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Are You Making a Tough Situation Worse?

Are You Making a Tough Situation Worse?

The job market is an odd place. There are times when things are good for people looking for work. There are more employers looking to hire people than there are job candidates looking to fill the vacancies. That doesn’t describe the current situation though, does it? Right now, there are a lot fewer jobs than there are people out of work looking to get into work. Even that is a pretty simplistic description of things. Even in the middle of a recession, there will be sectors of the job market that are thriving. Even in times of economic prosperity, there will be sectors that are going down the tubes.

When there are a lot fewer jobs available than there are people looking for work, the chances of being rejected when you apply are a lot higher than when the reverse is true. Not only that, but the number of candidates competing for those jobs also goes up, which further increases the chances of a rejection. The chances of landing any job that you apply for becomes that bit more unlikely and this is a reality that you have to come to terms with. Coming to terms with it is easier said than done when you’re battling with the frustration and the fear that goes with it.

And there’s something that makes the frustration even worse and it’s this:

It’s the not knowing whether the rejection was because the economic situation is so tough or because your application, or your performance at interview were not that impressive.

So, how do you move forward from a position like this? You’re never going to escape the stress entirely, but you can do a lot to relieve the worst of it if you can feel confident that you’re adopting the approach, the strategies that are most likely to increase your chances.

Let’s start with what is not going help.

  • Don’t panic.

Going into panic mode prevents you from “thinking straight.”  Going into panic mode makes you look for an easy way out, rather than seeking your best option.

  • The Easy Way.

I came across a classic example of this only this morning when I was considering what I should write about today. Apparently, a lot of graduates are getting so fed up with being rejected that they are now registering for Masters degrees. According to the universities, they’re experiencing a 20% rise in the number of applications to study for a Masters. Does this make sense?

If your intention is to follow a career in research or in teaching, yes it does. If you’re enrolled for a Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship (the equivalent of a Masters Degree) and this was always part of your plan, it definitely does. However, if you’re enrolled for a course like that, you’re among the least likely to be facing the job rejection scenario. While there’s never any guarantee, the chances are that the employer who’s supplying that apprenticeship took you on with the intention of employing you full time when you completed it…and without advertising a vacancy to competitors who haven’t done the course!

If, on the other hand, your reason for applying is to escape the pain of further rejection, or to put off for another 12 months having to look again for a job, it makes very little sense beyond the temporary relief you may feel.

Don’t be tempted to apply for a Masters course just because someone else tells you it’s your best option. Ask them why they think that? Ask them what other options they considered before giving that advice. When people feel your pain with you, it’s only natural that they will want to give you advice based on what they know of the situation. Just be aware that it might not amount to very much!

You don’t need me to remind you how expensive any university degree course is going to be. I can almost guarantee that taking a Masters course will be the most expensive option you have.

  • There’s a vital question you need to ask yourself.

That question is: “In what way is the action I take going to improve my prospects?”

Is taking a Masters going to increase the number of jobs out there? It isn’t is it? Is taking a Masters going to make you more attractive to employers? I know of no evidence that employers favour people who can put M.Sc. or M.A. after their names above those with a bachelor’s degree. Unless you’re planning to do research or to teach, a Masters Degree is more likely to label you as a perpetual student.

  • What you need more than anything else…

…is peace of mind, some relief from the awful doubt that maybe you weren’t a very impressive candidate; wondering if you’re missing out more than is necessary.

There’s only one way you’re going to be helped to overcome that sort of worry. You need to talk to a career’s consultant, a coach who can help you improve the way you come across to employers.  A careers consultant whom you learn to trust will also become the person you find you can turn to when the frustration really gets to you and you need to just yell at someone, cry on someone’s shoulder or whatever you do when you need to sound off to someone who cares.

Yes, but that is going cost me. Okay, it’s going to cost you. Is it going to cost as much as 12 months studying for a Masters? What’s it going to cost you emotionally not to have that support?

If you feel like yelling at someone…in sheer frustration, or having a good sob, without that first contact costing you anything at all, give me a ring or drop me a line. My contact number is 07795-288490 and my email address is

From “the coach who rocks” (student testimonial)

Barry Jackson.