Most job-seekers experience a lot of ups and downs while looking for work. It’s quite common for this virtual roller coaster to cause us to start telling ourselves “stories” about emotionally fraught circumstances that aren’t necessarily true — and believing them can slow us down on our path to employment. Recently, The Muse published an article exploring this tendency, titled “4 Lies You Tell Yourself During the Job Search When You’re Desperate.” Highlights of the article can be found below, along with additional information relevant to cancer survivors:
- #1: Employers aren’t calling me back because “my experience is just too...” The Muse article suggests that many people will complete this sentence in a way that pertains to their professional experience, by using words such as advanced or unique. Cancer survivors, on the other hand — in particular, those who have a gap in their work history due to taking time off for treatment — may complete the sentence in a far more pessimistic way. Survivors often feel that because there is a gap on their resume, potential employers will think they are under-qualified for the job. But it helps to keep in mind that ever since the 2008 recession, 85% of hiring managers have become more understanding of resume gaps. So instead of getting hung up on this “story,” consider ways in which you can address a break on your resume, or update your LinkedIn profile to highlight the skills and experience that make you an amazing candidate.
- #s 2 & 3: “I nailed the interview and got the job” and/or “They’ll get back to me.” After weeks of job-search challenges, having an interview that seems to go exceedingly well can provide a very welcome sense of relief. However, a terrific interview doesn’t guarantee you’ll be offered the job. So rather than bask in the glow of your great meeting, use that positive energy to continue fueling your ongoing search — particularly, if a significant amount of time has passed since you last heard from your contact.
- #4: “Any job is better than the one I have.” We often hear from survivors whose cancer diagnosis prompted them to take a long, hard look at their employment situation and acknowledge (finally!) that they’re unhappy with it. For many, that realization generates a feeling of needing to find something else ASAP. But it’s important to remember that a new opportunity is not necessarily the right opportunity for you. Ultimately, it is much better to thoroughly vet a job offer and be 100% sure about accepting it, than to find yourself in another less-than-ideal circumstance six months down the road.