time to make, applying online takes time as does even finding the right jobs in the first place. You feel your time is valuable, and the last thing you want to do is put in a lot of time and get nothing in return. For some, even just being acknowledged by an employer that they’ve received your résumé would be nice.

Look, you have to decide what’s best for you personally. That has and will never change. If you are getting regularly acknowledged and are getting interviews, you might feel progress is being made and success is imminent. However, if you feel stuck and you’re losing momentum or have no progress whatsoever, what are you going to do about it? Your choice would seem to be keep doing what you’re doing and hope for a different result, or change what you’re doing and hope for a different result.

Changing what you’re doing is almost impossible if you don’t consider advice from others who have had success in what you’re trying to do – get a job. Without learning how others have gone about it, you’ll just be guessing about what you need to change or how to go about things differently. For all we know, how you’re going about looking for a job now might be like buying a packet of carrot seeds and planting the packet while still in the envelope or scattering the seeds on gravel. There’s always a chance one or two might grow, but the odds are slim.

By all means, do what’s best for you. Hammer away doing the same thing or enlist the help of a professional who can share some ideas on how to improve your odds of success. It starts with having your skills and experience as well as your applications acknowledged, moves forward with feeling you’re making progress as interviews start coming, and ultimately you’ll be successful when the job offer is made.

Watch Them Apply For Work


Many of the people I support who are looking to find employment initially come to me as a referral from co-workers. These co-workers are Caseworkers and/or Employment Counsellors like myself.

When I meet these people for the first time, I know that while I’m getting to know them and sizing them up, they too are assessing me and the degree to which I’ll be able to help them. I applaud them for this because we all want to feel our time is being used wisely and we don’t want to waste our time being shown things we already know.

It is always interesting to me (and rewarding) when a person expresses their gratitude and tells me how suspicious they initially were of my ability to help them. Most were job searching long before spending time together with me, so what, they often tell me they questioned, could I possibly show them that they weren’t already doing? They then go on to say how glad they were that they made the decision to open themselves up to what I was sharing. One woman who spent two weeks with me in a workshop recently told me that at the end of her first day, she knew she’d made a good decision and could learn so much. In addition to finding new and better ways of doing things, she also found she had more motivation and excitement at the increasing probabilities of work.

My experience is not I suppose, unique to me. There are many Workshop Facilitators, Employment Coaches and Counsellors, Resume Writers and Caseworkers who work with job seekers. I hope that all these people working with the people they do have many positive outcomes and feel rewarded just as I do when those they work with move forward.

If you’re interested in accelerating the learning process, one thing to consider is asking if you can observe someone look for and apply for a job. You can learn so much about what a person knows and doesn’t, what they can and cannot do, and most importantly, what they will and will not do, just by watching. This takes longer than simply having someone tell you how they go about looking for work, but it’s so much more revealing.

For example, you may hear someone say, “Oh for sure. I always make my résumé fit the job I’m applying to”. “Great!” you say in return, and figure their job search issues are in some other area. Ah, but now it’s you who are making a critical error if you presume that your understanding of crafting a résumé targeted to a specific job is a shared understanding with the person you are working with. If you were to congratulate the person for having that knowledge, and then follow-up with a request to watch them in action, you’d unquestionably learn a lot, making this observation exercise extremely valuable.

When I’m sitting with someone, I ask them before we start, to say out loud what they are thinking as they go about a typical search and application. It slows them down a little, but that’s okay. If your goal is to change and improve the actions they take while job searching, you have to come to know the thought processes that guide those same actions. Why do they do what they do?

Although you might be tempted to correct a behaviour immediately or give them feedback (for they will likely ask for this), hold off on doing so. Let them show you how they’d go about looking for a job and applying for it if you weren’t right beside them watching. Now of course, what you hear and see will likely be them at their best because they know you’re watching. So imagine how they typically go about it when no one is watching.

You’ll soon understand if they have the skills they claim, and the extent to which their skills and abilities are similar to or quite different from your own. You also learn in some cases what you don’t need to teach them because they already have a good understanding of those things. This is where you do save time and make their experience a better one.

