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Listen to Liz

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There are plenty of compelling reasons to get yourself on Linked In. I’d love to share those with you in much more detail, but for this posting, the reason to set up a profile and participate in Linked In is so you can listen to Liz.

Liz Ryan is a Linked In contributor and HR consultant from Colorado. She regularly writes about remaining “human” in a job search by avoiding the niceness trap. Phrases like, “don’t be a doormat,” and “if they don’t get you (understand your value), they don’t deserve you” regularly resonate in her columns. Liz is like a vitamin for the soul of the Good Job Searcher, which may be who you are.

The Good Job Searcher is me, too. The Good Job Searcher is the adult manifestation of the good girl or boy. We figured out that pleasing our parents and teachers brought us lots of rewards. Gifts, privileges, grades and opportunities flowed our way in childhood and adolescence, maybe even into adulthood. Being good and following the rules starts to feel like a nice reliable drug: obey the rules, avoid the headaches, generate praise and accumulate rewards.

This is not the worst way to live, but in job search moments, it often means that you end up trapped in a maze of rules by Organizations that Waste Your Time. When it comes to job searching, participants learn a lot of rules. As a newcomer, many of those rules are critical to your success: have a good handshake, make eye contact, ask the right questions after an interview, don’t ask if the interviewer likes you at the end, and so on.

Liz talks about a different type of behaviour beyond cultural conventions: being overly compliant to what companies demand. Are they wasting your time with endless tests and interviews? Are they simply being rude by not calling you back about whether you got the job? Liz reminds us constantly that we, the Good Job Searchers, need to be wary of the organizations that demand too much and offer too little.

Advice from Liz often feels like advice from a mother, particularly the bit about not being a doormat. I like it because it reminds me to stay healthy psychologically and emotionally. When I start feeling down, it is often because I am being too flexible or accommodating with those employers who don’t really get me. It’s a reminder to get back to my tribe, the folks who do understand and value me. Liz, although I haven’t ever met her, is definitely in my tribe and probably yours, too. Maybe she’s a little like my Medicine Woman.

Liz is great for the soul of the Good Job Searcher, but I’m sure she’s not the only one. Who do you like on Linked In? Who inspires you through the dark days of job searching? Who gets you? Write a comment to let me know.


Gwen PawlikowskiAbout the Author:
Gwen Pawlikowski is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who has also worked as an ISSofBC employment counsellor with newcomers. She lives in New Westminster and loves the diversity of the Lower Mainland. Please click here for information on ISSofBC’s career services.

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