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The Laid Off IT Guy! Keep Your Interviewing To Yourself

The advice that I give to job seekers today is to keep your interviewing to yourself.  What I mean by that is not everybody needs to know your business.  Well meaning friends and family will ask, “How are you doing?”, meaning, “How is your job search going?”  You might say that you have an interview coming up tomorrow and then they’ll want to know who you are talking to.  You don’t need that pressure.

“Pressure in what way?”, might be your initial response.  Here is my thought process.  When you answer their question with, “I’ve got an interview for IT Director at XYZ Corporation tomorrow!”, that’s a lot of pressure to live up to.  If you get the job, great, but when things don’t work out and your same friends and family ask later how it went it’s just plain disappointing to tell them that you didn’t get the job.

I’ve taken on a new attitude.  I don’t give the job title or the potential employer’s name when I answer the update question.  Instead I say, “I’ve got an interview with a transportation company tomorrow”.  That leaves me an “out”.  They don’t know what company it is that I’m talking to or at what level in the company that I’ve applied for.  I’ll tell you that it is disappointing to continually share bad news during a long job search.  To alleviate that I’ve just taken this approach on sharing my progress with those interested in asking. 

I don’t even tell my parents when I have an interview to avoid the line of questioning altogether.  Here is how I plan for this notification to take place.  “Hi Mom and Dad.  I started today at XYZ Corporation!”  They’ll love hearing the great news and I have avoided all of the disappointing conversations about how each interview went and trying to guess what the potential outcome will be and when you expect to hear of the employer’s decision.

Here’s another reason for posturing your responses.  I've had two friends who were looking for work and the position didn't work out between the offer and the start date.  In the first case, the employer called on the Friday before the Monday start date and told him not to come in.  That’s a REALLY disappointing situation to have to explain to family and friends how it didn't work out.  In the second case, my friend received an offer letter, and then during the negotiation phase the company rescinded the offer in its entirety.  Both are awful experiences, and if you went and told everyone that you had a job offer and then it fell through, you've got uncomfortable circumstances to explain. 

Just take that pressure off and avoid the “status update” conversation or keep it generic like I do.  I suppose you could equate it to a couple learning that they are pregnant and when they choose to share their news.  You might learn early by taking a pregnancy test.  Others will verify the news by a doctor before sharing.  Yet, others will wait until the mother has completed her first Trimester before they make the announcement to the world. 

It’s certainly your choice when to call your family and friends, update your LinkedIn profile and add your new employer's company and your job title and tell the world that you have a new job.  It just hurts less to have started with your new employer before making the announcement!

Your comments at the bottom of the page are always welcome.  You can also write to me at my email address below and I’ll get back to you.  Best of luck to you on your search!

Thank you!

The Laid Off IT Guy!

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