90 Percent of Job Hunting is Half Mental

Published on 18 May 2010 by Kelly Riggs in Job Search

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“Sometimes, life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”

Steve Jobs 232x300 90 Percent of Job Hunting is Half MentalFor job seekers, this is something akin to a Mission Statement, but these words of wisdom were addressed to a Stanford University graduating class by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple (you can see the entirety of his message in the video below).

Losing a job can certainly feel like you’ve been hit in the head with a brick, and the inability to quickly find a replacement job just prolongs the pain. What Jobs suggests in his speech is that the difficulties one faces, in any area of life, will ultimately pay dividends in the future – in terms of lessons learned or wisdom created by those experiences. This small insight can be an encouragement when you’ve just been laid off and your job hunting efforts have gone unrewarded.

Unfortunately, many people tend to look at successful people (like Jobs) and surmise that they have no idea what it means to struggle or find a job or get fired. The truth is usually far different. Jobs, for example, was adopted, never finished college, and struggled early in his career. He talks about his very public dismissal from the very company he founded. Yet he later recognized that getting fired ultimately payed huge dividends in terms of his current success. As we discussed previously, failure can be very instructive – even essential to long-term success.

I have recently watched a family member struggle to find a job. He has met with little success despite a college education, a good resume, and plenty of talent. The toughest part is watching him deal with rejection and self-doubt. I have watched as the luster has faded from his self-confidence. This is really where the rubber meets the road – to paraphrase the late Yogi Berra: 90 percent of job hunting is half mental. You can choose to let the process be corrosive, or, as Job suggests, you can keep the faith.

Your struggles are not a commentary on your value. How you handle those struggles, however, is a commentary on your character.

“You’ve got to find what you love…the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work…love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.”  Steve Jobs

7 Responses to “90 Percent of Job Hunting is Half Mental”

  1. Twitter Comment


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  3. What a great post. I really enjoyed your very inspiring and encouraging message. A few thoughts in response to yours…

    Who has not failed in their life? The saying that “failure is optional” is not true IMO, because as human beings, we ALL fail at one thing or another. In my work with job seekers and job changers, the people who are willing to learn & grow, humble themselves to ask for help, and eagerly help others in return are the ones who _create_ opportunities for themselves.

    One of the best things you can do to keep your faith alive is to take a look at your successes throughout your life. And yet how many of us do that? Most of us are conditioned to focus on our lowest scores, negative feedback, & poor performances so we can be fixed. We are not machines that need fixing. You are enough! Others will be inspired by your story, and their faith will grow because they see you overcoming your challenges & tapping into your brilliance.

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    RT @360JobInterview: 90 Percent of Job Hunting is Half Mental [link to post] Great post, check it out! #in ~D

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  6. kellyriggs says:

    Absolutely right, Diane…who hasn’t failed? Quite often, in fact? In many ways, failures are the paving stones of the road to success…our own, or – as you mentioned – others, as they are inspired by our stories. Good stuff!

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