In a Job Search? Quit Complaining

job searchIf you're conducting a job search in this no-go economy you no doubt have a lot to complain about. It turns out all your bellyaching can help you if you tune in to what you're grumbling about and why.

I just finished reading Jon Gordon's book The No Complaining Rule. In the book he points out, "Complaining can be a gift if we use it correctly. Once we know what we don't like, we can decide what we do like and act on it. We can use complaining as a catalyst for positive change."

Here are some common job search complaints and advice for using Gordon's No Complaining strategies to move past them.


My resume isn't working.

When job seekers don't get interviews, they often blame their resume. But in truth, the resume is just one piece of the process. If you are complaining about your resume, examine how you are using it and think about how you can change tactics.

For example, if your primary method of search is posting on job boards, start building meaningful connections with the people who can hire you rather than relying on people whose job it is to parse resume data. Target a few companies that you would like to work for, where you believe there is a good fit and approach them directly, even if they aren't hiring. Every company recruits at some point. Building relationships now improves the odds that you'll be a candidate when opportunities emerge.


No one in my network can help me find a job.

Tell the truth, have you spent the last 15 years "networking" with the same six colleagues? If so, you're overdue to reach out to friends, family, fellow alumni, past colleagues, members of professional organizations, community service providers, and people you meet via online communities. You never know where leads are going to come from and you don't want to wear out your welcome by coming back to the same person over and over. If you haven't done so in a while, find ways to reach out to new people over the next few weeks.


I interviewed for a position but I haven't heard back about next steps.

Take the initiative to follow up on your own. This doesn't mean leaving dozens of voice mail messages or sending multiple emails. Instead send a note that reinforces the value you could bring to the team. You might forward a relevant article, information about an industry event or an acknowledgment of something you read about the company recently.


It takes too long for the companies to make a decision.

Get used to it. Landing a job might be your top priority, but it's probably lower down on the list of the overburdened manager doing the hiring. Deal with it by reaching out periodically to communicate that you are aware that they haven't made a decision yet but you continue to remain very interested in the position. Then go for a run or a bike ride or a coffee or grocery shopping, whatever you need to do to put it out of your mind.


The person who interviewed me doesn't seem to "get" what I do.

If your first interview is with an hr person, she might recruit for several functions across the company and not know all the nuts and bolts of what you do. Still, she's the bridge to the next round, so keep an open mind and a positive demeanor. Generally, HR is looking for cultural fit and your ability to work well in a team. Having several accomplishment-focused stories to demonstrate these competencies will help get you in front of the person who really counts, the boss you would actually be working for.

Next: How to Get Noticed By Recruiters >>



Barbara Safani

Barbara Safani

Editor

Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, has over fifteen years of experience in career management, recruiting, executive coaching, and organizational development.

Barbara partners with both Fortune 100 companies and individuals to deliver targeted programs focusing on resume development, job search strategies, networking, interviewing, salary negotiation skills, and online identity management.

She is the author of Happy About My Resume: 50 Tips For Building a Better Document to Secure a Brighter Future and #JOBSEARCHtweet and her award-winning resumes are featured in dozens of career-related publications.

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Faith

Me,

Thanks for the info. I'll remember what you said, and want tell them till after I get hired.

March 29 2010 at 8:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christopher

Yea, it's well known, India is the hub of tech support. Stand up comics and the sitcom, "BIG BANG THEORY" often refer to tech support from Calcutta. Yes, Susan, like you I was earning over $25.00 per hour. The movers and shakers don't want to pay that any more. I'm done ranting. I pray everyone finds peace and security in this life.

March 29 2010 at 2:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Susan

Pretty condescending tone there, Jennifer (No. 21), from a young whippersnapper to the old folks! Betcha I could whip your young butt around the Internet and back to Powerpoint! Truth is, my dear, most “older” folks KNOW how to type because they started on a manual. They also know about word processing because they worked on the first that were ever invented and kept updating right along with the technical business world. Training us into the position? Now, which position would that be? We’ve been in the working world for the past 20, 30, 40 years to make sure your generation has Social Security when you get to be our age, not that it will do us much good. Those to whom you are directing your snotty comments have been in the rat race since before you were a gleam in your Mommy’s eye. Your comments only serve those who have been out of the workforce for the past 10 years or so. Kudos to you for getting your engineering degree. Hope the “good ole boys” appreciate your high-handed attitude. A word to the wise . . . a college degree does not entitle you to respect. That you have to earn. One day you’ll understand what all the old farts are bitching about. When you’ve worked 20, 30, 40 years, you’ve paid your dues into the establishment and don’t take too kindly to youngsters taking advantage of what they have not earned yet. And, I’m sure there are 70 and 80-somethings out there who have felt at one time the same way us baby boomers are feeling now. And, you will, too, someday - in the all too near future.

