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Ya but …

Career Collective post: Once a month, a group of career professionals blog on a subject topical and timely for a job seeker. We’ll post our thoughts on our own blog and link to the post of our colleagues on the same topic.
This month’s topic: What advice do you have to help jobseekers transition and make the most of the new year?  Responses from others contributors linked at the end.
Follow the hashtag #careercollective on Twitter.

It seems to be my week to challenge verbal roadblocks. In my last post it was the word “just”. This post, I’m going after “ya, but”.

I spend a good deal of time on the phone speaking with potential clients. During those conversations, I generally offer a bit of guidance to help the caller, whether they use my services or not. Sometimes they get it. Sometimes, they “ya, but…” themselves right out of an opportunity for greatness. In line with this month’s Career Collective topic, the best guidance I can give to anyone – job seeker or not – (in addition to taking “just” out of your vocabulary), is lose the term, “ya, but” altogether. No matter what tools you use or what resources you have at your finger tips, if your internal sentences contain “ya, but” when it’s time to make a change or face a new challenge, you’re destined for failure, or at least a more difficult path than necessary.

Here’s a sampling of what I say to job seekers (based in the reality of the 2010 job market) and what I hear in response regularly.

You really need basic computer skills to compete in today’s market.
Ya, but …
I never really needed to know how to use a computer in my last job.
I don’t have time to go to school.
I’ve tried. I just don’t get it.

More than 70% of jobs are filled through effective networking.
Ya, but …
I didn’t take the time to schmooze at my old job. It’s creepy.
I just moved here and don’t know anyone.
I don’t even know how to get in touch with old coworkers.
It’ll freak people out if I ask them for a job.
I’m not comfortable asking for help.
I don’t know about any networking opportunities in my town.
My car’s too unreliable to go anywhere but to work and back.

A good number of employers will Google your name or conduct an Internet search as part of the vetting process. They’ll also check social media sites.
Ya, but …
Google is evil and the developers too are powerful. It scares me. (Seriously, I’ve heard this.)
I don’t do anything on the Internet. People don’t need to know my business

Using social media is a good way to build an Internet presence and build a strong reputation in your chosen profession.
Ya, but …
What’s LinkedIn?
I don’t have time to read a bunch of blogs and comment.
Twitter is a waste of time.

Setting up Google alerts is a good way to see when you’re mentioned on the Internet and what others will find when they search for you.
Ya, but …
I don’t know how to do that. I’m not that technical.
(Also, see responses to two previous statements …)

Posting your resume on a job board is not the way to conduct a search.

Ya, but …
I don’t know any other way.
I got contacted by a few people right after I posted, so it must be working.

You can’t sound desperate in during an interview.
Ya, but …
I am desperate. Unemployment runs out in two weeks. I should have started looking earlier.
I’ve got to find a find new job. My boss is driving me crazy. I can’t help it if that shows.
I’m still so upset by what happened; I just can’t get past it.

An employer won’t take time to extrapolate information from a resume. You’ve got to tell them what you bring, boldly, proudly.

Ya, but …
It’s obvious what I do. Anyone who knows about this business would get it.
It’s too difficult to explain what I do. They should be able to tell by my list of previous employers how good I am.
I’ve won awards. That should be enough.
I’m not comfortable talking about myself.

I could go on … but won’t. Do you see a common theme? Excuses, excuses excuses and not a lot of meat to any of them. In fact, as you were reading, you were probably coming up with solutions to each and every one of them. Bottom line: anything worth having takes effort. However, if the first response out of your mouth when offered a suggestion to help get your from Point A to Point B is “Ya, but …”, then most likely, Point B will never become a reality or at the very least, you’ll work twice as hard getting there.

Move the roadblocks and watch your course get easier. Oh, and don’t even start me on “can’t”

PS – Lest you think I’m preaching from a holier-than-thou place, I’ll give you one of my own. Rest assured I struggle with the “ya, but …” monster as much as you.

This is mine: Sound familiar?
I know to lose weight and be healthy I have to work exercise into my daily routine.
Ya, but …
I stay so busy; I don’t know how I’ll do it.

Know what I did to get rid of my own roadblock? I called my neighbor, announced it was time we both got up off our … buts (butts) and started walking again. And that’s what we’ve done … two seven days in a row now. Yea us.

