JOB SEARCH / NOV. 27, 2014
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How to Overcome the Fear Factor of Job Market Competition

Football is my favourite game at the moment. To begin with, one can’t really tell which team will win the cup title at the end of every season. Moreover, teams invest millions just to sign in the best players in the world. We can’t forget to mention the thrill and intensity of this 90 minute game. Emotions run high, fouls are committed and incredible breath-taking goals are scored. On the other hand, job market competition isn’t something to smile about or look forward to. There are no designated rules for fair-play and in many cases, it’s the liars and cheats that clinch lucrative jobs. All the same, we have to face job market competition. But for some reason, most of us hate it because:

It tends to bring out the worst in people

I think I’ve mentioned this dilemma on several occasions. Many recruitment processes aren’t vetted by independent bodies and governments prefer adapting a hands-off approach on the same. So in essence, the job market is like a wild bush left unattended. To begin with, higher education institutions rarely do a thorough analysis as to what PARTICULAR skills are needed in the job market. It’s no wonder there is a big discord between education systems and job market demands. So when graduates land on the job market and find that their degrees are not that competitive, then they’ll result to ’Plan Bs’ that are not so integral. Talk of bribery, family connections or even friendship ties - these are just but a few short-cut tactics used to avoid job market competition. It’s no wonder...

The undeserved get rewarded immensely

Most of us can list down people that don’t deserve to hold their current jobs positions. From top government officials to company CEOs and key stakeholders in various industries. From a layman’s perspective, it’s the most honest and hard working that should clinch lucrative job positions. But that doesn’t seem to be the case these days. The most clever, manipulative and crafty seem to be winning by the day to the point where it’s actually becoming a common formality. That’s why...

Cheating is the norm in many cases

When the situation gets from bad to worse, then the good people also start to cheat. In any case, many allude to the fact that "if you can’t beat them, join them." So it gets to a point where it’s no longer about who’s best suited for the job. Instead, recruitment processes become a mere public relations stunt since the suitable candidate was already chosen a long time ago through back door tactics. The end result...

Battles get more Bruising and Mysterious by the year

There are crafty means to getting a job that are usually kept under the radar. Some of them are in fact too shameful and unconventional to mention. And to avoid the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I think I’ll stop at that. All in all, It gets to a point where recruitment processes are no longer sound and just. Instead, they turn out to be mysterious and bruising battles that leave unnecessary scars on job seekers. It’s no wonder...

Job Searching Morale gradually Tumbles

Considering the scars that job seekers have to endure with every job interview, many prefer to avoid job interviews altogether. Not that these people are weak, it’s just that there seems to be no reward in the struggle they’re going through to get that meaningful job. In fact, I’ve mentioned this recently - statistics show that many job seekers have in fact quit looking for jobs and are seeking alternatives to progress in their careers.

How then does one Overcome the Fear Factor of Job Market Competition

#1 Narrow down your priorities

We’re always advised that the more we try, the more likely we are to succeed. Well, that might be true but, every rule in life has its limits. So yes, you do want to try as much as possible, but this should be done in a smart and efficient way. For instance, learn to discern job interviews worth attending. If a company carries out a transparent recruitment process, well and good. But if a company is used to back door tactics and favouritism, then don’t waste your time and energy. I never said it’s impossible to get a job from such manipulative recruiters, but then again, the odds are stacked against you. Speaking of which...

#2 Consult and Consolidate your Career Circle

In light of narrowing down your priorities, you should also stop using the same naive tactics in clinching a job opportunity. That being said, it would be wise to consult and consolidate your career circle. These are people that can give testimony to what you’ve achieved in your career and can recommend you for various job posts. In any case, if a recruitment process is carried out under the radar, then your career acquaintances might prove to be handy especially if they are frequently involved in such discreet recruitment processes. That’s why you should make it a priority to...

#3 Have Contingencies to Keep you Moving

Contingencies give you a sense of indifference in the sense that neither rejection nor acceptance will jeopardize you career momentum. For instance, you may be rejected severally in job interviews, but you’ve got something on the sidelines to keep you going. Maybe an entrepreneurial venture, a freelance gig or some contractual engagements that keep coming up once in a while. That way, you’ll keep yourself cool despite stiff job market competition and you won’t have to make unnecessary desperate moves to clinch job opportunities. Bottom line remains that it’s unwise to put all your career eggs in one basket.

I think career success is all about adapting to the prevalent situation at the moment. Whether employed or unemployed, you can experience career success irrespective of stiff job market competition. As Ray Kroc once said "The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being at the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it."

Image Credit: Find Wallpaper

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