Just came across a good Q&A article on this surprisingly common job search challenge (you can read it here in Forbes online).
Here’s a summary of the Q part:
He’s applying for a job in a city. He lives 45 miles away. He doesn’t mind the commute. He’d be willing to move closer to the city, once he gets a job.
But employers are leery of hiring him. They fear he’ll be delayed by snow and ice. And they wonder, “Why would anyone want to live out in the middle of nowhere?”
The columnist, Liz Ryan, provided a good solution. Get a PO Box in the city and use that as your address. You’ll get very little correspondence by surface mail anyway. Nowadays it’s all email, text and phone.
If asked, “Where do you live?” the applicant can say, “I’m staying in the suburbs for now. When I get a new job, I’ll decide where to live.”
He’s being truthful. He’s just not disclosing personal information.
But there’s a bigger point beyond the specific question of relocation.
“The less personal information you convey on your resume, the better,” says Liz Ryan. Let them meet you and make a determination about whether or not you’re suited to the job. Then, when you and they work together they can get to know you and vice versa.”
Copy those 3 sentences on a sticky note and place them where you’ll see them each day. In general, the less personal info you share with your boss, coworkers, colleagues, associates and customers, the better. When I work with clients in crisis, it’s the personal stuff that often comes back to haunt them.
It’s not easy. Often you spend more time at work than you spend with family and friends. It’s hard to be always “on.”
Everybody drops their guard sometimes. Some successful people turn it into a game. They put on their game face and manage the impression you make in a business or professional setting.
In some fields, a game face goes with the territory. And so does emotional wear and tear. Arlie Hochschild’s book, The Managed Heart, reflects her research on the emotional labor required to behave professionally even under the most challenging circumstances. She writes about the emotional toll on people with jobs requiring lots of negative interactions, such as bill collectors and flight attendants. But many people face similar challenges and need to manage their emotions in order to do their jobs effectively.
When it comes to colleagues, you may have some leeway. They’ll see you as that competent, helpful person with quirks. But you never know when a seemingly insignificant disclosure will affect your professional future. People hear your words through their own lens and respond accordingly.
I’m also leery of today’s trend of massive self-disclosure and “vulnerability.” Research shows that when you show a flaw, you’ll seem more likeable … IF you’re in a high status position. The entertainment star who jokes about being nervous will be seen as approachable. The beginner will seem … well, like a beginner.
Of course, most people like to share their concerns and reveal their authentic selves. For many, family and friends will be available so you can relax, vent and say whatever comes to mind, without fear of repercussion. But clients tell me, “My family’s getting tired of hearing about my frustration with the job.” Or, “My significant other can’t understand why my career change is taking so long.”
For those who don’t want to wear out their personal relationships, or who want a more objective perspective, coaches, consultants, and other support resources are available. For more on what I offer, click here.