There you are, minding your own business and looking for a job when BAM! Suddenly you end up in a career you didn't want and a career path that goes nowhere. Okay, so it might not happen quite that fast, but it's true that job seeking traps can cause you to lose focus, settle, or end up doing something you swore you never would.
Be vigilant, friends, and watch out for these traps.
1. Following the Herd Mentality
The herd mentality is that if everyone else is doing it, then it must be right. You probably already experienced it when graduating high school: everyone is going to college, so you have to go to college too.
When it comes to job seeking, the herd mentality could leave you feeling like to be successful, you need to be a doctor or a lawyer. But be yourself and embrace your individual goals; just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean it's right for you.
2. Being Wishy Washy
Hey, when a company asks you for your salary requirements, you should (wait for it) give them your salary requirements. Sometimes it seems like you need to be ambiguous or you'll scare away your dream job, but being wishy washy about your goals, salary, and benefit requirements could leave you putting in more effort and making way less, all because you were too scared to be upfront.
Set a baseline for yourself and be confident and honest when asked the tough questions. Organizations will appreciate your forwardness and if they don't? Well, you don't want to work for someone like that anyways.
Some confidence; good. Overconfidence? Bad. That's because being overconfident could cause you to miss out on awesome learning opportunities from people who have more experience. You might also nix a job opportunity because it seems "beneath" you, when it could have been a great stepping stone to your end goals. Make sure you have a little humility or you could get trapped in a never-ending job search.
4. Searching Online
Don't get us wrong: the Internet is a great resource for job seeking. But remember that it's not the only resource. In fact, 29 percent of jobs are filled bu in-house referrals, so make sure that you're also networking, asking around, interning, and even cold-calling companies you'd love to work for.
5. Being Broad
If you're sending out the same resume and cover letter for every job application, you're doing it wrong. Hiring managers can see that from a mile away and they'd rather hear from someone who feels like they're tailored to the job. Yeah, it takes extra time to edit your stuff before sending it in, but if that 10 minutes results in you snagging a job you really love? Totally worth it.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and you're not going to find your dream job after five minutes of looking on Craigslist. Don't get impatient or you could end up settling for something that you didn't really want and setting yourself back to working just another job when you could have found a career.
7. Seeking Perfection
It's like dating: You need to do it a lot to find Mr. or Mrs. Right. But if you're constantly searching for your perfect match, you could miss out on some great dates or someone who is super compatible, even if it didn't seem like it at first.
You should definitely demand a career that you love and that fits your passion. But you can also create roles and responsibilities once you're in a job, so don't discount a position because it doesn't fit your narrow view of perfection. You might be surprised at what you love to do, so get experience first and hone it to perfection later.
Don't get stuck in job seeking traps! By keeping your eyes open and your goals crystal clear, you have the freedom to make better choices along the way.