So for example a lot of people will tell you they already know to pick out the key words in a posting and make sure they are in their résumé. This is good! However, if you watch them, you may find they simply copy and paste these into the résumé, or they fail to actually find the right things to include; adding things they feel would be better.

It can be challenging to watch someone make mistakes as your natural inclination is to step in and instruct them on what you know to be better. Bite your tongue, bid your time and watch in silence. This might take 20 minutes. You’ll learn more in that 20 minutes I assure you than you will simply by having them verbally walk you through what they typically do.

Up to you of course as to whether you want to try this approach. If you’ve had success using other methods that’s great. But if you find someone just isn’t having the success you’d both like and you’re both wondering why, it might be something worth trying. You could learn a lot about what they claim they know and what they can actually do.

 

Too Hot To Job Search?


Mother Nature, The Weather Network and Environment Canada did it to me again. You’d think by now that I’d know better; but alas, I placed my faith in the expertise of those in the weather forecasting business, only to be let down again. Yes, I didn’t water the lawn and yes it didn’t rain.

Now sure it called for rain yesterday – 70 percent chance. Why at one point in the day the apps on my phone had a large thunderbolt icon which indicated a high chance of thunderstorms and lightning with up to 15 mm of much-needed rain. However, like some over-priced and over-hyped job search service providers, what was promised and what was delivered turned out to be two different things.

Lindsay Ontario where I live is about an hour and a half north-east of Toronto Canada if you’ve ever got the inclination or curiosity to know where it is I call home. We’re in the middle of an extended heat wave at the moment, which has gone on now for about 4 days and is due to continue for a few more. All kinds of warnings are out there; the radio, mobile apps, local newspapers, etc. are providing constant reminders not to over tax the body in such conditions lest such exertion bring on Heat Stroke, Heat Exhaustion or in the worst of situations, Death.

Certainly these are warnings not to be taken lightly; especially if you’re elderly, frail of health or have respiratory problems. Take it easy and stay hydrated with lots of water and stay out of the direct sun. Head to a local cooling centre or even an air-conditioned shopping centre to relieve heat-related symptoms. All good advice.

Now, of course to the unemployed person looking for work, these heat conditions are either a good reason to put off the job search or an opportunity to seize. Just like rainy days or heavy snowfalls, a stretch of intense heat will shut down the job search activity of some people. It’s true! Many people are affected not just physically by such weather, but mentally as well. They wake up, look outside the window and seeing the weather for what it is, many will roll over and choose to shut away the unfavourable weather. “Maybe tomorrow” is their mantra.

Job searching of course has evolved so much these days, it’s not like pounding the pavement and knocking on doors is in vogue as it once was. Looking for a job and applying for jobs can be done from the relative comfort of one’s home or if you lack comforts there, the climate controlled libraries, malls, coffee shops etc. many of which have wifi and welcome users to sit and use their laptops and mobile devices for hours without seating fees.

The challenge for many comes first in the decision to get up and get going when the temptation is greater to do nothing. Employer’s often say that they would rather hire someone who is already working than someone who is not, and the reason for this is that the employed person has already established good behaviours and routines. Getting up, showered, dressed and having the stamina to put in a full day once out the door might not sound like much, but it is. Many employer’s will tell you there is a surprisingly high number of people who interview well enough to get job offers, but then over the first weeks of work, the new hire will be late or absent entirely for some reason which they attribute to sleeping in, missing a connection, etc. The new hire if previously unemployed often has to go through a reprogramming of their routines and behaviours to adjust to the new demands of work.

I often tell those I work with that should they wake up and see rain pelting down, snow falling or yes – another day with soaring temperatures, seize the opportunity of the day for many of their competition will roll over and stay beneath the covers of their beds. I suppose this is another way of saying, “How bad do you want it?”

Sure I get it; job searching is frustrating. We both know how hard it can be to put in the effort and seemingly get nowhere. Yes, it’s hard to stay positive when you’re applying in good faith and doing your best but feel let down by employers who don’t reciprocate. Weather that doesn’t cooperate would only seem to be yet another reason to defer this job search that seems to bring so little for such effort required.

