4 Real-Life Monsters in Your Job Search & How to Fight Them

Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy… You know them well. They are the classic monsters of lore. They lurk in the shadows, under your bed, and for nearly a century frightened us on the silver screen. They’re the masters of scary and have earned screams from thousands across the world.

Fortunately, this nasty trio is fictional. While it’s a thrill to watch a scary movie, we can rest assured that movie monsters aren’t out to get us.

There are real-life monsters out there though. As a job seeker, you’ve probably seen your fair share of scary folks. Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to stake or pour water to ward off these types of monsters.

However, there are some ways you can still vanquish these every-day job search monsters:

The Unwanted Advice Giver

This job search monster can be your mom, your mailman, or that guy behind you at the super market. Whoever it may be, they want to help you in your job search. These people weaken you with loads of unwanted advice.

How to fight them: The “grin and bear it” approach is favored by many, but doesn’t help in the long run. As politely as possible, mention that you appreciate their take on the job search, but you’d much rather talk about something else to give your mind a rest.

Check out: Job Search Feedback: How to Get It & What To Do With It

The Competitor

In today’s economy, more and more folks are looking for work. That means that competition is bigger than ever for practically every industry. Group interviews and networking events are the battlefields for your competitors. While many people will be genuinely nice (or at least civil), you will have to deal with competitors who want to sabotage, lie, and simply aim to make you fail.

How to fight them: Assume the best of everyone, but don’t let your guard down. Acknowledge that these people are looking to get the same job as you. If you feel like a competitor is lurking, put a smile on, make small talk, and don’t let them get under your skin. Listen intently though to everything they say. You can learn a lot about your competition. A smart adversary gives nothing up of their plan, but listens to understand everything about their foe. When the competitor notices that their efforts aren’t doing anything, they’ll walk away.

The Frenemy

The frenemy is a common real-life monster for many people. These monsters disguise themselves as friends but show their true selves through back-handed compliments and insincere actions. This is commonly brought about by their own insecurity. This is their attempt at making themselves feel better about their own situation.

How to fight them: These are tricky monsters to fight, but can be beaten if you remove yourself from the situation. If the frenemy follows you, honestly tell them that you’re working hard and don’t appreciate their comments. Sometimes, the frenemy will snap back into a friend.

Check out: Friend of a Job Seeker? 4 Ways to Support Them

The Rejecter

The rejecter is the scariest monster of them all for many job seekers. Trapping seekers at their most vulnerable, the rejecter gives them hope and snatches it away with a “thanks, but no thanks” phone call, email, or even worse, silence.

How to fight them: Put yourself in the rejecter’s shoes. They are dealing with many applicants and little time to hire. If they rejected you, it might be that someone else simply fit the job better. Beat the rejecter by thanking them for their consideration and jumping back into the job search. Keeping a positive, courteous attitude, even in the face of rejection, could still possibly turn this type of monster into a valuable networking connection.

What do you think? What other real-life monsters do job seekers deal with everyday? How can they be beaten? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

“The First Dracula Nosferatu Video Clips,” Encylomedia
Heather Huhman, “Job Search Feedback: How to Get It & What To Do With It,” Cachinko
Heather Huhman, “How to Support Job Seekers,” Cachinko

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