4 Mental Shifts to Boost Your Job Search Success

A job search requires the following mental frames:  

  1. Respect (Respect the employer’s hiring process.) 
  2. Persistence (Persistently persevere in your job search.)  
  3. Patience (Be patient with an employer’s hiring process, which is at a pace that suits them.)

Shifting your mindset is necessary to embrace all three mental frames. Everything starts in your mind; hence, a job seeker’s mindset is the most significant asset to determining their job search success. Your mindset creates everything — everything is consciousness — therefore, you need to adjust your mindset to work for you rather than against you.

New mindset = New results

I believe the following four mental shifts would greatly benefit every job seeker and help them embrace the mental frames I mentioned, resulting in faster job search success:

  1. Kill your ego. 

Your ego is not your friend, especially when job searching. If you allow your ego to lead you, two things happen:

  1. You feel entitled.
  2. You believe you have more options than you actually do.

Your ego’s job is to feel important; its survival depends on it. Your ego needs to fight and defend itself. It needs negative situations so it can have something to do, worry about, or something to change. So, even if you are happy, your ego will look for negative situations, no matter how small. Essentially, it will try to persuade you that your value can only be gauged by how well you compare with others, which is harmful during a job search. Your job search is uniquely your own, as is your career. Comparing yourself to the “projected” success, which we all know is easy to manufacture, of others wastes time you could use towards your job search.

When you let your ego control your life, you never feel relaxed or happy, nor will you embrace the three mental frames. Your ego will keep telling you, “It must be done my way!” Recognizing your limits (level of hunger), abilities, and reaches is critical. Learn to manage your ego, your expectations and yourself… as much as you may wish you could, you cannot control how employers choose to hire.

I highly recommend you read Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.

  • Think of your odds. 

As hard as it may be to admit, if you are looking for a job today, you are facing fierce competition. Most likely, you are competing against candidates who are younger, more skilled, and hungrier than you. In other words, you are not as “qualified” or “an asset” to employers as you think you are. 

Thinking of your odds — asking yourself ‘What are my chances?”  is one of the best job search strategies you can adopt. The key is not simply asking yourself, “What are my chances?” when you come across a job opportunity that interests you, but honestly assessing your chances to do everything you can to increase your odds for success.

You can improve your odds by:

  • Being persistent and resilient during your job search and learning from your failures.
  • Seek advice from those who are doing the job you want. (The best career advice I ever received was when I asked the person who was where I wanted to be, “How did you get to where you are today?”)
  • Manage your energy throughout the process by understanding your emotions and how they affect your efforts and success. (There is no shame in talking to a therapist to understand yourself.)
  • Leverage your contacts and networks. (Today, more than ever, job search success depends on being referred.)

Throughout your job search, do everything you can to increase your odds of success, the number one being the job search advice I give to all job seekers: “Search for your tribe!” 

If you are struggling with your job search, I guarantee it is because you are trying to fit into companies where you do not belong. Searching for your tribe will dramatically increase your odds of job search success. Do not look for a job; look for your tribe.

  • Want it, do not need it.

Being desperate is a turnoff. Whether you are trying to get the woman of your dreams interested in you, negotiating a deal on a new automobile, or interviewing for a job you really want, acting or seeming desperate will work against you.

Having a laid-back attitude and being confident prevents you from looking desperate. You achieve this by making the mental shift to not care so much. Trust me, not caring so much, to a degree, will benefit you on many levels.

  • Think how you can offer solutions. 

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

When meeting someone for the first time, the easiest way to connect is to ask yourself, “How can I help this person?” Employers value employees who create measurable value for their business. Therefore, when interviewing, keep asking yourself, How can I help this person?” or “How can I make a meaningful and measurable difference to this company?” and notice how it changes how you conduct yourself. 


Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers “unsweetened” job search advice. You can send Nick your questions to artoffindingwork@gmail.com.