And yet, how are you going to get that eventual job if you don’t throw yourself at this job search with enthusiasm if you give in and decide to put it off? Waiting for ideal job search conditions; the market, the weather, hiring blitzes, raises in minimum wages or government programs and initiatives might be the strategy of some people, but not you surely.

So yes, the Weather Network is calling for another scorcher today. Will you choose to see this as a reason to hide in the cool basement and read a book or watch television, or will you attack this job search with commitment and defiance? If you were waiting for some sign to get going, maybe this is it. Then again, if you’re listless, lacking energy and haven’t the energy to do much, you’ve likely stopped reading long before now.

Stuck On What To Do; What To Be


Still trying to figure out what your purpose in life is? You know, that ONE thing you were put here on Earth to do? This certainly is one of the big ones; one of those questions that has a lot of implications.

When asked how they’ll know when they’ve found the right job or career, some reply, “I’ll just know”, while others will say, “It will just feel right.” However, what if – and it’s just a possibility of course – what if you were actually meant to dislike the job or career you’re meant to do? What if you’re supposed to struggle with it, fight against it, coming to appreciate the hard work involved, (mental or physical) required to do it well? What if in the end, it’s all the effort that goes into the job that makes the work more meaningful? Maybe for these people, it would never have, “just felt right” in the beginning at all?

Of course to many people, they want to discover THE job; the one they were destined for. Here’s something though to ponder… When we look back at history and talk of people of note, we in the present day brand these people for the occupations they held when they became famous. So we talk about Shakespeare the bard, Churchill the Prime Minister, Charlie Chaplin the actor or Roberta Bondar the astronaut. What we don’t talk of is the job or jobs these same people held earlier in their lives. Why? Because those jobs were of less significance to the masses. Were Churchill a Newspaper Boy or Shakespeare a farmer for a stint, we neither know nor care. But isn’t it true that the people they became were in fact shaped by who they once were? What they once did?

Take me for a current day example. Meet me as an Employment Counsellor and you might imagine this is all I’ve ever done. If I have a positive impact on you and you admire me for what I’m able to share with you or you appreciate my ability to support you as you move forward, you’ll always recall me as Kelly Mitchell the Employment Counsellor. However, I’ve sold shoes, worked in a bowling alley, been a Cooperative and New Games Trainer, and more. Those weren’t the jobs that made me a person of note in your own life; but I’ve been shaped by those jobs nonetheless.

The same is true of you. Wherever you ultimately end up, when you look back at your career or collection of jobs, you’ll see value in all the things you’ve done that shaped you along the way. This includes the positive experiences and yes, the ones which at the time were hard to go through, didn’t work out at all, or you performed well at but just had to change. We are all the sum of our experiences.

Trying to figure out what’s next so that you move in the direction you were always destined to go in and finally, “get it together” may or may not be possible. It could be that yes, you’ve been sufficiently stimulated to move in a direction that will bring you satisfaction and fulfillment. If so, great for you!

On the other hand, you might still be in a period of flux; that is, a time of confusion and change. Maybe all this struggle you’re having in trying to figure it out isn’t over. This doesn’t sound very encouraging or hopeful does it? I mean, if you’ve tried to figure it out for years and you feel no closer to doing so, what kind of hope or optimism can you have for the future? Will it always be a mental struggle to find that thing that makes you happy?

What if we accepted for a moment that there wasn’t one thing and one thing only after all? What if there isn’t just a single career that we were meant to do or someone we were meant to become? Maybe what’s right for us, what we were destined to do all along is a collection of various jobs and different types of work. Perhaps it’s a collection of experiences that taken together makes us the people we’ll become.

So when I was happy selling shoes, maybe I was in the right job at the time, although it’s not a good fit for me here in the present. For all I know, I might find that selling shoes is right for me in the future by the way. Maybe running my business for 16 years was the ideal thing for the Kelly of the 80’s and 90’s. But Kelly in 2018? I’m happy and stimulated being the best Employment Counsellor I can be. In fact, it’s that whole collection of earlier jobs and work that benefits those I help in my current job!

