The Top Four Characteristics of Successful Job Seekers


Some people seem to get a new job pretty easily, while others seem to get stuck. Why are some people JOB FINDERS, instead of always JOB SEEKERS?

After talking with many job seekers over the years, I’ve identified some of the characteristics of those who succeed. Here they are in no particular order:

1) Persistence. The people who succeed never give up. They just keep going. They may get depressed and frustrated, even have moments of despair. Yet they keep going. Their mood does not determine their actions. They recognize that this may be a long journey, and they are committed to doing whatever it takes to get that job. Not only do they persist in taking action but they are consistent in the actions they take. Every day, they do something toward their desired work. It may be small or large, the important thing is taking some action to send energy toward the desired intention. As Winston Churchill said to a graduating class during World War II, “Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!”

2) Confidence. Successful job seekers think of themselves as job finders – that it’s just a matter of time before they land the job they want. They have confidence that they will find that job. Of course they have doubts and fears, yet those do not control them. Successful job finders take action while acknowledging their feelings. I have often put my arm around my fear and said “come on, fear! Let’s get going. I’m going anyway so come along for the ride.” And I find miraculously that the fear either abates or leaves altogether. What I need is assurance that I will be able to survive a harsh experience. I find great strength in my confidence in my ability to care for myself, pick myself up, and get back in there.

3) Flexibility. Job finders adapt their approach and attitude based on what works. They achieve their goal by going “over, under, around or through.” If the first approach doesn’t work, they try another. They ask for help from experts and from people who have succeeded in finding jobs. They understand that they don’t know everything and are willing to learn. The words “I know that” are the three most dangerous in the world, because they cut off learning and openness to improvement. Nothing is ever perfect, so why not listen and take a suggestion? The other dangerous phrase is “I already tried that.” OK, you might have, yet perhaps you can do it again with new information, tools, skill and context.

4) Focus. Job finders are focused on their intention of getting the right job for them, and are determined to achieve it. They are specific about what they want, writing it down in order to put it out in the world and make it concrete. They act, keeping their actions aligned with reaching their intention. With that focus, new actions and paths become known to them. They are willing to step outside their comfort zone in order to realize their intention. Opportunities appear as they view the world in terms of the lens of their goal.