Tips Unemployed Yoda

3 Tips From Yoda If You’re Over 40 And Unemployed

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If you’re over 40 and unemployed, you might want to change your job search perspective.

I don’t know about you, but the original Star Wars trilogy was a big part of my young life. Star Wars was actually the first movie I ever saw. My family went to the drive in to see a double feature – Star Wars and Smokey and the Bandit!

Yoda trained Jedi Warriors to use “the Force,” which seemed to me to be nothing more than Zen Philosophy spoken backwards. The long and short of it is, he taught people to unlearn what they had learned. To think from a different point of view, to look within.

3 Wise Tips From Yoda For The Unemployed

Here are the top three things you can learn from Yoda about changing your focus from “job search” to “getting hired.”

1. “No! No different. Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.”

What Yoda is saying is if it ain’t working, blow it up and start again. Don’t be stuck in the past and the ways you are used to and comfortable doing. Unlearn the things you are doing that don’t work and try something, anything that might! The best news is… if you try something different and it doesn’t work – you are no further behind.  You’re in the exact same spot you started, with a strategy that doesn’t work.

2. “Do or do not; there is no try.”

This one seems pretty obvious. Don’t go out and try to find a job, find one or don’t.

Personally, I don’t like the term “job search.” Searches often last a lifetime. Often the person searching never finds what they were looking for. It’s abstract, fluffy and undefined. I would rather you have a clearly defined objective and stop searching and find something. Find what you want. A new job.

Most people go through their “search” trying not to get eliminated from the jobs they apply to (think about it, it’s true!). Yoda is telling you to stop trying and be the person who cuts to the front of the line and says “here is what I offer, here is what I expect from you to be successful, do we have a deal?”

3. “The fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side.”

If you are afraid of change, trying something new or just afraid of not getting hired – that is what you’ll get. No change, nothing new and not hired. The neat thing about fear is it only exists in your head. You can’t touch it, see it or smell it – it’s just a feeling. Having said that, it can be a great inhibitor or motivator in your strategy to get hired, it’s your choice.

If you want it to be an obstacle to getting hired, put it out in front of you every morning so you have to use up all of your energy getting past it (or over it, under it, whatever it takes) and be exhausted for the things that are important – getting hired.

If you put it behind you. Deal with it and only look back on it in your rear-view mirror so you can focus on all of the amazing things ahead that will help you get hired, it will serve as a motivator. A “force” that will push you toward your goal and help you.

So, it’s time to decide if the “force is strong within you?” Or will you keep doing the same things that aren’t working, searching for a job and hoping you get hired and letting fear stand in your way?


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Corey Harlock

Corey Harlock, founder of Skills to Achieve, created the Fearless Job Seeker System to teach everyone what only a few job seekers know about how to get hired.

17 comments

  1. Yoda was a puppet who said exactly what his handlers wanted him to say. Taking advice, or “leadership secrets”, from cartoon characters, puppets and fictitious folks like James T Kirk is absurd.

    • Hey me,

      Either you are missing the point of the article in particular and wisdom in general or you are acting foolish.
      Wisdom, regardless of the source is valuable.
      Stupidity, regardless of the source is useless.
      A wise man continues to learn throughout his lifetime.
      I was not a Star Wars fan but I try to be open to learn from any source of wisdom. Heck, there is much to be learned from Animal House and Bugs Bunny if you look in the right places.

      have a safe and wise day

  2. I’m 54 and was laid off a little more than a year ago. Note, laid off. Not fired and therefore lost my job by no fault of my own. I worked at the same company for 25 years; 20 of those years in roughly the same position (customer service) and admin support. I don’t have a Master’s or Bachelor’s Degree and apparently I need one now for Admin Support, Customer Service and Receptionist. And I should be willing to apply for and take entry level positions for minimum wage. My skills and experience mean nothing in today’s market. Oh yeah, I only speak one language which is an issue in Toronto ON Canada. To get a position here, I also need Mandarin and/or Cantonese or another language. I’ve received nothing but negativity from everyone, including family. How am I supposed to think positively when I am continually being knocked down and kicked in the face?

    • Join a support group where people are positive and are going through similar problems. I am 56 and was laid off more than a year ago and went through many ups and downs. I finally found work and now have a long commute but it is a start.
      Sometimes going back to entry level positions is hard to accept but necessary to get your foot in the door and then prove yourself more valuable. If that employer doesnt see your value then look for other work.
      Most of the experience you get from family and friends is well meaning but not useful. Just smile and do what you need to do. If that is go back and update your skills/education then so be it.

      Be willing to do whatever it takes to excel. Look in the mirror every day and tell yourself,
      You can do it!

  3. It ain’t easy, being green. Life is even harder, when you’re a strangely appealing animated puppet from a science fiction movie of 20 years ago, animated by a guy that’s passed away and will never again utter the Magic Words.

    Little green men, long the object of speculation in science fiction works both old and new, do have some wisdom to share with us, like, expect the unexpected. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, and someday, we will meet beings from beyond our solar system. Well, if we live long enough, but expand that to the multi-generational ‘we’ of 200 years hence, maybe.

    Unlearn: For most of us, that’s just a matter of time. Patience, Master Yoda. The power of ADD is with you.
    Do or do not. Again, a no-brainer. Default state for most people, is ‘do not’.
    Fear of loss: Well, we’re all going to be signing up with the Sith lords at some point, then,because nobody likes to lose.

  4. Hate being without a job. Went away for 10 years, an came back to this. The avg.joe can’t find work, try being out of prison. No one wants to hire an ex-con…

    • Neil–what kind of work are you looking for? Being that you were away, you are going to really have to step out of the box and illustrate your skills and proof of reformation. Filling out general applications probably is going to be hard for you in getting a positive response. Answer my question and maybe I can come up with some ideas.

    • From what I hear it’s easier for an ex-con to get a job than it is for a professional who’s been out of work for an extended period.

  5. Howard, how or where can I get a mentor. I get allot of negative feedback from friends, family and even classmates that are wondering why I would want to leave my present employer and seek employment elsewhere. I am glad that this sort of discussion is going on as I haven’t encountered any discussions on the mature job seeker. Thank you.

    • First, ignore and stay away from those that indicate they are negative on you looking for a new job. Many people will want you stay where you are because deep down they do not want you to advance ahead of where you are and where they are.

      Finding a good mentor is not easy but can be done. Do you know anyone who is successful that you say to yourself, “I would like to be like him/her?”

      If yes and you know them just ask.
      If yes and you do not know them-network
      If no, do your networking and you will find someone.

      There are of course career coaches that you can hire for a modest fee.

      HR folks can be a good source for career coaches as many use them in their organization.

      Career change is an additional challenge. Most likely you will have to take a substantial income hit to begin over. One of the challenges will be to be able to articulate how the skills you have acquired cross over to the new field.

      Hope this helps.

  6. I am female, over 45 employed but seeking to work in a completely different industry. It is difficult enough looking for work when already employed and my other challenge is my age as well, people have asked me why I want to leave, they think I should stay where I am and wait for a pension. That brings me down. Is that all there is to life. I try to ignore the negative feedback I get but it does weigh you down. I have been brushing up on my skills, taking classes but I am wondering if I should use a different approach as a mature woman when seeking employment.

  7. I am not quite fifty, but over forty; also with tons of experience and highly educated, very highly. It is not a question of being innovative or knowing how to use a smartphone. I think that is too trite. I am sure, however, that that is not the intention of this article. I have the basics covered and then some.

    This is a difficult market and hiring managers do not want to make costly mistakes. Having been in a hiring position, I know that precious resources are wasted when the candidate cannot get the job done. You have to start over again and with employment regulations, especially as they are in Europe, the company can ill afford to hire the wrong person.

    This should be where we have the advantage. We have experience, have lost jobs, made mistakes, recuperated from them and bring a different sort of fire to the game. Yet somehow these assets get lost in the job game.

    As far as Yoda´s 3 prong advice goes, I think we have been there and done that. It is good advice, but it ain´t enough. It´s basic and non-specific. We may gain some perspective, but their is no strategy. What tactical, on the ground steps would you recommend? This would help me and I assume many other over forty unemployed people. We were there when Yoda first uttered his musings. If you never make it by the gatekeepers then being brave, doing and unlearning, mean jack. What advice do you have that gets us in the front door?

    • The best answer is to Network into the hiring manager. There is nothing better than a warm referral. This will get your materials read and likely an interview.

      If you are losing out at the interview stage then it is probably one of the following:

      1. Appearance
      2. Attitude
      3. Bad answers to key questions.

      Remember to focus your energy on things you can control and not waste time on the non controllables. e.g. interviewer bias, challenging job market, your age, etc.

      Yes you have experience, wisdom, don’t fold under pressure. How are you presenting this to the buyer?

  8. I wouldn’t believe it if I weren’t in the situation: over 50, unemployed and discriminated against. I’m an Ivy League grad (rare around here) with a stellar work history and reputation, dumb advice like “don’t try, do” isn’t going to help us battle the age prejudice I and my friends encounter every day. I get it. People want to work with people who they can hang out with, have fun with, hook up with… and even before meeting one of us, they decide against us because of our age. It doesn’t matter how cool, smart or talented a job applicant is, he or she is likely to lose out to someone less qualified but 25 years younger. How do we fight it beyond “blowing it all up” and starting again? What does that even mean? Please give us some real support — strictly enforced discrimination laws.

    • M. – Understand your frustrations. Many folks have the same ones you have.

      It does not matter what regulations you put in, people will always discriminate. Some of it will be legal, some of it will be illegal. None of it helps you move forward with finding a job.

      Work on those things you can control as an older applicant. Here are a few suggestions. Use those that apply

      1. Appearance- Are you in shape? Do you have white teeth? Do your clothes look like a successful person’s clothes/

      2. Technology- Do you have a smart phone? Do you use the very latest verion of Microsoft office? Do you know the difference between .doc and .docx? Do you send text messages? Have you worked in a cloud based ERP? Are you on Facebook? LinkedIn?

      3. Energy – How much energy do you display in an interview?

      4. When you see an open position you are interested in what do you do first? Apply for the position or network into the company?

      5. How much networking are you doing compared to internet trolling? It should be 80/20 in favor of networking……

      6. Do all your materials refer to adding value to a potential employer?

      7. Do you have a mentor or someone to discuss your activities and approach with?

    • Turn disadvantage into advantage.

      Many people wonder, “How can I get hired if I’m not ?” Good question, how indeed? In my situation, it concerned a career change. I asked myself, “How can I get hired in another field without any education or experience in it?” I looked to my strengths for the answer.

      I noticed that many people in my target field lack good writing skills, yet documenting projects is often a major part of their work. I have experience in writing and editing, so I found a need that I could fill, then I framed myself as a test reader: if I can understand it, anyone can.

      At the beginning of my career, I had a similar challenge. I had a foreign language degree in German (nothing useful) and a job in a campus computer lab. Not much. I framed myself as having a basic computer education ready to go into any computer specialty plus a desire to work internationally. The offers came in.

      Your answer won’t come from any of us; it will come from within you. It’s your angle, your selling point, so it must be *yours*. Ask a friend or colleague to be a “sounding board” for you to brainstorm. Show them that you understand the business and can fill their needs far better than those younger applicants. Say it with confidence, and you can make the sale.

      HTH,
      Liam Hickey

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