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What You Can and Can’t Control in Your Job Search

A job search can be frustrating at times even for the brightest and most qualified candidates. Sometimes you may feel as if the effort you’re putting forth is simply in vain, and you just can’t seem to catch a break. In turn, it’s easy to become disheartened.

Having the right mental approach is critical for staying positive and overcoming the inevitable obstacles that come your way. When you break it all down, it’s largely about understanding what you can and can’t control.

Who is Hiring

One thing that’s definitely not within your power is the companies that are hiring. In some cases, you can find an employer you would be thrilled to work with. Other times, you may have to settle.

Job Market

Sometimes there will be numerous jobs available that perfectly match your knowledge and skills. Other times, it will be slim pickings.  The bottom line is the job market can fluctuate, which is outside of your control.


The level of competition is fierce in many industries, and an employer may receive hundreds of applications. This makes it difficult to stand out, and landing an interview can seem next to impossible.

Your Preparation

Fortunately, the amount of time you spend preparing is completely under your control. For instance, you can take the time to build your personal brand, study industry trends and optimize your cover letter and resume.

Your Reaction to the Market

Let’s say the current job market doesn’t look good. Rather than being upset about it, you could explore how your knowledge and skill set could transfer to other positions where the job market is better. Even though you probably excel in a certain position, you may need to look beyond it and see if there are other opportunities where you could grow professionally.

Your Efforts

There’s a great quote from professional golfer Ben Hogan, “If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.” You may not always be the most skilled or have the most credentials, but you can always put forth more effort than other candidates. Whether it’s striving to make industry connections, devoting more time to your job search or personalizing your resume for every job you apply to, this should pay off in the long run.

Understanding what you can and can’t control really puts your job search into perspective. This should help you eliminate unnecessary stress and keep you on track until you ultimately find the right position.

Looking to accelerate your job search? Contact Axiom Staffing Group to see how we can help.