Quite a while ago, I wrote a piece titled…
I can’t get a job because…
In it, I made the case that people aren’t truly affected in their job search by various forms of discrimination as commonly as they may think they are.
Often, when people are unwilling to face personal shortcomings in their attitude, experience, job search approach, interview skills, or other factors they could improve, it’s easier for them to decide that they are somehow being unfairly discriminated against.
That said, it’s naive to say that unfair discrimination never exists.
It’s not unfair to discriminate against someone for a mis-matched skillset, for unprofessional appearance for customer facing roles, for too little experience, or other directly job related factors. It is obviously unfair discrimination, however, to reject someone based on race, sex, or other non-job related factors.
So, if you do face challenges in landing a job because of unfair discrimination, what should you do?
The simple answer is… Never Give Up!
Never giving up, however, requires several factors. First, and foremost… not allowing yourself to carry a chip on your shoulder about the unfairness that becomes apparent in every subsequent interview. When subsequent interviews don’t turn into an offer, it’s natural to assume even further discrimination, when in fact an employer simply doesn’t want to hire someone that appears bitter, cynical or carrying emotional baggage.
Never giving up also means pursuing the 20th prospective position with the same passion and enthusiasm as the first one. Someone that comes across as weary and defeated before the interview even begins is not an attractive candidate to any employer regardless of their biases.
As with so many other things in a job search… these recommendations are easier said than done. However, what’s the alternative?
A cynical, defeatist, discouraged or half-hearted pursuit will virtually never result in a job. Deciding to give up and quit has lasting negative consequences in a great number of ways. Income, attitude, confidence, self-worth, work ethic, initiative and many other factors are all casualties.
Is it unfair? Certainly! Would you have a “right” to feel defeated. Yes. Is it OK to quit? Never!
Clearly life can often be unfair, and some people face more unfairness than others. However, how you choose to respond has everything to do with your ultimate outcome. A famous quote gets it right…
“Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it”
As I stated in the previous piece…
For almost any person that gives a reason why they cannot get hired, you can find another person with the same circumstances that got a job.
Persistence and resilience with a great attitude can overcome a tremendous amount of injustice. I maintain that unfair discrimination is not nearly as common as many people claim it is. However, when it does occur, don’t let it defeat you… Never Give Up!