It’s what you tell yourself when things are not going your way and when every job interview turns into a form of rejection. It’s what you want to believe because it’s easier sometimes to feel sorry for yourself instead of maybe doing something about it. It’s how you feel when you hear over and again how others are getting the coveted job offers and you are still wondering why you can’t lock down an interview.
Here are a few job lies you hear when you think you just can’t take one more ounce of rejection.
1) “You are overqualified”: It’s a nice way of hearing someone tell you, “I’m too old and they want to hire someone younger and cheaper.” Well, that maybe true, but being overqualified means that you have more experience and expertise than is probably required for the job. Think smart. Maybe offer yourself up as a consultant or a subject-matter expert as opposed to applying for or considering a job that may be beneath you.
2) “You are not a cultural fit”: You’ve got to love this one. You never quite know what a hiring manager is trying to tell you. Are you looking a bit tight in the pants or are you just not the “type” they want in the job? Fit is a nice way of telling you that you are qualified for the job, but we are not sure you’ll play nice with the other insecure folks we have in the company.
3) “We are looking for thought leaders”: Not sure what a “thought leader “is? Don’t worry, I’m sure the hiring manager does not know what it means either but it sounds good on a job description or interview. The next time you need to think in order to lead, I’d challenge you probably need to think in order to do just about any job. Next time someone thinks you can’t think and lead at the same time, maybe you should consider turning down the job offer from the idiot who challenged your ability to walk and chew gum at the same time.
4) “Your compensation requirements are out of our range”: Note to self, this is code for, “We don’t want to pay you what you want.” It’s okay to consider a pay cut when you are in transition or considering a career change, but when the hiring manager is not willing to pay you what you were making in your last job and you are considering a lateral move, don’t feel bad and turn the job down if they are not willing to budge.
5) “We are looking for self-starters and independent thinkers”: This is a nice way of saying we don’t want to manage you and we sure hope you know what you are doing because we don’t have time to explain anything to you. When you think they are paying you a compliment, think again. Hiring managers sometimes have interesting ways to hide the truth. Learn to read between the lines and understand just what kind of work environment you are getting yourself into.
So when the job lies keep playing around your head, pause and remember it’s only the lies you tell yourself that are keeping you from the job you want. Be wise, be on the alert and don’t always believe everything you are told.