Here’s what my colleagues have to say:

Walter Akana @walterakana Starting anew – Tips for truly managing your career

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter @ValueIntoWords Is your job search strategy a snore?

Chandlee Bryan @Chandlee Starfish, JobAngels, and Making a Difference

Martin Buckland @MartinBuckland, @EliteResumes Career Trends and Transition 2010

Katharine Hansen PhD @kat_hansen New Year: Time to Assess Yourself and Your Career

G L Hoffman @GLHoffman A Flash of the Blindingly Obvious

Gayle Howard @GayleHoward How are those New Year’s resolutions panning out anyway?

Heather Huhman @heatherhuhman Job seekers: 5 tips for making the most of 2010

Erin Kennedy @ErinKennedyCPRW Advice to Job Seekers in 2010–learn Yoga?

Rosalind Joffe @WorkWithIllness Dogs Can Do It, Can You?

Susan Joyce @JobHuntOrg Lifelong Learning for Career Security

Meg Montford @KCCareerCoach The Art of Being Gracious: Much Needed in Today’s Job Search

Hannah Morgan @careersherpa The Year of the Tiger

Heather Mundell @heathermundell Kaizen and the Art of Your Job Search

Barbara Safani @barbara safani Looking Into the 2010 Careers Crystal Ball

Miriam Salpeter @keppie_careers Help for job seekers in a rut

Andy Robinson @AndyInNaples What are you getting better at? Make This the Year You Become the Best You Can Be.

Rosa Vargas @resumeservice The Resume and Your Social Media Job Search Campaign

Debra Wheatman @DebraWheatman Making the most of a new year

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  1. Boy, does this ever ring true! Even in my own family – computer skills aren’t that great (Mac vs. PC, minimal Word, no Outlook or Excel, etc.) for one newly-single member. When we talk, I get the YA-BUT. And, she JUST doesn’t have time to take any classes to improve those skills, even knowing that the lack limits her job options. I think she’ll come around eventually, but her bank account will be much smaller by then.

    Excellent post, as usual!

    • Dawn says:

      Thanks Susan.

      I’m amazed at how frequently I hear it … (yes, even from me.) Change takes efforts and it’s scary. I get. Still gotta work though it.

      Thanks for stopping and sharing that story. And the kind words about my writing!

  2. Ros Vargas says:

    Excellent article! Get the excuses (BUTs) out of the way! Jobseekers, listen to Dawn. Once you remove those roadblocks–the path will be clear and the journey begins!

    Want to hear mine?

    “I know pecan pies are so full of calories and I really shouldn’t be eating them anymore; Thanksgiving is over! But, oh they are soooo good and I so deserve it! LOL!” This little BUT began 7 lbs ago. Time to listen to Dawn.

  3. Rosa Vargas says:

    Excellent article! Get the excuses (BUTs) out of the way! Jobseekers, listen to Dawn. Once you remove those roadblocks–the path will be clear and the journey begins!

    Want to hear mine?

    “I know pecan pies are so full of calories and I really shouldn’t be eating them anymore; Thanksgiving is over! But, oh they are soooo good and I so deserve it! LOL!” This little BUT began 7 lbs ago. Time to listen to Dawn.

    • Dawn says:

      Thanks Rosa.

      We all tend to get in our own way and find excuses for why we can/can’t do something. And your found out first hand that repeated, “ya buting” has it’s consequences. 🙂 (You are not alone!)

  4. Dawn, this post is great! The ya buts are persistent, aren’t they? Once people can acknowledge that they’re a signpost of fear and anxiety, then they can choose to move beyond “Ya but” and into, “I wonder how I could do/learn/be/accomplish that?” I have a client who whenever she says, “Ya but” we just halt the conversation, reframe the situation, and she comes up with something else to say!

    Congrats on the walking!


  5. Dawn says:

    Change is frightening. It has a ripple effort to those around, so they fight against it too.

    I like halting the conversation method you’re using. Makes you acutely aware when you really pay attention to internal and external language.

    Great add to the information. Thanks Heather.

  6. Dawn,

    I think another “ya but” for writing resumes is “I didn’t do anything that important.” Everyone does something important when they work at a company and everything relates to the bottom line in some way. New rule…no “ya buts” allowed. Nice post.

    • Dawn says:

      Absolutely. That ties in nicely with my opinion of the word “just” … “It’s just my job. I didn’t do anything that important.” Ugh. If the job seeker doesn’t believer they’re special, then how do they expect the potential employer to see it?

