Are You Afraid To Leave Your Job?
--Do you want/need to go back to school? Look for employers who offer tuition reimbursement and flexible hours. If you feel your education is insufficient and might hamper your efforts to get another job, you should enroll in classes or (at the very least) you should mention on your job interviews that you are actively seeking to improve your education. This is really important if you’re pursuing a degree that relates to the field in which you are seeking a job.
--Do you think you’d be a weak interviewee or that you won’t come across as worth hiring? Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Talk to those with intimate knowledge of your work ethic and performance and find out how you can improve. You might be surprised to learn that you have a better reputation than you imagine. Sometimes we take on people’s criticisms about ourselves and are overly critical of our actual job performance. I once worked with someone who confided in me that she couldn’t get another job because she was “stupid,” which was how she was treated, spoken to, and referred to by her coworkers and superiors. Ask around! You might be more skilled than you realize and you may learn that the only stupid people are the ones who treated you so disrespectfully. You may also learn that you ARE ready for that new job and you already have great references lined up!
--Not motivated to search for a job? Think about your work-related goals and come up with a one-year plan to fulfilling those goals. Can you accomplish these things at your current job or will you just be going through the motions? A new job can help you challenge yourself to be the best you can be at the best workplace for you. Focus on how your life can improve with new employment.
--Are you afraid you won’t fit in at a new company? What personality traits make you question your ability to get along with coworkers and supervisors? Take a look at how you can improve the way you communicate, verbally and in writing. Many problems at work are personality-related and not work-related. But, you can only be responsible for yourself. Work on being a person that treats others with respect, focus on and meet deadlines, ask questions when you’re unsure about instructions, try to get things right the first time you do them, and be proactive. You’ll be surprised how well you’ll get along with reasonable and sane coworkers. I can’t vouch for the others.
--Think you’re too old? Yes, some companies may look for employees who are fresh out of college. They want staff they can work to death and who will be worked to death on the cheap. They want people they can underpay, who won’t complain about a low salary. When you’re looking for a job, you should focus on selling your expertise and your extensive knowledge of systems and processes that relate to your job. Don’t forget, you’ve made many contacts over the years. That gives you an advantage over the kids because of your experience AND your ability to network and bring work (read: money) into the company. If you’re not in a so-called “highly skilled position,” a position that doesn’t require a degree or special training and doesn’t allow you client contact or the ability to generate new business, sell the fact that you know how to get things done.
One of the most recent issues in the current workplace is that many people have very poor writing skills and many people don’t know how to type, especially with speed and accuracy. Yes, this includes the newly graduating set of job competitors. If you can type for speed and accuracy and have good or excellent writing skills, make mention of that fact when seeking other employment. Have writing samples available.