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VOL. 129 | NO. 213 | Friday, October 31, 2014

Angela Copeland

Job Search Nightmare

By Angela Copeland

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With Halloween upon us, we’re talking about our fears. Finding a job can be a scary thought for many people. But what is it about the process that unnerves us?

According to Glassdoor.com, research shows over 90 percent of Americans are afraid of something about the job search process. Some candidates become nervous that they’ll arrive late. Others worry about what to wear. Many people are afraid of feeling like they’re bragging. Some are afraid of being underqualified and others are scared of being overqualified. Some fear they’ll be judged for their age – either for being too old or too young.

Sound familiar?

My own job search nightmare happened years ago when I flew to Pittsburgh for an interview. I arrived at my hotel the night before the big day. As I began to hang up my clothes, I realized I had forgotten my suit’s pants. My mind rushed through alternatives of how I could fix this disaster. I had no car, but I could call a cab. However, since I’d flown to the East Coast, I’d lost an hour in my commute. It was 10 P.M. and all the stores were closed. The only pants I had with me were sweatpants, so that wasn’t a viable solution.

After some heavy online research, I realized that you can drop a package at the airport late at night and FedEx will ship it. So the next question became, how would I get my pants to the airport? Eventually, I called a friend who gave me the phone number of a neighbor. The neighbor had the phone number to the building manager, and they were willing to give an extra key to my apartment to another friend – who was able to locate the pants. Then, he drove them to the airport and they arrived at 6 A.M. the next morning, before my interview.

During the interview, I was asked to describe one of the most difficult challenges I’d experienced recently and how I overcame it. I was able to share my recent wardrobe experience. Needless to say, they were very impressed. Fortunately, I was able to turn my job search nightmare into an example of my creativity and grit.

Whatever your fear, the first step is to identify it. Once you know your triggers, you can begin to address them.

Those you look up to can be a great source for assistance. If you’re concerned about what to wear, ask a trusted friend to look at your clothes in advance. If you’re unsure of how to talk about your professional experience, practice with a mentor. If you’re worried about your resume, share it with multiple friends and family members for feedback.

Avoid your own job search nightmare through preparation. Remember, even if one interview doesn’t go well, it’s not the end of the world. It’s practice for the next one – which will probably be great. And what’s the worst that could happen – you show up with no pants?

Angela Copeland is CEO/founder of Copeland Coaching, www.CopelandCoaching.com, and author of Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job. She also hosts the Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Copeland Coaching on Twitter (@CopelandCoach) and Facebook (Facebook.com/CopelandCoaching).

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