"I have been out of college for about a year now, apply to at least 5 jobs daily, and still can’t find a job."
"I’ve applied to about 500 positions since graduating and have gotten 2 interviews, none of which resulted in a job. This sucks.”
“I have spent at least 40% of my waking hours applying to positions online. My job has become applying for jobs and I am the shittiest employee in the world.”
“100 applications, zero interviews. FML.”
You've heard the song. You've probably sung it yourself. I sure as hell have. Being jobless sucks. Being jobless and feeling hopeless is terrifying.
Allow me to introduce you to two very good friends of mine, Floyd And Clark, whose very different journeys magnify the issue with the way we're approaching our job searches.
Floyd graduated in January of 2013 with honors. He was active on campus, a member of some prominent business clubs and studied his ass off. He had a high GPA and a few impressive internships on his resume. Floyd knew how crucial building an attractive resume was in defining life after graduation, so he took the necessary measures, however stressful, to assure success.
Clark was pathetic. He copied homework assignments and negotiated his way to a 2.5 GPA by charming professors to give him grade bumps. While most students studied in to the wee hours of the morning for exams, Clark watched a lot of South Park then devised a plan to sit next to the smartest kid in class. His on-campus involvement consisted of frequenting Taco Bell for Beefy 5-Layer Burritos, sitting out in the quad trying to talk to pretty girls and taking 20-minute bathroom breaks from class to play his Game Boy.
After graduating college, Floyd became a hermit chained to his computer desk. He spent a majority of his waking hours applying for jobs, anxiously awaiting contact from recruiters. After about a month of no responses, he entered panic-mode. He hated using his LinkedIn account because he’d be forced to see all the people he graduated with find jobs while he was stuck at home, applying endlessly and never hearing anything back. Floyd was fully convinced that his resume would be at the bottom of some recycle bin by the end of the week.
Clark on the other hand was enjoying his time away from school. After six years of a subpar educational performance, he was ecstatic that he finally had what he had been working for- the piece of paper that legally certified he was smart enough to enter the workforce. He decided to set off on a three-week backpacking trip to Europe with a couple friends.
Unlike Floyd, Clark was pumped. Just like convincing an uptight professor to bump a grade up to a B-, he knew that landing a job was just a matter of creating the perfect pitch and finding the right candidates to sell to. Even though he didn’t have the best resume or college GPA, he didn’t have a doubt in his mind that he’d eventually get to where he wants to be.
After six months of applying with nothing more than four phone interviews and two failed in-person interviews to show, Floyd decided to go to law school. Not because he was interested in law, rather, he figured he’d probably end up at McDonald’s if he didn’t do something fast.
Clark spent about two months applying for jobs and shortly thereafter, landed a job in sports marketing with one of the biggest sports networks. Instead of sitting at home in a state despair at the thought of being jobless for the next year, Clark stayed confident, never allowing negativity to become part of the equation.
Clark saw opportunity where Floyd saw hopelessness. Clark exuded confidence and landed a job because others recognized his positivity. Floyd gave up, his resumes forever floating in the black hole of discarded applications.
The lesson here isn’t that college performance is irrelevant to post-college success or that the job market is harder to crack than Mike Tyson in his prime.
The difficulty of any job market is secondary in importance to attitude and approach to the situation. This doesn’t just apply to getting a job. It applies to getting dumped by your boyfriend, getting rejected by your crush, reacting to your stupid co-worker getting the promotion or overcoming the fear of public speaking.
A positive attitude brings the detailed blueprint along with the mental capability, emotional fortitude and drive to achieve what you wish to achieve.