You received an email from LinkedIn about a job listing that was recently published, and it may be what you are looking for. So, you go deeper and read the details of the job listing. After that, you find similar job listings and compare them with each other to see which one works best for you in terms of pay and the employer’s expectations. But somehow, you still are reluctant about filling the job application form, let alone submitting it to the employer.
If the scenario above sounds familiar to you, you probably went through it before. With hundreds, if not thousands, of job opportunities available for the taking daily, convincing yourself that you are worthy and to submit the relevant details can be a challenging hurdle to overcome. Of course, you may have legitimate reasons–perhaps the office is located too far away from where you live or that the role does not fit your long-term vision.
However, there are illegitimate reasons, also known as excuses. You can lie to yourself that these excuses are valid reasons, but you should know better that the truth sets you free. If you are being held back from applying for a job because of these “reasons”, it is time to re-evaluate your priorities and change your perspectives.
1. You discreetly believe that the job is beneath you.
You should not feel guilty about this. Having a job that requires a set of skills below your potential is not a sign that you are a bad person. It is unavoidable. Societies around the world have a long history of speaking about low-quality jobs in a spitefully critical manner. AS a result, you may dislike the notion of applying for a job that falls in that category. This societal perception may discourage you from applying for a role in a firm’s customer service department. Sure, you need to put food on the table, and the only way to get food is by lining your pockets with money. However, you cannot see yourself having a job that is maligned by your community.
Here is my view: on the one hand, if you are desperately looking for work, you should be responsible enough to take whatever job that comes to you, so you can keep yourself afloat without asking anyone for help. Additionally, if you know someone who has a job that you look down upon, it is never acceptable to think that you are always better than that someone. On the other hand, it is perfectly reasonable to put in place standards for yourself if you have the means to do so because it will encourage you to stay focused and productive as you work your way toward your goals.
2. You believe that if you wait long enough, something better will surface.
“Patience is a virtue,” almost everyone said. However, by the time that “something better” comes along, you have wasted plenty of time, time that you could have used to apply for other roles while waiting for the perfect opportunity.
If you are nowhere near the end of a company’s recruitment process and then found a better job opportunity that you would like to capitalise on, then you are not compelled to work for the company. As long as you did not sign the offer letter, you can always retreat and go after the job that fits you better. There is no harm in going through a recruitment process. After all, you would not know where you stand in terms of skills and work experiences if you do not give it a try.
3. You dislike the experiences you gained in a particular industry.
If you have had a horrible experience in a banking industry role, you may think that all jobs within the banking industry are as equally horrific as the role you once had. However, there is a flaw in this point: it reflects reductive thinking. It does not consider that working in the same employment sector but for a different business entity could make a significant difference to how much you like it.
Not all firms are the same. Therefore, do not dismiss the whole industry simply because you once had a negative experience in the past.
4. You think you deserve better pay for your skillset.
Is this an excuse or a reason? The answer depends on your ever-changing circumstances. If you already have a job and have been at it for quite some time, there are reasonable grounds to suggest that you are underpaid.
However, if you are jobless and not earning a single cent, having a small cash inflow every month is undoubtedly going to be better than earning zero. I do agree that money matters, but it is not everything. Once you have spent enough time as an employee, you will most likely discover that your genuine concern is not about the size of your paycheck. Thus, it pays to think about what is truly preventing you from applying in the first place.
5. You assume that this is a job you would dislike.
When we do not know the full details of a job, we make assumptions based on what we know through our friends and colleagues who once had the same position. Thus, we make assumptions about jobs, primarily to make the process of determining how much we would like the job easy. However, assuming things without hard evidence and concrete facts is no different judging a book by its cover.
Assumptions could prevent you from applying for a job that you would actually find interesting and perhaps, pleasurable. You may realise that you love the role soon after completing your first set of tasks and question why you made those assumptions in the beginning.
On the other side of the coin, if you do not like the role as much as you expected, do not think that you have wasted a portion of your life. Pat yourself on the back because at least you have given yourself a fair chance at the role. You are not obliged to remain in a job that did not meet your expectations. If you believe that the job no longer serves you well, then you can move on with the assurance that you have at least given it a shot and knowledge about what to expect, should you make a comeback.
Final 2¢: Just do it.
Fabricating excuses as to why you want to dismiss a particular job, even if you are on the verge of being bankrupt and aware that you need to find work fast, reflects our instinctual behaviour. Then again, if you are going to earn some much-needed cash, then disregarding those excuses and applying anyway is a form of self-respect that you should be proud of.