Now you. YOU! Feeling anxiety and pressure – maybe even depression or that feeling of being paralyzed as you try to figure it out? Understandable – completely. You’re feelings are valid. This is after all, one of the BIG ones – “What should I do?”

While you may not know yet what you should do, what is obvious is that it’s NOT what you’re currently doing. So if you’re stuck and doing nothing, continuing to do nothing isn’t going to get you closer to it. Do something. Act. Talk. Invest yourself. Work. Experience the value of experience.

This Job Search Should Be Exciting!


The people who come to me for help getting a job hardly ever describe this point in their lives as exciting. No, to be honest, it’s typically a time of frustration and heightened stress. The majority of people I’ve assisted come to me only after they’ve attempted to gain employment themselves or with the help of others and had little to zero success at even getting interviews let alone job offers. So yes, by the time they reach out to me personally, their pretty frustrated with the job search process.

So you can easily imagine that when I talk about the search as a time which should be exciting, it would be a pretty hard sell. After all, it’s pretty hard to work up a lot of enthusiasm, energy and excitement for something that’s sucking the very life out of a person’s day-to-day living. When you think about it though, it can and should be a time to ramp up the motivation and that should bring some positive energy. Let me explain.

For starters, you’re at a juncture in your life where you have the availability of time to decide what it is you want to do next. Many working people who are not happy in their current jobs want to look for something they’ll find more rewarding, but their current job and the hours it requires them to work don’t give them any time to explore what other options they have. After they’ve put in the hours they do, there’s not much energy and enthusiasm for doing extra work on their personal time. So ironically what do they do? They continue to go in day after day to the job they don’t want to do anymore, and envy those – like you perhaps – who have the luxury of personal time to figure out your next move.

Here’s a second point that should be positive; skill identification. We all have them you know; a multitude of skills and abilities which we don’t often give ourselves credit for. What are you good at? What qualities do you have that you’ve come to recognize yourself – or had pointed out by others – as having competence or excellence in? There’s no time for modesty here and this isn’t about boasting and massaging your self-ego. This is about objectively naming the things you do well. Having a list of things – and written by the way – of the things you excel at is good for how you perceive yourself. If you’re feeling fragile and vulnerable being out of work, this exercise is a really good step to take to rebuild that confidence.

Now you have a list of the things that other people have recognized as your strengths, as well as thing you believe you’re good at. Look it over a few times, dwelling on each quality or word and letting each one sink in for a bit before looking at the next one. Don’t gloss over this list with a quick scan: this is you we’re talking about after all!

Now, all those jobs you’ve held in the past; let’s think about them individually. Put down in writing things you liked and disliked about each one. Consider the things you generally did in the job, the boss you worked for, the people who surrounded you (or didn’t as the case may be). Think about the environment you worked in, the commute, the hours, the pay and your level of customer contact. What did you enjoy or dislike in each position? What did you learn or come to appreciate? Having done this for each job you’ve held, now look at all the jobs you’ve done and look for trends and what comes up again and again.

At this point, you should know pretty well the things you’re good at (strengths), the things that appeal to you and the things you’d like to avoid in your next position.

Now time to turn to what jobs are out there. This is where the excitement really ramps up. Having the attitude and belief that you’re in full control is critical. Your attitude is essential for making this job search a positive experience. You could choose to work nearby or at a distance; do something new or do what you’ve always done. You could choose a return to school to learn something new or upgrade existing skills via a course – online or in person. You can choose to go at this job search full-time or put in part-time hours. Work from home or work on the employer’s site, etc.

Yes you may be in a period of flux; change and chaos, where regular routines are in turmoil and upheaval, where your finances and patience are both tested. Out of this chaos however, REAL change is not only possible but probable – if you want it to the degree where your thoughts and actions bring it about.

You are the sole person – for good or bad my friend – who ultimately will decide your destiny; how long or short the job search will be, what you’ll end up doing. This can be a time of excitement and opportunities to seize, or it can be a low point in your life full of negatively, setbacks and disappointments.

