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Common job search myths that could be holding you back

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Are you talking yourself out of an opportunity? Perhaps looking for reasons why you’re not the best person for the job, or focused on what you don’t have, as opposed to what you do bring to the role? Alyson Garrido de-bunks five common job search myths, and offers positive affirmations to help you frame a positive mindset about your journey.

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As a career coach, I hear the same limiting beliefs from my clients over and over. It’s time to get rid of this negative self-talk. This article outlines five common job search myths that we must stop believing (even if you have been out of the workforce for a prolonged period). I recommend that you say these myths out loud as you read each paragraph, then vow to never say them again. I’ve recommended some replacement phrases that can help you to re-frame your mindset and quell that negative self-talk.

1. “My network is too small and can’t help.”

Your network is much larger than you think. Your current and former colleagues are just the tip of the iceberg.  Are you a weekend volleyball player? Mother? Friend? Volunteer? Pianist? You know lots of people through those avenues, in addition to those you know through your professional life, and they should also be considered as important contacts within your network.

A client recently shared with me that her close friend is a famous Spanish guitarist. I would never have known or guessed that she had that connection, but it’s there! It would have been a mistake to dismiss her as someone with no connections in the music industry only because she works in human resources. You just never know!

Replace with: “My network is growing and will work for me.”


2. “I don’t meet all of the qualifications, so I shouldn’t apply.”

If you think you can do the job, you should apply. If you disqualify yourself, you will surely miss the opportunity. Write a killer cover letter, tailor your CV, apply for the job, then find a contact at the company and reiterate your interest. Better yet, see if someone you know can put in a good word for you. Think of the job description as a wish list. It is rare that a candidate checks every single box. Put yourself in the running and work hard to make the case of why you are the best fit for the role.

Replace with: “I’m qualified for this job and will tell you why.”


3. “Networking
 feels inauthentic.”

Networking is about conversations and getting to know people. Those who are being inauthentic are doing it wrong and will struggle to build meaningful and lasting relationships. Be yourself and seek out the organisation and events that fit your personality and communication preferences. Do you prefer a lot of structure? Try speed networking. Prefer longer conversations? Some organisations create a curated networking experience and match you with others who have similar backgrounds or interests. If you are struggling with the timing of events due to family needs, you can also look beyond events and instead ask your contacts for introductions. Consider also the social events in your diary, and what opportunities they can present to meet new people. There is a way for you to find networking enjoyable, and to find the right opportunities for you; you may just need to think more broadly, or put in a little effort to find it.

Replace with: “Networking is a great way to build meaningful relationships that will open doors for me.”


4. “I hate asking people for things.”

People want to help. I repeat — people want to help! I consistently hear from colleagues and clients who are amazed at the responses they receive when they finally ask for what they need. In order to reframe this limiting belief, focus on the experience you have, where you excel, and what you bring to the table. Share what you have to offer and ask that your contacts keep an eye out for someone who is interested in your set of skills. In this reframe, rather than asking ‘please find me a job,’ you’re painting a picture of the type of problem you can solve. When your contact comes across someone with that problem, they can recommend your services. You’re not asking for help, but asking to provide others with a valuable resource — you!

Replace with: “I am offering a service and people can’t take advantage of my services if they don’t know I’m available.”


5. “Nothing is working.”

Interviews and job offers are not the only way to measure the success of your search. Think of your efforts as planting seeds. You never know what seeds will grow, but if you plant enough, one surely will. Have faith that your efforts will pay off as long as you not only plant those seeds, but nurture them, too. A new contact will probably be reluctant to recommend you after your first meeting, so follow up with an invitation for coffee and continue to show what a talented professional you are.

Replace with: “Every little step gets me further along my path to success.”

It is common to experience these nasty, self-defeating thoughts. The key is to recognise these myths when they appear, and remind yourself of the truth. A positive attitude goes a long way in finding and landing your next role. So show these limiting beliefs the door, and instead focus on how you can boost your job prospects to make that role yours!

By Alyson Garrido
Career Coach


Alyson Garrido is passionate about helping people advance their careers and find jobs they will enjoy. As a career coach, she partners with her clients to identify their strengths and create a path toward a more fulfilling career. Learn more at www.alysongarrido.com.

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