“I Know What I Don’t Want…”

When I ask job seekers to give me an idea of what they want to do, what I often hear in return is…”well, I know what I don’t want.” Sound familiar?

I have good news for those who can identify with the above. If you know what you don’t want, you know more about what you do want than you are taking the time to consider. Change the way you talk and you’ll see what I mean.

“I don’t want to work in a non-profit,” becomes, “I want to work in a for-profit setting.”

“I don’t want a long commute,” becomes, “I want to work within 20 miles of Lansing.”

“I don’t want to work for less than $10 per hour,” becomes, “I want to work for $10 per hour or better.”

“I don’t want to be holed up in an office all day,” becomes, “I want to work in a setting where my time confined to an office is minimal.”

I’ve blogged about this before when discussing how to sound less negative when sharing your job search efforts with others. I’m restating the point today because a discussion over coffee reminded me how the same poor word choices end up leaving job seekers feeling boxed in and without options. Flipping the thought to a more open and positive direction keeps your focus where it should be, on where you wish to end up versus what you hope to avoid.

1 Comment

  • David says:

    Hi Lisa, yes it is the correct choice of words. Funny not too many so called educated job hunters that I’ve met recently seem to know that. I have interviewed several college educated candidates for a minimum wage position and none of them could put together a positive sentence if they bought one. You know my struggles to find work, but that hasn’t stopped me from at least sounding positive at an interview.

    What are they thinking !!!!!

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