Heed your inner voice in the job search

inner voiceIf you’re like me, there have been times when you spoke without thinking and said some incredibly stupid things. Worse yet, you might have blurted words that had negative consequences. At times like this, your outer voice took over like a hurricane leaving devastation in its wake.

If only you had heeded your inner voice, the voice that tells you to stop and think before you talk or write something you’ll regret. The voice that is rational and will usually save you from embarrassment and, ergo, negative consequences.

A customer of mine recent told me during a Salary Negotiation workshop that he was offered a job during the last of four interviews. But when he was told the salary for the job would be $12.00 an hour, half of what he made at his last job, he screamed, “Are you (expletive) kidding me?” Needless to say the interview and all possibility of getting the job went up in smoke.

He asked me if he had said the right thing? The rest of the group shook their heads; I simply said, “no.”

Jobseekers need to be cognizant of their inner voice and not let their outer voice speak for them. Another of my customers was asked an illegal question during a phone interview. “How old are you?” she was asked.

She promptly swore obscenities and hung up on the recruiter who was probably screening her and was in no way indicative of the people for whom she might work. She was clearly listening to her outer voice which told her, “Illegal question, illegal question,” and she acted impulsively.

Instead she might have said:

“I’m 49; however, I’ve been consistently acknowledged for my productivity. In fact, I’ve out worked my younger colleagues and covered other shifts when they needed weekends off. Because my kids are self-sufficient, I require no time off. You should also consider my job experience, as well as life experience, which younger workers don’t have.”

The outer voice is apt to reveal its ugly head when jobseekers are frustrated and despondent over the job search, such as when they’re networking and asked about their current situation. A listener understands her partner’s anger, but hearing him speak negatively is off-putting. The networker has most likely lost his contact because his outer voice defied him, truly revealing his feelings.

What would you like to do in the job search? You’d like to listen to your outer voice, which encourages you to express your negative thoughts.

There will always be those who are prisoners to their outer voice. They will talk without consulting their inner voice and will pay the price. These are folks who are often trying to dig themselves out of a whole that is insurmountable. Although they proudly spoke their “mind,” it’s not usually worth the trouble they land in.


8 thoughts on “Heed your inner voice in the job search

  1. Susan Jepson

    Nicely and clearly presented discussion to encourage and support job hunters to act in their own best interests, while acknowledging the fact that outrageous, shocking and uninformed questions and comments get made all of the time by all of us. Emotional and verbal “best self” is so important in an interview and job hunt, and Iove the inner/outer voice metaphor. I am going to share this with clients. Thanks.


  2. Things Career Related Post author

    Thanks for the comments, Susan. Always good to hear from you. I thought of this because of the times I and others I know have spoken without thinking. This goes for writing as well. Some of the things you see on Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn would qualify.


  3. Jim Peacock

    As an extrovert I have had to be very thoughtful about speaking first, thinking second. I wish there was an Introvert potion I could take to ‘think first’. Great reminders on listening to that voice.


  4. lthibault11

    As a hard core introvert I am inherently compelled to process and digest before I speak, and I must say, this has saved me many times. Although I am a true believer in absolute authenticity, I can appreciate that there are definitely times – especially in work related areas – that it’s best to consider our words and thoughts very carefully before we speak them. Great post!


  5. Nancy

    I stumbled upon this website today, and WOW, am I glad I did. This is probably one of the best well-written advice-giving, smart, informative website that actually provides super-good information. I am addicted. I shared several articles with members of my Accountability Professional Group at LinkedIn. Thanks for such important and excellent articles!



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