Can You Manage?

Older job seekers should know better


It’s excellent advice for business people in general and it’s especially relevant for job seekers and older job seekers are no exception. Today’s “it” is managing expectations. A very valuable skill for the workplace, it’s something older workers must master to maintain a positive attitude – not to mention your sanity.

A public relations executive may have to hose down an excited client who thinks that their new widget merits a front page story in The Wall Street Journal. The same can be said for the sales professional whose customer is expecting next day delivery at no extra charge.

Then there is the investor who believes that that new penny stock will skyrocket like Apple, or Intel, or (your favorite company here.) “I’ve held it for two weeks. Why hasn’t it split yet?”

As you traverse the job-search landscape, managing expectations will help keep you on an even keel, make you more aware of what’s going on around you, and keep your family and friends caring about you no matter what.

All job seekers experience the roller coaster effect. UP: You land an interview. Ace the interview. But then, DOWN: the phone doesn’t ring and you don’t get the job.

As difficult as it may seem as you’re going through it, today’s catastrophe may be tomorrow’s new lead or inspiration. You can smooth out those ups and downs if you keep focused on the job search. Don’t let your expectations get the best of you. You don’t have a job until they offer, you accept and have a start date.

One recruiter recently reminded us that until you have a start date, keep your foot on the gas. Keep all your options open. Don’t assume that, just because you aced the interview, you’ve got a lock on the job.

Of course, the one thing that you have to keep reminding yourself of is: when it comes to a job search, you only need to find one.


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