You hear others do it all the time.  It’s the Blame Game.

  • Their team lost the football game – because ‘the refs were homers’.
  • They were late for the meeting – because ‘someone else was talking to them’.
  • They didn’t get their homework done – because ‘their computer wouldn’t connect to the internet’.

Can you think of Blame Game stories that you have heard?  How about Blame Game stories that you have told?

I’ve heard plenty of Blame Game stories when it comes to not getting a job.

  • I can’t get a job because I’m too old
  • I can’t get a job because I don’t meet the job requirements
  • I can’t get a job because I have too little experience
  • I can’t get a job because I have too much experience
  • I can’t get a job because of where I went to school
  • I can’t get a job because of where I live
  • I can’t get a job because ….. You fill in the blanks

If you only blame others for your problem, you will never solve it.

If you have been looking for a job and haven’t found one yet, are you playing the Blame Game?

Stop right now and think about the things that you feel have gotten in the way of getting a job.  Jot those down on a piece of paper.  Are they true?  Or are they something that you think is true?

Let’s examine the Blame Game stories listed above

I can’t get a job because I’m too old

If you think you are too old, then you are going to convey that to everyone you meet.  Instead of thinking about your age, think about your accomplishments and the difference you have made over the years in your work.  Think about the specific ways you can contribute in a new job.  Think about the energy you have.  Think about your positive experiences working with others of all ages.  Think about how to convey that energy, experience, accomplishments, and collaboration with your new, potential employer.  Stop your self-defeating talk about being too old and adopt an attitude of confident experience.  Practice that attitude all of the time, not just when you are in a job interview.  If you only try to be that confident, experienced person during the interview, but outside the interview you are still playing the Blame Game, you will fail.

I can’t get a job because I don’t meet the job requirements

Well, that may be true that you can’t get some jobs because you don’t have the experience needed.  Be realistic.  But also understand that many job postings include a huge list of ‘requirements’ that may not actually be requirements.  Huh?  Yes, it’s true.  Employers will list lots of requirements for a job, when actually, only some of those are really requirements.  Others are part of their ‘wish list’ for a candidate.  Try looking at a few job descriptions for jobs that have interested you.  See if you can pick out the real ‘requirements’ and separate those from the ‘wish list’.   Real requirements will typically include technical skills or specific certifications or licenses.  ‘Wish list’ requirements may include the number of years of experience, a degree requirement, specific software (the company may have software they use – but you may have worked with something similar), or type of experience.  If the job’s ‘real requirements’ don’t match your capabilities, then move on.  Or, if you are planning for your future career in that field, make a list of those requirements and consider which ones you might like to pursue as you advance in your career.  Use those job descriptions to help you plan for your future!

I can’t get a job because I have too little experience

I hear this one all the time.  “How am I supposed to get a job when I don’t have experience and they require it?”  That’s actually a great question.  And instead of having me feed them an answer, I ask them right back: “How do you think you can get a job when you don’t have experience?”  Too often, the job seeker wants me to join them in the Blame Game.  It’s that vicious circle, right?  You don’t have experience and the job requires it.  But you can’t get experience unless someone gives you a job.  Ok, so it’s time to be real.  Please don’t tell me that you are frustrated because you can’t get that Assistant Manager Job in HR when you have just completed your degree.  If your heart is in HR, then be willing to take a step back and see what the path looks like to getting into management in HR.  Talk to people you know in HR who can give you some guidance.  Adopt an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ as you learn from these individuals.  Use your connections or groups on LinkedIn to help you learn about the path.  Be excited about getting started in the field and learning on the job in an entry level position so you can move up.

I can’t get a job because I have too much experience

You just can’t win, can you!  You either have too little experience or not enough.  Ok, all you folks with ‘too much experience’ – what are you going to do about it?  Here are some things to think about.  What message are you conveying during an interview?  Are you coming across as the person ‘who already knows it all’?  Do you display an aura of ‘I can do this blindfolded’?  There’s a big difference between having tons of experience and having tons of ego.  Is yours in check?  What are you going to say when the interviewer mentions that you seem to be overqualified?  Let’s just say that you aren’t an ‘ego-kind-of-person’.  Then let the interviewer know that 1) you have done a lot of research on this company and it’s where you want to make your contributions and 2) you are excited about being able to share your expertise and experience in this job and help make a difference quickly and 3) while you have a certain depth of experience and expertise, there is always an opportunity to learn and contribute and that excites you, especially since you have identified this company as a great place to work.

I can’t get a job because of where I went to school

Wow.  I hear this one a lot.  “It’s not my fault I can’t get a job.  It’s because I got my degree from X”.  Ok, let me ask you again, is this a truth or is this a Blame Game?  Plenty of other people graduated from ‘X’ and they are working.  Is it really about where you went to school, or is it about something else?  Go back to the job descriptions and separate the ‘requirements’ from the ‘wish list’.  Do some research on the company to see if they have a penchant for hiring from some specific schools.  Check out employees on LinkedIn to see where they attended school.  You can even use the Advanced Search to look for employees who graduated from your school to see if any of them work there.  And, when it comes to your resume, if you think that your school is influencing employers, then move your education section to the end of your resume.  Emphasize your accomplishments (as they relate to each employer) in your job section first.

I can’t get a job because of where I live

Well, in some cases this may be true (if you have some highly technical skills or very specific skills), but don’t get your hopes up – I’m still not saying it’s time to play the Blame Game.  In most cases, you need to go back to the drawing board (aka the job posting board) to see what is available in your neck of the woods.  Look at the ‘requirements’ and then see how your skills and experience translate into those requirements.

Now it’s your turn

I can’t get a job because … you fill in the blanks.  Why do you think you can’t get a job?  I’m not saying that Attitude is Everything, but it is a huge piece of the job seeker’s puzzle.  Let someone else be the Victim.  You are going to own your attitude, your solution AND your success.

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