Assume You’re To Blame

Placing the blame of poor results in a job search on others or on events is ineffective. When job seekers tell me they can’t find a job because of the economy or because companies aren’t handling their openings well, I know they are missing the boat on a key bit of strategy.

The most successful job seekers hold themselves entirely responsible for the outcome of their efforts. By assuming they are to blame for not finding opportunities or a company’s lack of response, they immediately put themselves in solutions mode. This isn’t about beating yourself up and assuming an “I’m a loser…it’s all my fault,” mindset. To the contrary. It’s about having the confidence to take an honest look at what you could be doing better every step of the way.

Is the job seeker solely at fault? No. Many of the other contributors are out of the job seeker’s control, however. It’s easier to craft solutions around the elements you can control. Put your focus there. Since the job seeker can’t control the economy, there is no benefit in assigning it blame for his predicament other than to use the economy as an excuse to accept failure. A job seeker can control how he deals with the economy. He can challenge himself to identify what industries/professions are more likely to benefit from the skills he has to bring to the table. He can step away from the job boards, table fear and circulate in the business community where he is more likely to pick up on hidden opportunity.

The job seeker brave enough to ask himself, “How this could be MY fault?,” and act on the possibilities he comes up with will do better. He’ll feel more empowered. He’ll be less likely to repeat mistakes over the span of months. He’ll also be more interesting to be around. No one really enjoys being around a complainer bent on telling the world how impossible his situation is and who or what is to blame. Yawn! Very tiring.


  • Bill Nurmi says:

    You hit the nail on the head in the very first two lines of your post Lisa. Accepting this responsibility is tough. If we say that the economy is bad, it somehow insulates our ego from the damages that it can sustain by the daily rejections.

    However, this insulation not only protects our ego, it blocks us from focusing on the solution and what to do next as you say. I am getting better at this, but its a daily activity and a choice to be made as to how we act, react, and conduct our personal job search.

    thanks for keeping my head in the game.

    Bill Nurmi

  • admin says:

    Thanks, Bill. You’re right about insulating the ego. It’s a decent strategy for feeling good in the short term. When it comes to the long haul, those who have insulated their egos suffer more. Few things are harder on an ego than a fruitless job search that drags on for a substantial period of time.

  • Gary Buxton says:

    In hard times, which are a given reality in life, even a rejection is a tactical or strategic opportunity.

    Blame is for the immature mind.
    I don’t see any of the wildlife around me wasting time with “blame”.
    They just continue life persistently regardless of the hardships they face each day.

    Nature is a great teacher. :-)

  • admin says:

    Excellent points, Gary. Nature is indeed a great teacher. It manages to regroup after unthinkable catastrophe without complaint. Sometimes catastrophe allows for it to come back stronger.

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