First, do you even have a job search elephant in the room? Are you sure? Basically, the concept refers to an obvious problem no one wants to talk about. What does that mean in relation to your job search activity?
For example, you might realize you have an issue, but you’re trying to ignore it. That could be because you really want to move forward quickly so you can land a new job. Another possibility is that you’re not aware of the issue, but others who might be are hesitant about bringing it up.
POSSIBLE JOB SEARCH ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM
Ask yourself if any of the following sound at least possible for your particular elephant:
- Not happy in your current job but reluctant to rock the boat in case it makes things worse.
- Reasonably comfortable in your job but wondering if there’s something better out there.
- Concerned that you haven’t conducted a job search in so long, you’ll flop miserably.
- Doubtful about your qualifications for better jobs—uncertain if your skills and areas of expertise are competitive in today’s job market.
- Worried that your age will work against you in the next job search.
The above list is by no means all-inclusive. You could have an elephant (issue) that’s not shown. What’s important is that you take a careful look at your situation, including your state of mind. Try to determine whether a potentially major problem does exist that could hinder your job search.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT JOB SEARCH ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM
There’s probably no one-size-fits-all solution to those troublesome elephants. You might just have to investigate any issues you’ve identified and see if you can come up with potentially useful approaches.
Points to consider include the following:
- Have you tried to launch a job search previously and failed for no obvious reason? If so, maybe you do have an issue you need to pin down and explore further.
- Are friends, family, colleagues, or others dropping hints about a problem that you haven’t paid attention to so far? Unless you have someone who tends to speak his or her mind readily, you might need to pick up on more subtle signals.
- Can you start by dealing with low-hanging fruit? That is, do you have job-search issues that you can remedy easily? If the answer is yes, you have an opportunity to build momentum by starting with easy steps.
Special Note: If ageism strikes you as a major concern, there’s no snap answer that resolves it quickly. It exists and in some ways has increased in recent years. That’s a subject for a separate article, but you will want to take it into consideration when planning your job search.
Once you become familiar with any job search elephants in the room that you’re facing, the important thing is to determine what you need to do to handle it and then TAKE THAT ACTION!
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