Skip to Main Content
by SixFigureStart | May 13, 2009


Career coach, recruiter and frequent Vault contributor Caroline Ceniza-Levine recently posted to CNBC's Executive Careers blog in response to the question, "Is It The Job Market Or Is It You?" The question was posed by a career workshop attendee who had grown frustrated by her lack of job search results. Caroline's answer was that, while this is a valid question in the current climate for job seekers, the unfortunate truth is that there's no one to blame for poor job search results than the man (or woman) in the mirror. The post responds to the disenfranchised job seeker with a few questions of its own:

  • How much time are you spending on your search?
  • How many resumes have you sent out?
  • How many networking meetings have you lined up?
  • Are you spending time on activities that bring you results?
  • Are you talking to the right people?

Whether you've done a great job or a horrible job conducting your job search, the answers to these questions will most likely glaringly reflect that. They also will drive home the point that it's not the market or the Recession or any other outside factor that's dragging down your job search -- each and every one of those questions asks what YOU have done, not what has happened around you. Consequently, the answers are all going to start with an introspective "I."

Obviously there's potential to sink even further into a funk if your answers to those questions reveal that you've taken zero ownership of your job search. However, once you're able to take a good look in the mirror and proactively change your technique to become a better job seeker, the eventual rewards will be that much sweeter. It's easy to blame the market and fall further into a rut. But the most important thing to remember (and arguably the toughest in the current depressed environment) is to remind yourself -- and more importantly to truly believe -- that you and you alone control your happiness through your attitude and actions. I'll let Caroline sum it up:

We have all heard the line "It’s not personal, it’s business." In the case of your job search, it’s both. Yes, keep your business hat on because you need to be professional and analytical and focused on your target companies’ business concerns. But your job search is also very personal. Your ability to find the best job for you impacts your emotional health, financial wellbeing, day-to-day living and future prospects. Is it the market or is it you? It’s your search, your career, and your willingness and ability to be better than the jobseekers out there regardless of the market. It’s all you.

Is It The Market Or Is It You? [CNBC 'Executive Careers']

--Posted by Steven Schiff, Assistant Producer