      Thanks for stopping!

  7. Dawn, I comment with my usual, “you’re brilliant!” and entertaining and funny. And I have heard everyone of those “ya-buts” before. What I hope most is that you get some comments from job seekers or clients who can say they conquered their “ya-buts!”

  8. Dawn says:

    Thanks Julie!

    I’d love to hear how others overcame self-imposed obstacles. What a great idea! But then you’re full of great ideas!!

  9. GL Hoffman says:

    LOL. This post reminded me of raising our kids…where everything it seemed was YEAH BUT dad.
    Now it seems funny, back then, not so much.
    It is kinda like what we run into here trying to get the word out about, the job search engine we run…we hear “Yeah but, I use Simply Hired,”–even though LINKUP is nothing like this one aggregator of job boards. Maybe one day I can look back on this and laugh too…for right now, we all have our head down showing people why it is so much better for job seekers.

  10. Dawn: great work! I’ve heard many of these too! We really only face self imposed obstacles, there are very few others. I love Heather’s comment, so true, once we’ve identified our fear or anxiety it is so much easier to move forward! Identifying/removing them is the fun part. It is a lifelong journey.

    • Dawn says:

      I’ve always said, the most difficult person to move out of the way is me. Acknowledging “it’s” there is, as Heather said, half the battle. Once admitting the crazy things we say to ourselves, the better chance we have of overcoming the obstacles. You’re right. It is a lifelong journey.

  11. I am so glad you are taking on these negative phrases and squashing them one-by-one! How true that everyone has a reason for doing things this way or that way…Excuses are not the job seeker’s friend.

  12. Dawn says:

    Thanks Miriam!

    Excuses are no one’s friend. I get as much benefit writing about the roadblocks I throw up in my own way, as hopefully, readers get from seeing they’re not alone. Seriously, if we talked to others like we talk to ourselves, we wouldn’t have any friends. And our friends would “call us” on all this excuse making too. Time to change the internal sentences.

  13. […] Then go here to read what else Dawn has to say. No […]

  14. Gayle Howard says:

    So true Dawn. “But” has always been one of those words that irk me! I’ve always considered that whatever anyone says before the word ‘but’ is completely negated by what they’ve said afterwards. For instance: “I’m really sorry about offending you, BUT it really couldn’t be helped as you offended me first”. “But” is used as a justification to negate or dilute what has just been said. “You’re so pretty, BUT you could do with a little less eyeshadow.” Your “ya but” statements are the same — “Yes I hear what you’re saying, BUT I’m going to discard your advice because it doesn’t suit me, or I can’t be bothered, or whatever excuse I can make up because I’m not comfortable doing anything different”. That ‘BUT’ word is a “take away” word because what ever anyone has said before it, doesn’t count after the “but” kicks in!

  15. Cynthia Hansen says:

    I started new challenge – learning to use twitter! after only a few weeks, I have over 100 followers – and many of them have businesses that they promote using twitter – with posts linking to their blogs! to generate business!

    It occurred to me that I need to create a blogg too. I’ve learned about twitter and continue to absorb it’s culture. I helped raise $2,200 on twitter this week for the American Red Cross, I keep up with family and friends worldwide using Facebook, and next will be learning Blog.

    It is not what is difficult, it is taking the first step to do, to act…

  16. […] 28 at 5:12pm Dear Ms. Bugni, In your post (which was very well-written, by the way) you mention the necessity of having “basic computer […]

  17. […] posts that both touched on the computer skills that job postings often require. In her first post, Ya But, Dawn said, “I spend a good deal of time on the phone speaking with potential clients. During […]

  18. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ValueIntoWords: Excuses, excuses, & not a lot of meat on them > Spot-on blog post via @DawnBugni, “Ya, but” — #careercollective…

  19. Those are my New Year’s resolutions: 1. Listen – assistance, challenge and listen to my inner self and other people. 2. Patience – Have a lot more patience, God grant me the? serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to alter the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. three. Yoga-honor my body as a gift from God enjoying and celebrating with breath and movement. yeah 4. Organize- Fantastic CD titled “Getting Things Done” helps me five. Church Lessons-Doing the most effective I can using the skills I presently have.

  20. […] @DawnBugni, The Write Solution, Ya, but […]

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