Below are a few myths which can sabotage job-searchers daily:
Employers only hire people who are currently working.
This statement does tend to be true of executive search firms who prefer to pluck people from one company and place them in another. But for most employers, this mind-set is outdated. Almost everyone, including potential employers, knows someone whose job has gone away through no fault of their own. Hiring managers can empathize with unemployed candidates because they've either been in a similar situation themselves or know someone who has.
Interviewers are only interested in my specialized knowledges, not my transferable skills.
Very technical professions do tend to concentrate on work content skills. None of us want a brain surgeon who does not have plenty of experience operaing on brains! Yet most jobs require using transferable skills as much or more than special knowledges. If you are considering changing careers, focus on the skills that come naturally.
I can't network because I don't have any contacts.
Everyone has contacts. The dilemma is knowing how to use them. Most people don't want to impose on their friends, let alone strangers. They forget that asking someone for help is a sincere compliment. When you are looking for work, approach people for information, not a job. If you ask them to tell you about their career, company, or industry, they will enjoy doing it and admire your thoughtful questions. Begin your research by making a list of the people you know from work, church, aerobics, professional organizations, volunteer groups, etc, to ask for help. You'll get good information and strengthen your relationships simultaneously.
I'm too old to change companies, let alone careers.
Tell that to the thousands of men and women who are starting their own businesses or going black to school each year to train for new jobs in a different field. Every day these people are taking the risk to start new careers by trusting in themselves and their transferable skills. Experience almost always supersedes untested talent, if maturity is coupled with flexibility and enthusiasm. Years of living provide older professionals with a reliable fremwork for prioritizing, problem solving and communicating that few young people can match. Savvy employers know this and take advantage of it when they can.
What other job search myths have you experienced?