In this economy good jobs are hard to find and the few that are available, have a multitude of applicants.  Each applicant believes he or she is the best candidate for that job.  In some cases (I would venture to say in this economy, most cases) that is true.  However, being qualified and getting the job is another story.


I have over twenty years experience in my career.  I have had many accolades throughout this career and I have been promoted several times because of my work performance.  None of this is said in a boastful tone.  I just wanted to acknowledge that I am qualified, but that does not get my foot in the door so easily.


I have taken a lot of time and reflected on where to apply, how to re-invent myself, determine my strengths and admit my weaknesses (albeit to myself), and from this I have shaped a resume to tell future employers about myself.  I put the needed time in to write a cover letter that details my qualifications and states why I would be an asset.  I have had some response and I have had interviews, but I have yet to receive a job offer.


I thanked them for the opportunity verbally and by a written letter (e-mail) and I have inquired if they had any tips (tools to help me out) for me to utilize in my job search.  Those that have responded to the thank you letter have given me compliments on my qualifications and just wished me luck.  Nothing constructive was given.


It drove me crazy.  Realistically I know that I am applying for positions along with a large number of applicants.  I have to be grateful for being chosen to interview.  I am sure they’re being inundated with resumes and when they decide to “weed out” applicants, it is a good sign to get a call back and to be able to schedule an interview.


I put myself through intense preparation.  I do my research and I devise strong solid questions about the company and the work description.  I make sure my appearance is professional; thus fitting the position.  I arrive early to the interview and when I am called in for the interview, I pay close attention to the person or people who interview and I reply to their questions.  I remain focused, show interest, and I pose questions as well.


I get cues from the interviewer such as “you sound like a great fit” or “you have the qualifications we desire”, and the interview is ended with a “we’ll be in contact with you” response.  I leave and I feel somewhat optimistic, but not overconfident (I hate getting overconfident because the fall is too great when the offer never comes).


I send out my thank you letter and I wait to hear back.  Some respond with an e-mail or a call, but many never make contact again.  I try to think from their perspective and if I had over 500 hundred applicants (as some of my job searches have been), I am not sure if I would be able to contact or would want to contact them all.


Taking all of this in stride and wanting some resolution to come quickly, I have to weigh all of this and re-invent myself again.  I also need to look at factors that may be involved whether they are right or wrong.  Sometimes we may be qualified for a job, but we have factors or issues that are held against us for whatever reason the interviewer deems necessary.


In my case my age and my weight come into play.  My age is over fifty and I have made a higher salary than what the employer wants to pay.  I also have less time to work before I retire.  I also have a weight issue.  I am extremely overweight and yes, for the jobs that I apply to, that should not be a factor.  Unfortunately, for some it is.  I may be seen as someone who will use a company’s health insurance a little too frequently, or maybe they feel I would take advantage of sick time allotted for the position.  Now I am just surmising this, but if I can draw these conclusions, I am sure they can as well.


What do I do?  I have to learn to “jobgotiate”.  This is not a time to be negative or to sit in a corner and eat your way through it, bite your nails, or freak out.  You need to think outside the box and set a plan in motion.  Define possible excuses or reasons not to hire you and then diffuse or answer them.  Do not let it take you by surprise.  Find a way to get through this.


I know.  I know this is easier said than done.  But you have to be proactive and have a set plan.  When I state “jobgotiate” I mean to create a tool to help you get the job you want.  Make a list, write down your needs (salary, security, flexibility to mention a few) and then address them with the employer.  Of course, salary should not be mentioned unless it is brought up by the interviewer.  A lot of applications want an idea of your desired salary and be upfront, but also be upfront of where you can compromise also.  For example, job security is the most important requirement of mine.  I am not trying to downplay salary, but I can play with the desired amount and lower it if possible, in order to achieve job security.  What are you willing to comprise to get this job?  What can you afford to sacrifice for this job?  In this market we have to be savvier than we ever were.  We need to be strategic in our decision-making details before, during, and after the job interview.  We are not the ones in control.  They have the control because they have the job and we are too many that make up a group applying for a single position.  We have to be smart about this and play to our advantage.


I have hope that this will work out for me.  My hope started off small and unstable.  I was too caught up in my fear.  One day I decided that I am worth it and I saw a new vision.  I saw a positive individual who will find work.  I will be prepared as I have always been, but I will fight for any opportunity.  I will show the proper respect to myself, as well as, to the prospective employer.  I will have an answer for their questions whether they be verbalized or implied.  I will not sell myself short, but will show through my work history, references, and passion, a strong work ethic and a glimpse of my character.  My hope is getting stronger every day because my resolve is getting stronger.  Invest the needed time to gather this together and go out there not only informed, but positive of what you can offer and do for that employer.  Wipe off the rejections and focus on the positive and never let them see you write yourself off.  “Jobgotiate” for what you want, believe it can happen, go after it and stay focused.  It will happen if you decide it will happen.  Best wishes to all!

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