Temporary jobs are good enough

"I'm not good enough for this position" - How to deal with internal hurdles while looking for a job

"I don't have enough work experience."

"I'm too old for the job market."

"I've been unemployed for too long."

Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? Are you nodding inwardly as you find yourself again? Then you feel just like many other applicants.

This little voice that has lodged itself with you unnoticed, be it through the statements of others or through experiences you have personally experienced. It makes you believe that you are not good enough, not young enough, not experienced enough, or not qualified enough to be a job hunter.


These are limiting beliefs that can negatively affect your behavior and demeanor as an applicant. In this post, we would therefore like to dispel some of the limiting beliefs that come over us while looking for a job and give tips on how to deal with them.

Career entry hurdle or "I studied the wrong thing"

Andrea finally holds her certificate in her hand: "Bachelor of Arts in English and Practical Social Sciences" is written on it, overall grade 1.7. Andrea is proud, all the work was worth it. And Andrea loved her studies, despite the objections of her parents (“You should learn something sensible”).

Andrea doesn't yet know exactly what she wants to do professionally. Something about languages ​​would be good. Your first interview at the job center is not very motivating. With her studies it is difficult to find a job. She should try the teaching job. Exactly what she doesn't want.

So Andrea does research on her own and looks for appropriate positions. The first ad appeals to you: We are looking for a customer service representative with English language skills. She takes a closer look at the position: "You have a commercial apprenticeship or have experience in customer service." Andrea does not meet either requirement, so she does not apply. This runs through from job posting to job posting.

Andreas initially positive mood dissolves, her parents and the employment agency seem to be right: "I must have studied the wrong thing after all". This sentence burns into her and Andrea starts to wait again. She remains in this belief until one day a former fellow student falls into the café. They start a conversation and the fellow student tells her how satisfied she is with her traineeship at a scientific publisher. How did she get the job? Andrea asks, as a humanities scholar, finding a job is not so easy. She gets the following answer: “Oh, I never gave much thought to statements like that. I did my thing and just applied. ”That's when Andrea realizes that she approached the job search with the wrong attitude. What she was not aware of: She was strongly influenced by the negative belief "I studied the wrong things".

Beliefs often arise from statements by third parties

Many applicants feel like Andrea. Whether they are young professionals or experienced professionals, whether they are changing or returning to work - many of them live with their restrictive beliefs while looking for a job. They mostly arise from statements by third parties, often from persons in authority (as in the case of Andrea through the parents and the advisor at the employment agency). They internalize these at some point without realizing that they are using them or that they are being controlled by them. Doubt, hesitation or inaction are often the result.

How to recognize limiting beliefs and how to deal with them

Beliefs are generalized beliefs or rules of life that unconsciously determine everyday behavior. Negative beliefs can restrict people in many ways or even become "self-fulfilling prophecies": They behave in exactly the same way so that this belief is also fulfilled.

In order to counteract this, it is important in the first step to recognize the limiting belief as such. Beliefs are characterized, among other things, by their generalizing character, especially by the language. Typical limiting beliefs when looking for a job are:

  • "I'm not good enough for this job"
  • "I don't have enough work experience"
  • "I'm too old for the job market"
  • "I've been unemployed for too long"
  • "I studied the wrong thing"
  • "I am not qualified well enough"
  • "I am overqualified"
  • "As a mother with a small child, I never get a job"
  • "Everyone gets a job, just not me"

A classic feature of these beliefs is their generalizing meaning: not good enough, too old, too long, the wrong thing, never, all. It is precisely these generalized vocabulary that are the starting point at which you can weaken your beliefs to a certain extent. Questions such as "Who is" everyone "?", "For which company, for which position is too old?", Can make such a belief a little less sharp.

In addition, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the belief really always hold that way in all cases?
  • What if the exact opposite were true?
  • What specific evidence do you already know to the contrary?
  • Are there people in the same situation with different beliefs who are successful at this?

These questions also apply to limiting beliefs outside of job hunting. They help to question the negative aspects of these truths and see positive aspects:

An older applicant is also an experienced applicant who offers many companies added value. A lack of experience can be an advantage in positions where the employer would like to train the applicant. And surviving a long period of unemployment can stand for crisis testing, down-to-earthness and patience and can be positively accepted in the interview if you clearly demonstrate to the employer that you are getting positive results from the job search phase.

3 myths of the labor market disenchanted

As we have already seen, there are some common “truths” in the job and applicant market that fuel the formation of limiting beliefs. In addition to the questions mentioned above, we would like to dispel three myths of the labor market:

1. "At 50+ you are too old for the job market!"

Lars Hahn invalidates this myth in his article "Looking for a job from 50. Really too old for the job market?"

It shows statistics according to which the labor market situation for older people has improved and will continue to improve. However: Job search works differently for people over 50: More about contacts, networks and the active use of XING and LinkedIn.

2. "You mustn't have any gaps in your CV!"

Many job seekers are quick to accept a job for fear of widening the gap on their résumé - whether or not they want the job at all. In the worst case, the job ends within the probationary period and the next gap is looming. Then you are in a vicious circle.

This myth is fueled by statements from some corporate HR managers, high-potential headhunters and application software from large companies: If the gap is too big, you will be screened out.

However, many applicants forget that corporations only make up a small proportion of employers. Small and medium-sized companies often have different requirements. You sometimes look over a gap. In addition, the job market has changed, has become more dynamic and unpredictable. In 2017, according to a study by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), 3.15 million people in Germany were employed on a temporary basis, that is every 12th person.

Gaps in the résumé have become normal for many applicants and longer gaps are also tolerated. Here at LVQ we have several examples of people who have found new employment with a gap of several years, even in well-paid positions.

3. Humanities are a breadless art!

The humanities are also often said to be artless. We saw what can result from this using the example of “Andrea” at the beginning of the article.

The professional opportunities for humanities scholars are better than seldom before. In the article “Studied humanities? How you can start your career ”, we shed light on the entry opportunities for humanities scholars and highlight how a career start, but also a job change, works successfully.

A look at the statistics of the last ten years confirms this. According to the labor market report of the Federal Employment Agency, the number of unemployed graduates in languages, literature and humanities fell by around 40% between 2008 and 2018. The trend is similar in education, political and social sciences, where the number of unemployed fell by around 36% over the same period. You will also find many positive examples in the “Success Stories” section on our blog.

Overcome negative beliefs with comparisons

"Are there people in the same situation with different beliefs who are successful at this?" This was one of the questions to ask yourself or your belief. Because comparisons can be very helpful to question and refute your own beliefs. People learn primarily through comparisons. We saw that in our early story.

In our blog we have our own category with the success stories, in which we show how our training participants got their jobs. Even if further training has often contributed to this, a positive attitude was a prerequisite for a successful job search. Be it Tobias Quiram, who found a great job despite physical limitations, or Anja Gellert, who changed her attitude towards work in the course of her working life and did not allow herself to be restricted by beliefs.

It is above all these examples that encourage many other job seekers. You will read how these people dealt with internal hurdles, did not allow themselves to be confused and still went their own way. And if you say “Yes, but I ...” or “I can't compare that to myself”, take your limiting beliefs and ask yourself the questions mentioned above.

Tell us which limiting beliefs you have or were confronted with during your job search. How did you deal with it? Write us!