Understanding what you can control in your job search


When managing your job search, it is important to be aware that setbacks are an inevitable part of job searching, but for many of us rejections can feel very personal.

The job searching process can, at times, be frustrating, exhausting and somewhat tedious. So, when you don’t receive an interview, a job offer, or even a response, you may start to feel demotivated, overwhelmed with a of lack control over your job search.

Circles of Concern

We all need helpful tactics to manage these setbacks. Stephen Covey wrote about how to deal with these factors and worries by being proactive, in his bestselling book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’.

His theory uses 3 circles to help assess which factors are inside and outside of your control. By adopting this strategy when job searching, you will regain control, re-focus your energy and compartmentalise your job searching anxieties into manageable categories.

  • Circle of Concern–The Circle of Concern includes all the challenges and concerns surrounding your career and job seeking. These concerns are outside of your control and influence. Try to let these go and focus on what you can influence and control. Some factors - like the impact of the pandemic on the global economy or a company deciding to hire internally, are OUT of your control, and unfortunately there is nothing you can do about them.
  • Circle of Influence–These are areas you can’t control but you can influence such as your location, your social circle, your professional network. You may have factors in your Circle of Concern, that you cannot control directly, but you can INFLUENCE, such as the candidate competition. For example, you cannot stop candidates with more experience applying for the same role, but you can influence how you compare by having a strong personal brand, practicing your interview technique, and considering training or upskilling!
  • Circle of Control– How you respond to the job market, your interview preparation, the quality of your CV, and the job search techniques that you choose to adopt, ARE completely within your control. Direct your time and energy towards the elements that you can. This will minimise feelings of overwhelm and frustration.

Rather than an adopting a ‘passive’ wait and see approach when job searching. Applying Coveys theory will help you adopt a growth mindset. It means you can be more proactive on the factors you can control in your job search and in return gain a sense of clarity and autonomy. This will ultimately have a positive impact on your confidence and will help you become aware of what thoughts and actions are really worth your time and energy.

Renovo is the UK’s leading outplacement and career transition specialist. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please email info@renovo.co.uk

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