Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dealing With Ugly Background Info

If there are bumps and blemishes in your background or gaps and incongruities in your work history, paper is not your friend.

Actually the word paper doesn't describe it, rather anything written, printed, or stored - whether on genuine 8.5 x 11 paper, tape, disk, or floating in the clouds of cyberspace - must to be taken seriously.

This includes background information such as criminal, legal, credit, driving, military, physical health, mental health, immigration, and more. In short, anything discover-able. It also includes anything you are required to provide on an employment application.

Needless to say if you've got potholes, frustration and disappointment can result. Some of this is unavoidable, past events are just that, past, done, and over with. They are a matter of record, somewhere. However you can complicate things (or not) depending on how you manage these snags.

Background issues and work history gaps are hard, if not impossible, to sidestep. Most applications are constructed to bring these things to light. After all, this is what the folks in the H/R department get paid to do. You know that putting them down accurately may guarantee your elimination. Nonetheless, do it; or risk compounding the heartburn.

If you are not truthful and forthcoming (and I always recommend being so) you set yourself up to get yanked from the roster at a later date for providing false or misleading information.

Imagine working hard to secure a job that matches your Job Search Objective. You like the work and the work likes you. You're good at it. And then you're canned on the spot when your employee file is re-screened as part of an upcoming promotion. An ugly situation that can set you back in a major way.

So - if the shoe fits - don't ignore these irksome yet unavoidable details.

You need to know what's out there about you. Make the effort to round up and get a handle on your uglies. I didn't know is lame. You're the one in business as a free agent seller of service. Not knowing can materially hurt you, decreasing your chances of finding a customer and making a sale (to a prospective employer). You have to know. Developing strategies to mitigate or overcome these barriers requires that you first know what they are.

I know, this seems obvious. But we're human beings after all - procrastination and avoidance anyone?

Travel well.
John Jeffrey Lundell

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