March 29 2010 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gary

BUT MOST COMPANIES WILL TAKE A OLDER PERSON FOR A PART TIME MEANINGLESS POSITION SUCH AS HANDING OUT MAIL OR CLEANING BATHROOMS OR MOWING GRASS FOR MIN WAGE! WE NEED FULLTIME WORK AND HEALTH INSURANCE TOO! THEY DONT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND OR OBVIOUSLY DONT CARE! A COMBINATION OF BOTH I THINK!

March 28 2010 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gary

SO NOW, YOU YOUNG PEOPLE KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TOO WHEN YOU GET UP THERE IN AGE! FIGHT FOR US AND IT WILL BE THERE FOR YOU WHEN YOU GET OUR AGE! AND YOU WONT HAVE THE PROBLEM WE DO!

March 28 2010 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gary

ive tried all the info you have mentioned several times! it doesnt work most of the time , no matter how experienced or if youve had perfect attendeance for ever ! age has alot to do if you get hired or not! lets be honest people, they would rather have a person that is young so they can bend and shape them the way they want!they have this mind set if your older you are set in your ways and would buck the system! obviously if this happens the person interviewing or making the decision isnt experienced enough to be hiring! it usually ends up back firing on the company hiring because the younger person will leave at the drop of a hat for more money and a bigger company quick as were a older person would stick it out knowing how the younger person will make out!good companies and experienced people doing the hiring will see the experience with the older person and hire them knowing they are compitent and less supervision is needed and makes their job easier ! young hr people dont see this most of the time and end up hurting their company by not taking advantage of the older ones experience and good they are bringing with them! so, the company looses out and a good person is left hanging!

March 28 2010 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
debrockman

Tough one. I appreciate that you are an honest person, but if you were an employer, whould you knowingly add someone to your team who might have attendance problems and would potentially add to your health insurance costs? I really don't think I would open up so much.

March 28 2010 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to debrockman's comment
Susan

I agree, HR, that the possibility of older people having health problems is better than average on the whole. However, I have seen more young people out sick from partying on a school night or coming in hung over from the night before and sitting and staring at the computer for a whole day but getting paid for it. I currently have worse health problems because the two attorneys I worked for offered health insurance as part of the job package after a 90 day period and then reneged on it. That was three years ago, but I stuck it out because I needed the job. I'm now paying almost $500 a month for my own insurance and am getting the proper medical treatment, even though they nixed my job to make way for a younger person. My health problem would not have grown had I had the medical insurance three years ago!

March 29 2010 at 12:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
debrockman

I do, but I also hire people. And I've hired several people over 50 in the past month.

March 28 2010 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christopher

What occurred during the Reagan administration was the unleashing of Wall Street and Corporate GREED! While Clinton was president the new necessity, the PC and all things dot com
injected untold dollars into the economy. Times were good.
So laws governing business, commerce and banking got more relaxed. The middle class became collateral damage blatantly
under George W. Bush. The richest top 1 % of our nation's people make fortunes upon fortunes cutting away U. S. citizens jobs. Most of our goods are manufactured in China and if you need tech support, you most likely will be speaking long distance to India. This nation is ruled by CEO's. Bernard Madoff got caught. He is a small example of the plunder we have endured. Every problem requires courageous thought, planning and action.

March 28 2010 at 2:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Christopher's comment
Susan

WOW! I missed that rant. Good one, Christopher. I was talking to a tech on the phone at, I think, Comcast one day. His name was Sanji, or something like that. Barely spoke English. I asked him where he was. He said "Ohio". So, I asked him what the capital was. Darn! He couldn't say... Hmmmmm.

March 29 2010 at 1:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
debrockman

I'm way over 50. 50 doesn't have to be old. It can be a huge advantage. That is my point.

March 27 2010 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to debrockman's comment
Susan

You must HAVE a job...

March 27 2010 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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