4 worries EVERY job seeker will have

job seeker stress
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So you are busy searching for a new job… It does not matter if you have just started or if you have been busy with it for a while. The fact is that until you actually get an offer and sign that employment contract you are going to have a few concerns. It is completely normal to feel insecure due to the uncertainty involved. Especially under the current circumstances.

I wanted to put together a short article on 4 of the most common fears or concerns job seekers have, and maybe offer some advice on how to deal with these. I would also love you to let me know in the comments below if you have any other worries or fears that I could possibly address in a future article. So let’s jump right in.

4 common fears most job seekers face.

As I mentioned earlier, feeling nervous and insecure is completely normal during a job search. Especially if you have been searching for a few months already without any success. I want to stress now that this is normal, and you are not alone. As I said we will discuss some solutions to your fears below, however having a close friend or family member to chat with is sometimes all that is really needed. Do not be embarrassed to open up to the people around you.

Worry Number 1: You are not sure how to market yourself.

Most of us are quite modest. We don’t enjoy bragging, especially to someone who might be our new boss. But with a job interview, it is not considered bragging, especially if you can show examples from your past experience to support your claims. With time and practice, you will learn how to craft a narrative using your past that interests interviewers.

If you are having difficulty figuring out what sets you apart, or what you are really good at. You can try asking previous colleagues or managers. You will find that others will be much quicker to sing your praises then you would. Take what they say to heart, and don’t be shy to use it during your next interview.

Worry Number 2: You CV will just be ignored with no feedback

Thanks to the internet and the wonderful world of online job boards it is now much easier to find the latest job vacancies available. But with this comes new stress! Our applications are often done through these job portals and feedback is rare. In fact, most vacancies these days state that “if you do not hear back from us within 2 weeks, please consider your application unsuccessful.”

The reason for this is the sheer volume of applications recruiters and hiring managers receive every single day. It becomes impossible to reply to every application, unfortunately. This is a downside of online applications and I do not see it changing any-time soon. The best advice I can give you is to have faith in the procedure. Your CV is being delivered, and if you are not getting called back it might be that you need to redesign your CV.

Another option is to change your method of searching for a new job. Networking is a great method of advancing your career and you should constantly be building your network. LinkedIn is a great site to get you started, however, you can just as easily start reconnecting with old contacts on Facebook.

Worry Number 3: Changing careers is risky

This might not apply to you if you have been employed for 20 years or more. But if you are new to the workforce you might be considering an industry change. It can be difficult to decide if just a slight adjustment or a complete shift to a new industry is required.

I recommend you ask yourself one simple question. Can you see yourself still working in your current industry in 5 years? If the answer is no then you must make a change. However, if you think to yourself that “I would like to change, but I could still be here in 5 years and be happy.” Then maybe you should rather consider trying to move up within your industry rather than make a drastic change.

If you are determined to move into a new industry, I highly recommend that you consider upskilling yourself to give yourself the very best chance of success. This will also add to your confidence and make the change seem more achievable. This also applies to move up within your current industry by the way.

Worry Number 4: I won’t get the salary I need

Money, money, money! It is always in the back of our minds. And I think this is even more true during a job search when your salary offer is going to determine your future household budget.

Although not everyone has the option, I suggest you address this before leaving your current job. You should start by figuring out what the average market rate is for the position you would like to apply for is. Once you have worked this out you can probably work within 15% of this figure and determine if you will get the salary you need. If not then it might not be worthwhile changing careers.

That being said, if you have been retrenched and have no option but to search for a new job then your worries are very different. In this case, I recommend that you identify a minimum salary amount that you would be able to accept.

During interviews do not worry too much about the salary, rather focus on impressing your interviewer and making the best possible impression. That being said, if the subject does come up do not be afraid to ask for the salary you are looking for, even if this is slightly higher then what was being offered. Clarify that you are open to negotiating this number though.

It is quite realistic that once the employer has decided they would like to offer you the job you may be able to negotiate a slightly higher salary.


I hope that this has helped you to realise that you are not alone. Searching for a new job is scary at the best of times. No one is immune to the stress of the process.

Please remember to leave me a comment below and let me know what your biggest job search worry is, especially if it is not on this list. Stay strong, and best of luck to you!

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  1. Ilse Elizabeth Booysen
    January 17, 2021

    Good day, my concern is my age. I am 56 and was retrenched last year July with my last salary in August with the package. Up to know I have only 3 interviews, 2 with Zoom and 1 with a video, but was not successful. Is my age a problem and do I have to worry? I am very skilled in my field but I feel that employees that use Zoom and videos won’t really get to know me as a person with a normal face to face interview. Do I need to worry? Thank you and your info will be appreciated.


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