We can all agree that looking for work is not easy. Many pieces of the puzzle need to fall into place before we can have a successful job search. However, have you ever stopped to think that maybe what’s holding you back may not your resume, your networking abilities, your job interview skills, nor even your perceived lack of experience? What could be holding you back is YOU!

We are often our own worst enemy in the job search. Through no fault of our own, it is easy to get discouraged. How many times have you thought ‘How many positions do I have to apply for?’ ‘Why is nobody responding to my calls?’ ‘Why is my resume being overlooked?’ In the job search we are asked to take an inventory of our skills, but have you ever taken an inventory of your mindset? Are you guilty of falling into one of these traps when thinking about your job search?

Here are seven things successful people don’t say (or think):

    Life is not fair

    Life is certainly not always fair. A job doesn’t always go to the best candidate. A second interview is not always granted. The world doesn’t owe us anything. Start with the premise that rejection is just a part of the job search. How you handle rejection is what will differentiate you from other job seekers. When life knocks you down, get right back up and keep pushing forward.

    That can’t be done

    Successful job seekers are willing to think outside the box and never feel that a job can’t be done. If you really want something you have to go after it. Not qualified for the position? Consider going back to school to further your education. Don’t know how to approach people in your industry? Look at various networking opportunities, or speak with a mentor to get some advice.

    I don’t want to work too hard

    Working hard is the cornerstone of success. When we work hard and contribute to society we feel more productive and happy. Don’t ever miss an opportunity to challenge yourself and strive for success. People who always look for the easy road ahead often find it leads to a dead end. ‘Work hard and play hard’ is a motto many successful people live by.

    That’s not my job

    I once worked with a girl who when asked to do a task would often say ‘that’s not my job’. Needless to say her position was short-lived. Taking on tasks outside your job responsibility is a great way to learn new roles and further your experience. Successful people help others succeed and recognize that companies look for candidates who are adaptable in the workplace.

    I’ve always done it that way

    We are all creatures of habit. Have you ever tried brushing your teeth with your opposite hand? It’s a lot harder than you think! Shake things up when it comes to the job search. Every week try something completely different from what you’ve tried in the past in looking for work – volunteer a few hours, visit an employment centre, post some articles on an industry blog, meet with someone who is already doing the job, or connect with others on LinkedIn. The more things you try, the better your chances of success.

    I just want a good paycheque

    Everybody wants a good paycheque. Successful people want a good paycheque plus job satisfaction. The key to securing a good salary is to find industries or professions where labour demands outweigh the number of candidates available. The reason why tradespeople in Canada are in such high demand (and many jobs pay so well), is because there is not enough qualified people to fill these roles.

    I am tired of the ‘rat-race’

    Comedian Lily Tomlin once said “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” Humour should always be a key element of a successful job search. Don’t get bogged down by the negative stuff and remember to not take yourself too seriously! Looking for a job is marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself.

Successful people share one trait in common – almost all of them have failed many times before they became a success. Perseverance and determination are essential traits for effective job seekers. Try to maintain a positive, healthy, optimistic mindset throughout your job search and you too will come out on top.

Good luck!


Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of DirectoryOfCareers.ca. He can be reached at kmakra@sentormedia.com.