The Traits of Successful Job Seekers … or The Top 10 Things They Avoid

Job Seeking and Career Changing is different for very candidate and there is no ‘One Formula fits all’ solution. 

Today’s job seekers need more than a great resume and clever cover letter to land a job they’ll love. Only dogged determination, positive thinking and smart strategies will take you where want to go in today’s job market.


So why are some job seekers faster and more successful than others?

How do they do it and what are the things they don’t do?  To help answer this question, I have put together 10 things they all avoid. Check the listing and see if any of these would work for you.


#1 They don’t dwell on the past. 

There is strength in acknowledging the past and in accepting the things learned from past experiences, but successful job seekers don’t waste their energy on past disappointments or on fantasies of the ‘glory days’ gone by. They invest their energy in creating an acceptable present and a better future.

#2 They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. 

These guys don’t feel sorry for their circumstances and they don’t dwell on the way they’ve been mistreated. They tend to have an inherent understanding and acceptance of the fact that frequently life is not fair. When a situation turns out badly, they respond with phrases such as “Oh, well” or perhaps simply, “Next!”

#3 They don’t make the same mistakes over and over. 

We all know the definition of insanity, right? It’s when we do the same thing over and over again hoping for a different and better outcome than we’ve gotten before. Great job seekers learn from mistakes fast and they correct their course of action to avoid time wasting.

#4 They don’t give away their power

Focused and determined job seekers tend to be strong and they avoid giving others the power to make them feel inferior or bad. They understand they are in control of their destiny. They know their strength is in their ability to manage the way they respond.

#5 They don’t shy away from change. 

Successful job seekers embrace change and they welcome challenges. Their biggest fear, if they have one, is not of the unknown, but of becoming complacent and stagnant. Changing environments and even uncertainty can energise these job seekers and bring out their best.

#6 They don’t worry about pleasing others. 

Know any people pleasers? A trait of many successful job seekers tends to be a mentally strong person who strives to be kind and fair and to please others where appropriate, but is unafraid to speak up. They are also able to navigate most situations, wherever possible, with grace.

#7 They don’t worry about ‘alone time’. 

Determined job seekers don’t worry too much about spending time alone.  They use their downtime to reflect, to plan, and to be productive. Most importantly, they don’t depend on others to shore up their happiness and mood. They also know how to seek help and advice if it all gets too hard or frustrating.

#8 They don’t resent other people’s success. 

It takes strength of character to feel genuine joy and excitement for other people’s success. Successful job seekers tend to seek out positive situations and contacts. They don’t become jealous or resentful when others succeed (although they may take close notes on what the individual did well). They are willing to work hard for their own chances at success, without relying on shortcuts.

#9 They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control

These guys know that they have to stay strong and so they don’t complain (much) about other people or situations that they recognise are beyond their control. They tend to recognise that the one thing they can always control is their own response and attitude, and they use these attributes well.  Not everyone will believe this at first, but nothing can ‘make’ you angry.  You can control how you react to a given situation.

#10 They don’t expect immediate results

In my experience with exposure to candidates from all walks of life, successful jobseekers are ‘in it for the long haul’. They know better than to expect immediate results. They apply their energy and time in measured doses and they celebrate each milestone and increment of success on the way. They have stamina and they understand that genuine changes and, ultimately, good results take time.

Do you have stamina? Are you in control of your emotions? Are you able to embrace change? Are there elements on this list you need to focus on?  I regularly meet new candidates who want to, or are striving to, reinforce their own abilities further in some of these key areas, either on their own or with some personal coaching.

How about you?

Reflect on the points above and look for areas that you can work on, and, remember when you are out there job seeking or planning your next career change to hunt wisely!