Teenage Determination in Your Job Search

Remember when you were a teenager and wanted to go somewhere with friends and your parents said no?  You were shocked because “NO” is not in the Teenager dictionary.   So, what did you do?  You stepped back and tried a different angle to get your way.   You were going to do anything within your power to find a way to go out with your friends. Am I right?  Of course I am.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

The same should apply to a certain extent with your job search.  I am baffled by the number of job seekers who receive a “flush” letter or no response at all to a job application and take that no as a ”forever no”.  The candidate will bow his or her head and walk away defeated.  I often ask, “Whatever happened to your teenage grit?”  Usually that gets me some narrowed eyes, but if that also comes with a bit of newfound determination, then great.

Let me be clear, I do not agree with continually badgering a person after being told no.   I am, however, surprised how many times job seekers run quickly in other direction after a simple “NO”.  My response is “STOP THAT!”  Of course, you have to know when enough is enough too, so be careful not to cross that line.

My advice?   Try to find out more information.  Do further research.  Did your resume get to the correct hands?  If you only applied online and didn’t network your way to a hiring manager, then I have to honestly say you deserve the lack of response (do you have another blog entry for this – if so, you may link to it here).  But for those who network, and maybe even interview, only to turned away, I urge you to seek out more information.  Here are some quick tips if you are ever turned down for a position:

  1. Ask why? Were you not qualified?  Did you interview poorly?  Did you make any mistakes?  If you need more experience, ask for advice on what you need to do in order to return one day and be successful in obtaining another position with the organization. 
  2. Continue to network.  The position you applied for may not have been right for you.  Seek other opportunities within the organization or at least be on the company radar in the event this position or something similar arises in the future.
  3. Never burn your bridges.  Never get a chip on your shoulder for being turned down for a position.  There is always a reason, but I promise that the company did not try to squash your goals in anyway.   Also remember that the people you meet in business will most likely turn up again during your career.  Treat everyone in business as a potential client and/or colleague for the future. 

There is always a time in which you will have to take no as a final answer.  Respect that answer, but have you ever thought that walking away after a simple no might prove to a company that you were never that serious in the first place?  That old adage that the squeaky wheel gets the grease does have some merit. 

The next time you do not receive a position you really want, ask why?  It’s a great networking and mentorship opportunity as well.  Show your interest.  Show your passion.  And most importantly, do what you have to do to become the best candidate so you can reach those career goals.  You will never know until you ask.


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