Wed | Nov 14, 2018

Are pending elections affecting my employment prospects?

Published:Sunday | December 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Question: As a recent graduate, I found your December 6 article titled, "How to get hired without job experience," particularly interesting. I have been seeking to get hired, but have been finding it difficult to even get a call back. It seemed to me that my lack of experience was the cause. However, someone suggested that the pending elections could be the reason employers are reluctant to take on new employees because of the change of policies of government that may occur at the end of elections. What are your views on this theory?

- Jerome Mills

SMITH: Congratulations first of all on successfully completing your studies. That's a significant achievement. Formal educational qualifications provide a solid foundation on which to build a career. I'm also pleased you found the December 6 article interesting.

The 'election theory' is an interesting one, Jerome. We'll return to that, shortly.

Right now, however, let's consider your original idea regarding lack of experience. This is a very common cause which young job seekers attribute to their failed job hunting efforts.

Consequently, they bemoan their seeming inescapable catch-22: how can they get a job requiring experience when no one will give them an opportunity to gain the work experience in the first place? This mindset is completely unnecessary and counterproductive. That's one reason for writing the article you mentioned.

Let's realize one thing: It's an assumption that your lack of work experience is the cause for not getting call-backs from the many job applications you've sent out. Further, it's an assumption with little basis in fact. In actuality, it could be any number of reasons.

This assumption is dangerous because it engenders a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. After all, what can you do if experience is required to get a job, and you don't have it? This thinking can keep you stuck in a mental rut of frustration and despair.

My advice is to transcend this immobilizing assumption and, instead, review your entire job hunting strategy.

Is your offer or proposal well thought through? Have you targeted the right company? Are your resume and application letter effectively written? Are your strengths, achievements and credentials presented in the best possible light?

be relentless

Review the answers to these questions and redouble your job hunting efforts, and be relentless. Don't slow down or quit. Keep on pushing.

About your election theory, now. Quite simply, we don't know to what extent, if any, pending elections account for companies not calling you back. Fact is, that happens all the time, whether elections are pending or not.

Successful businesses didn't become successful by designing their long-term strategy around short-term events such as an election. So, sure, their operations may be somewhat affected by the socio-economic realities of a national election.

However, you shouldn't let this theory affect your job hunting campaign.

Instead, ensure that the core of your job hunting strategy is how you can help the target company solve its most pressing problems, grow its revenues and profits, while expanding its market share.

That should prove more successful in landing a job than focusing on these two theories, interesting though they may be.

n Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.