Today's guest post is written by Dr. Howard Leifman. Dr. Leifman is a NYS licensed psychotherapist and career coach. He works with individuals and corporations to
assist them better themselves and their organizations. He has been a SAGE Volunteer since 1990. He regularly runs workshops for SAGEWorks.
work has never been easy! Somehow when we were younger, it did seem easier, but
the truth is, it never was easy. We just
either cared less or didn’t seem to be aware of as much as we do now.
challenge is we look at ourselves and see more doubt, more possible rejections
and sadly more barriers! As a therapist and professional coach I work with
individuals of all ages work through these barriers, both the real and the
I make this
distinction because yes there are some very real barriers to finding work but
then there are also some barriers that we put up ourselves. I’ll share some of
the most common ones I hear and how I work with people to do something about
1. I’m too old!
is too old for what? If you believe you are too old to do the job and bring
that thinking into the interview then guess what, your interviewer isn’t going
to try and challenge you on it. If you
don’t believe you can do the job, it is not the responsibility of the
interviewer to persuade you otherwise.
One of the
biggest changes I try and get clients to make is go into an interview with your
strengths showing not waving a banner of your weaknesses! Once again, I am not
going to say this is easy, only be careful not to sabotage yourself before you
Some of the ways to overcome this is to think about the requirements of the job
that are stated in the job description.
Think about experiences you have had in the past that are similar and
that you have been successful at. Think
about examples you can share with the interviewer that demonstrates where and
how you have done this and what the outcomes were. Be ready to share a story
that has a beginning, middle and end! A
short story not a novel! Have a point of view and come to it quickly.
2. They’re never going to hire me!
With thinking like this you are correct! We call this the self fulfilling
prophecy. If you go into the interview
already defeated there isn’t much place to go. If you go into the interview
saying, I can do this, I have done this and they would be lucky to have me then
you have a shot. Don’t be cocky just
Again, here is your opportunity to share where and how you have done something
like this or similar to this. Here is
your opportunity to share with them how you made a difference.
3. There are so many people to choose
from, why would they choose me?
Granted there are a lot of people, of all ages, to choose from. However, because
you are more mature than many, you can bring more experience, more knowledge
and more understanding to the job than many, you might also be better than
most! But you have to believe it.
4. So much has changed in technology I
can never learn!
The truth is learning how to go from a typewriter to a computer was more of a
change than going from one format to another! While there are a number of new
programs and technological skills out there, the basics still remain. Still
nervous? Take a computer class or visit YouTube for a wealth of how-to
tutorials and brush up on your skills.
The real key
to overcoming barriers is trying,
learning and practicing! If you aren’t willing to try, it won’t happen; if
you are not open to learning new things, it won’t happen; and if you don’t
practice it, you take your chances that it won’t be successful.
saying it is easy, but then again, what is.
What I am saying is I see people succeeding everyday so I know it is
doable!! This is also where SAGE is so
helpful. They have the people and the
resources to help you TRY, LEARN and
So I leave
you today with this one thought. Have
you tried, learned and practiced something new today? If not, contact SAGE and let them share with you
how you can!