By Lisa Parker

Placing the blame of poor results in a job search on others or on events is ineffective. When job seekers tell me they can’t find a job because of the economy or because companies aren’t handling their openings well, I know they are missing the boat on a key bit of strategy.

The most successful job seekers hold themselves entirely responsible for the outcome of their efforts. By assuming they are to blame for not finding opportunities or a company’s lack of response, they immediately put themselves in solutions mode. This isn’t about beating yourself up and assuming an “I’m a loser…it’s all my fault,” mindset. To the contrary. It’s about having the confidence to take an honest look at what you could be doing better every step of the way.

Is the job seeker solely at fault? No. Many of the other contributors are out of the job seeker’s control, however. It’s easier to craft solutions around the elements you can control. Put your focus there. Since the job seeker can’t control the economy, there is no benefit in assigning it blame for his predicament other than to use the economy as an excuse to accept failure. A job seeker can control how he deals with the economy. He can challenge himself to identify what industries/professions are more likely to benefit from the skills he has to bring to the table. He can step away from the job boards, table fear and circulate in the business community where he is more likely to pick up on hidden opportunity.

The job seeker brave enough to ask himself, “How this could be MY fault?,” and act on the possibilities he comes up with will do better. He’ll feel more empowered. He’ll be less likely to repeat mistakes over the span of months. He’ll also be more interesting to be around. No one really enjoys being around a complainer bent on telling the world how impossible his situation is and who or what is to blame. Yawn! Very tiring.


Lisa joined the Michigan State University Alumni Association as Director of Alumni Career & Business Services on May 1, 2012. Her primary focus is to develop effective networking and resource channels for experienced alumni interested in professional development and job search strategy assistance. Additionally, Lisa works directly with corporate, education, foundation and government partners seeking to attract qualified talent, retain and develop good employees, and establish collaborative relationships in line with their established goals and objectives.

With 15+ years’ experience in third party recruiting, Lisa offers a balanced understanding of both employee and employer perspectives.

Lisa is a firm advocate of the networking process and considers it a vital element in a successful job search. In addition to helping job seekers develop and best utilize networking contacts, Lisa shares her knowledge and insight-gained aiding corporate recruiting efforts-to give Spartan job seekers an edge in terms of lead sourcing, resume presentation and interview strategy.

Among Lisa’s notable accomplishments: Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar; Michigan Works Association Volunteer of the Year; Pink Slip Mid Michigan Planning Committee; career content blogger.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: