4 Toxic Words That Hurt The Unemployed

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toxic bad words unemployedBeing without a job is tough. When you are out of work for an extended period of time, crisis of confidence sets in. And once it takes hold, it can be hard to shake.

The problem is that confidence is the No. 1 thing we need to land a job. Without it, we come across as weak, insecure and desperate. If you, or someone you know, are in this situation, the following four words should be eliminated from your vocabulary.1. Unemployed

Over at Career HMO, I call this the "Ugly U Word" and I refuse to let my members use it. It is a negative, defeatist word that implies something is wrong with you. Just because you aren't currently working doesn't mean you aren't a talented professional. You weren't stripped of all your accomplishments and experience when you lost your job. They are yours to keep and promote. Instead, refer to yourself as "between jobs" -- because that's really what you are.

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2. Nice

Of course you are nice, but companies don't hire for niceness. They hire problem-solvers. Instead of saying you are nice, call yourself valuable. When it comes to getting hired, you need to focus on how you either save or make employers money. Better still, you need to show how you have saved or made your employers enough money in the past to cover the cost of hiring you.

Simply put, companies can't hire you because you are a "nice" because it doesn't pay the bills. And, if you are concerned about coming across as a braggart, consider this: You are a business-of-one who is in the process of marketing themselves to land a new client (aka new employer). You MUST sell yourself. What would you pay good money for: Something nice, or something valuable? See the difference?


3. Try

When some says, "I try to..." it implies they don't always succeed. Share with people what you do well. Give them examples of accomplishments that prove your worth. Back up your track record with facts. Use your professional history to show how you get it done. Not only is it more persuasive, it will remind you of just how capable you really are.

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4. Open

A common mistake that those looking for work make is to tell people they are "Open to anything." While you might think that makes you sound more marketable, it actually has the opposite effect. It implies that you: (a) don't have a focus; (b) don't know what you are good at; and (c) are more worried about getting a job than what the job entails.

This isn't what hiring managers are looking for at all. They want a confident person who knows what they want, why they are the right person for it, and how they will leverage their experience to do the job effectively. Saying you are "open" to all job opportunities is like saying you are "open" to dating anyone with a pulse. You owe it to yourself to have some criteria -- not to mention that it shows you have self-respect.


Removing the words above from your current vocabulary will help you send a stronger message about your worth as an employee. Getting over your crisis of confidence is vital to landing a new position – and it begins with using the right words to describe yourself. If you still struggle with this, be sure to get some help. Nobody should job search alone -- especially, when they aren't getting the results they want. Some of the most talented professionals in the world (i.e., athletes) have many coaches to help them stay in the right mindset and use the proper words to motivate them to achieve their goals. You deserve the same!


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