J. has a sniffle…constantly. I hear him sniff often during our phone calls. It is noticeable. It is loud. And I believe it is a problem for him as he looks for his “right fit” job.

Now, I know he has allergies. But do prospective employers know that? Or do they think he has an addiction problem? If even one of them thinks he puts things up his nose, he will not get that job. If he’s networking, he may not get passed on to anyone else. This simple allergy could cost him a few opportunities. And in a tight job market, that’s dangerous.

We’ll never know if J. didn’t make it past phone interviews because of his sniffle. We’ll never know if he didn’t make it past the first interview in Chicago because of the sniffing.

But why do we need confirmation in order to address this potential problem? If I noticed it, other people have noticed it. And if I thought “drugs,” someone else has thought the same. And when I interviewed people who raised that kind of red flag for me, they definitely did not make it to the next stage, regardless of their qualifications. Even in a full-employment labor market, I wouldn’t take such a chance.

J. can and will address this potential problem by taking an antihistamine before interviews and networking/informational meetings.

He has a pretty simple solution to a potential problem. What is your potential problem? Talk it through with someone to see if there is a simple solution to it.

In this highly competitive labor market, you can’t afford to ignore a potential problem