Yes, you didn’t think you’d be here at this time. But here you are. How you look at things can determine how you look to employers. Think on things!

Rejected? Passed Over? Wondering Why?


One of the most frustrating things about looking for work is being turned down for a job where you believe you really wanted. Let’s face it, most of us apply for a mixture of jobs we really want and some we’ll take if offered, but don’t really excite us. So when we think we’re perfect for some job and we don’t get it, it may be a serious let down. Why didn’t we get chosen?

To answer this question, imagine yourself out shopping for furniture; you’re on the hunt for a chair to complete the look in your living room. If you’re like most people, it’s probable you’ll look at several options before deciding on one. Some you’ll reject at first glance.  You may have an idea what you’re looking for – you want a contemporary look, it has to recline and you want something with a dash of colour but it has to be tasteful too.

In the furniture store, Sales staff will likely ask you what you’re looking for, getting some information so they can steer you to chairs most likely to meet your needs. As you narrow things down, they might even tell you that a certain chair you’ve expressed interest in can be upholstered to your liking, and they’ll show you swatches of fabric from which to choose. It can all be so overwhelming with so many choices. You might even visit multiple stores, repeating the process until you land on that one best fit. No doubt you’ve considered style, function, cost, availability, durability, visual appeal, pattern and comfort. You’ve also thought about how it will fit with the existing furniture you own.

Having completed your transaction, you soon have your chair at home. Now you see for the first time how it really fits, whether it goes as well as you pictured it in the store. You hang on to the receipt because if need be, you’ve got 30 days to return it for a refund should something cause you to return it.

Ah, the job search? Remember that? What’s this chair shopping have to do with being rejected or passed over for the job you really wanted? Okay, let’s get to that.

In the analogy of buying a chair, you’re the employer and the Sales staff are like Recruiters. All those various chairs you looked at are the job applicants. Some chairs were so wrong you knew at first glance. You ruled out over-sized leather ones, hard-backed rockers, swivels,  non-recliners, etc. These are like the resumes received from people who don’t even come close to having the qualifications the employer is looking for.

The Sales staff are indeed like Recruiters, Temporary Agencies etc. as they ask questions to find what you’re looking for. They want to be the one to deliver the right chair just as the Recruiter or Temporary Agency wants to the be the source you choose for hiring that perfect employee.

You as the employer doing the hiring? You’re picky aren’t you? Oh yes! You could have chosen any number of chairs that met your basic need of functioning as a chair, but you wanted more. You needed something to add to the room, to match the colour-scheme you were going for, or to be that one piece that popped. So too will employers take their time to make sure that the chemistry of the teams they have at the time of hiring won’t be disturbed, or perhaps yes, they do want someone to come in and shake things up a bit.

When you’re rejected or passed over, it’s vitally important that you pause and think about WHY. Too many people don’t do this; they move on to other jobs they are applying to and miss learning from the experience. Now it could be that you can’t learn of the team chemistry where you’d like to work, but you can try. Researching, reaching out to company contacts – even asking flat-out in a job interview. You want to find out as best you can if the fit will be a good one for both them and you. I bet you’ve taken jobs where you or someone else clearly didn’t fit in. Did it go well? Did it last? Could be an employer does both themselves AND YOU a favour by not hiring you!

Now while a chair can be upholstered with different colours to fit varying tastes, people don’t always have the same ability to adapt. While in the short-term you might pull off being something you aren’t at heart, eventually your true nature shines through, and so you might not make it past some probation period; like the chair that gets returned after 20 days because it just didn’t fit after the home test.

So this is why you didn’t get that job where you were sure you met all their qualifications. Perhaps on paper you were a possible, but other candidates ended up being a better fit. They did a better job matching up with the employer’s needs either on their resumes or in the interview process. It doesn’t mean you’re not the right chair for someone else – right candidate for someone else (sorry). Could you do the job? Perhaps. Were you the best fit? This time around, no. Don’t take it personally if you’re not selected. That’s like a chair doubting it’s ability to work as a chair.