The 25 worst excuses for not finding a job
Excuses, excuses. We’ve all got excuses for not looking for work. It’s that voice in your head, always bringing you down. That voice is annoying. But you don’t have to listen to it.
Here are 25 of the most popular excuses, and their counter arguments.
“There are no jobs.” Yes, there are. There are plenty of jobs. We’ve got 30,000 of them right here on this site. There are jobs.
“There are no jobs I want.” Then take a job you don’t want. From there, it’s a lot easier to find a job you do want. You’ll be in a better position since employers like employed candidates. Take any job.
“But that job is beneath me.” No it’s not. Nothing is beneath you. Do you know how many immigrants with post-secondary degrees are driving cabs in this country to make ends meet? Take a job flipping burgers or waiting tables or packing boxes, then you can find a better job.
“I don’t know where to start.” Start with online resources and read books. Read 30 Days to a Good Job by Hal Gieseking and Paul Plawin. It’s old but it’s a really a gem. It worked for me. Create a resume. Start networking.
“I don’t know how to write a cover letter/resume.” Ugh. It’s true. Writing about yourself sometimes feels like an impossible task. Lucky for you, we’ve got a vast repository of articles on how to do these things. You can also get help from friends and family who are good at this sort of thing. I think you’ll find that people are usually willing to help.
“Nobody will hire me, I’m too punk rock/rock and roll/much of a rebel.” Then find a job with a company that hires people like you. Or grow up and comb your hair, buy or borrow some nice clothes and learn how to get along with normals. You might find they’re more interesting than you are.
“I don’t want to work for the man and be a corporate sellout. I only work for one person, man, and that’s ME.” You’re always working for someone else. Artists and rock stars work for other people too, at least they do if they want to make a living. They work for managers, customers, corporate clients, galleries… Anyway, there are no rock stars anymore.
“I’m going to make it in the music business.” You’re probably not. But even if you do, you might not make as much money as you think you will. Nobody buys albums anymore and pop stars have to tour until they’re half dead or land major endorsement deals to get rich. Do you know how much you’d make with 100,000 Spotify plays? About $80. You should have something to fall back on.
“I’m going to make it as an actor.” Here’s a stat: SAG and AFTRA represent over 240,000 actors in the U.S. Their average annual income is below $5,000, and fewer than 100 of them are “stars.” (source: The documentary, That Guy…Who Was in That Thing). It’s a longshot.
“I’m going to make it as a writer/novelist.” See above. I know many people who have published books, and they all still have to work day jobs. Also, you can get a job as a writer for a company.
“…dancer.” More than half of Canadian dancers make less than $15,000 a year. Pursue your dream, but be ready to do something else to pay the bills (just in case).
“I’m underqualified.” Find something for which you’re qualified and do that. Then, get qualified on the job. Or get qualified for what you want to do in your off time. You’re not underqualified, you are exactly qualified for whatever it is you’re qualified to do.
“I’m overqualified.” Dumb your resume down if you have to, get the job, then swoop in and fly up the ladder before they know what hit them.
“I don’t have any skills.” You do. You just think you don’t. Have you created funny YouTube videos? You’ve got media and production skills. Have you ever organized a student event, or promoted your own live music? Event organization and promotions. Have you organized a baseball tournament? You’re good a bringing people together and team building. You figure out what you can do and how you can make it sound good.
“I’m too old.” You’re not. Forty is the new 20. While young people might look like they’re outshining everyone, plenty of employers know the value of experience. Are you 60? You might live to be 120. You’re going to need a job.
“I keep getting rejected. I’m tired of never hearing back.” I know, it’s horrible and frustrating and it hurts. Here’s a suggestion, rethink your approach. Try another way of doing things. Rewrite your resume, look at different jobs. Reach out to people in your network. And don’t give up. If you keep trying you will find something.
“I don’t have a degree.” Find a job for which you don’t need one. There are many. They range from trades you can learn in certificate courses to jobs in sales, or in tech, or in admin. Figure out what your skills are and go from there.
“I don’t have time. I’m too busy.” Doing what? You don’t have a job. No, seriously, I get that, if you have children it can be very difficult to find the time to find work – particularly if you’re a single parent. But it can be done. Turn to your network of friends and family for help with childcare when you need to go for interviews. Get help with your resume and cover letter. Also, there are increasing numbers of work-from-home jobs on offer these days, as well as part-time work and companies offering flexible schedules.
“I’m sick.” OK, maybe you are too sick to work. That’s fair. But, others might be making excuses out of fear or laziness. Again, maybe you can find something you can do from home or part time.
“Nobody’s hiring in summer. I’ll start looking in fall.” Companies are always hiring, even over the Christmas holidays (though, yes, they are hiring less over the holidays, I landed this job over the holidays last year). People quit and need to be replaced all year round.
“My Employment Insurance doesn’t run out for another six weeks. I’ll start looking then.” That’s a terrible idea. It takes an average of 16 weeks to find a job! You need to start looking now.
“I’m planning to start a family/go back to school.” Great. But you’re actually going to need money to do those things. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
“I’m going to win the lottery.” Good luck with that.
“Nobody is going to hire me.” Well, you’re right. Not with an attitude like that they’re not. I felt this way not too long ago. It took everything I had in me to pick myself up and turn it around. But I did it. You can do it too. I have faith in you.
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