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Mary, a participant to one of our workshops, was in the following situation:
She was working in the textile business, and had lost her job. The textile industry was in crisis at the
time, so she thought it would be difficult to find new employment in that sector – all the more as
she was 47 years of age.
So she became anxious. Thoughts like: «You want. You can’t. What’s going to happen? You are
going to lose. You are not good enough. You are too old...» assailed her. And she was feeling bad.
First thing, we asked her to question her thoughts.
- You want. What do you want?
- A job in the textile industry.
- You think you can’t. What makes you think so?
- Because the textile industry is in crisis. And because I am too old, they do not hire people
- The textile industry is in crisis: right. But are there still textile companies in your country?
- Yes, there are.
- So work can still be found in that sector. What about the «de luxe» sector?
- Yes, this sector is doing well.
- OK. So there is hope. It’s possible.
- Yes, it is. But I am too old.
- What makes you think so?
- Because a lot of people my age do not find a job.
- But some do, right? Not all persons who are looking for work do not find a job?
- Yes, that’s right. But when I go to a job interview, they make me understand that they’d
prefer somebody younger.
- And how do you respond?
-I remain silent.
- Do you think that you are too old?
- No, but I know that companies prefer younger people.
- So you agree with them in fact?
- But that’s the way most company think. What can I do?
- First thing, you got not to agree in your head that you are too old for the job. You have to
think of all the advantages your age gives you:
you have experience, so you know what to do and would not commit the errors of a beginner
or a younger person;
you would therefore save time for the company;
you would also save money to the company, because errors cost money;
your experience would also enable you to be more able to answer prospects or clients’
questions – thus bringing or keeping more clients for the company;
so the company has a lot to earn hiring somebody like you.
- "That’s right."
- First, you got to believe in yourself. Be convinced 100% - or a 1000%. So that you can
convey the message in a convincing way to the recruiter.
- Fine. But I do not get many appointments. So how long can I wait for a response?
- How long can you hold it without working?
- Well, I got my unemployement benefits for 2 years.
- How long have you been out of work so far?
- 3 months.
- OK. So you can hold it for 21 more months. Why don’t you give yourself 6 months for a
start? You know that you will still have 15 more months.
- Yes, but my unemployment benefits are not as high as my salary was.
- Well, you may have to cut down on some expenses for a while. Is it possible for you?
- Yes, I already stopped going to the gym and do my exercise at home. And I can refrain from buying new
clothes and be careful on other expenses.
- Great. So you can make it. During that 6-month period, you do not need to be anxious then,
- Right. I feel lighter already, putting things in perspective and knowing that I have time.
So that’s what Mary did. With her new perceptions about her age, about the fact that she had time,
she became more confident. She had a few job interviews during the six months, but nothing came
out. She decided to extend the period for 3 extra months, knowing that she still had extra time – and
she finally got a very good job with a famous designer.
So questioning her thoughts, reasoning with them was the key to facing her situation with
confidence and being convinced of her self-worth. She could therefore answer convincingly when
the recruiter mentioned about her age. She was not in panic anymore of not finding the work she
wanted. It enabled her to be relaxed during the job interviews, not to be on the defensive, not to be
fearful, not to be desperate – and her calm and lucidity, combined with her experience, enabled her
to respond well to all arguments and questions. Thus proving her solidity and competency to her
See, questioning our thoughts is a personal development key and works wonders. It enables us to
manage our emotions – which are triggered by underlying biased thoughts. When we eliminate negative
emotions, we are far more objective and increase our self-confidence and capacity of finding solutions to
the situations we encounter. And we remain enthusiastic, which is also a great quality seeked by many
companies. Studies show that an enthusiastic personality is more likely to be recruited by companies.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
And Henry Ford added: «Enthusiasm is the yeast... the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait,
the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas».
So success in looking for a job without being anxious is within reach, if we:
question our thoughts, thus managing our emotions
evaluate the time we can hold the period of unenployment without working
are not discouraged by negative responses
be confident that there is a good job awaiting us
and above all keep our enthusiasm.
Let’s not forget Winston Churchill’s quote:
«Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm».
For success is at the end of the way...
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