The Childhood Words of Wisdom That Will Make You a Better Job Seeker

What words of wisdom can you recall from your childhood? Think about those age-old sayings that might have been tutted to you by your parents after skinned knees or sibling disputes, like “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

The most influential sayings from our younger years still have a lot of insight to depart on our lives today, and the job-seeking world is no exception! The most influential words of childhood advice have been ranked – and can you guess what tops the list?

The poll, carried out by British children’s charity the NSPCC, launched a campaign to raise awareness of the importance these pearls of wisdom can have in shaping a child’s life. Well its time to order up a side of fries, because as you’ll see, these wholesome nuggets of wisdom are some worthwhile food for thought!

“There’s no time like the present”

We are more contactable than we’ve ever been, most of us have a device in our pocket at all times that allows us to be reached in so many different ways – messaging, emails, social media, and yes, even phone calls! So why do the perfect opportunities always seem to slip past us? Word to the wise – pick up the phone, there’s no time like the present! Reach out to companies you’re interested in working with, some of the best jobs aren’t even advertised, and even if they aren’t hiring at time they’re likely to keep you in mind. If you aren’t locking it in, someone else is.

“Never say never”

It’s safe to say that there isn’t an industry out there that hasn’t been changed by new advancements in technology. Likewise, the world of recruiting and job hunting has been forever changed by the influence of new tech and will continue to do so. Gone are the days of flicking through the job ads in the back of the newspaper. Don’t be too quick to say you’ll never use a certain social media platform or job seeking method. There’s no room technophobes, an open mind is essential!

“It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts”

Don’t get yourself bogged down in the details. The most perceptive job hunters know that when you scan the required specifications in a job ad, there is very rarely someone out there that meets every single criteria, it’s more of an employer’s “wish list”. What you should be asking yourself is: “What do I need to get through to the interview?” In the best case scenario you’ll impress the hiring team and they’ll be happy to get you trained up in any other skills you’ll need, in the worst case you’ve had a chance to make an impression, which could come in handy when another role opens up!

“Two wrongs don’t make a right”

There’s no arguing about the fact that job hunting can get downright frustrating at certain points, it certainly does. However before you go hitting send on an angry email to a recruiter who didn’t give you any feedback on an interview or a hiring manager who turned you down after an extensive and time consuming selection process, STOP. There’s a difference between being assertive and being rude, and proper email etiquette never goes astray. The person who is friendly and conscientious in their correspondence is much more likely to be recommended for the next job that comes up!

“Good things come to those who wait”

When it comes to finding work, you reap what sow. Waiting doesn’t necessarily mean sitting around holding off for a great role to turn up out of the blue. Get active while you’re “waiting” for that job. Build relationships with people who can help make it a reality, and invest your time in learning new skills that will help give you an edge over the competition.

“You can’t judge a book by its cover”

There’s another classic saying that didn’t quite make the cut on childhood words of wisdom: “fake it ‘till you make it.” You wouldn’t say that to a child, because taken the wrong way it could be terrible advice! The same goes for your resume. There are people who might fill up theirs with made-up references and “exaggerated” skills and knowledge, but it’s a risky bet that the people looking to hire you are going to “judge your book by its cover”. Sure, paint yourself in the best possible light and express your willingness to learn any skills you might lack, but don’t go writing a book of lies!

“Manners cost nothing”

If you go sending out a generic message or cover letter to potential new employers or contacts, do they owe you a personalised response? No, they don’t, and frankly it’s a little rude to send a message like that in the first place. Never forget that you are engaging with a real person, and they’ll be far more inclined to respond if your message is personalised and polite.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again”

Yes, it can be a bit of a bummer when you get turned for a role you were really hoping for, but what’s worse is letting that discourage you. Pick up the phone or send a friendly email asking for some constructive feedback (or even just to thank that person for the opportunity), and you might be surprised how your professionalism will be paid forward. Take note of any advice or feedback that you can bring to your next job application. Remember there are no failures, only lessons to be learned!

“Treat others how you’d like to be treated”

This one may be very similar to “manners cost nothing”, but the sentiment bears repeating. When you’re applying for a job, you expect the people in charge of the hiring process to keep you in the loop, to let you know if you aren’t in the running any more so you can move on, and to give you some feedback so you feel your time was worth it. Return that kindness! Even if you’ve already moved on, reply to emails updating you about the recruitment process; if you weren’t happy with how something was handled, let them know (constructively!). Nobody likes to be left in the dark.

“Practice makes perfect”

And finally, topping out our list of the most influential words of childhood wisdom is this tried and true saying. Sure you might have once groaned at this one, but truer words were never spoken. No one becomes a top candidate overnight. It takes time, patience, and the commitment to build your skills and experience.

Job-hunting might not be a kid’s game, but these pearls of wisdom are sure to add some shine to your practice! Good luck!