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Overcoming Your All-or-Nothing Mindset When Looking for a Job

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Most of us use mental strategies to deal with the things we face in life. Unfortunately, some of those strategies don’t necessarily serve us. All-or-nothing thinking falls into this category. When you are stuck in all-or-nothing thinking, you aren’t able to see the gray areas or where there is possibility. In searching for a job, you may think only one thing will truly work to find a new position, like networking. Here are some ways to combat all-or-nothing thinking when on your job search.

Tune Into your mindset.

The first thing to do when looking for a job is to sit down and take stock of your particular job search mindset. Pay close attention to your attitude. Do you feel like you are sending out resumes in vain? Do you think that if you go to a couple of networking events and follow up with those people that you meet, that should automatically lead to a job offer? The first way to fix the issue with your mindset is to uncover the issues.

Focus on the positive.

If you’ve been at a job search for a while, you know how exhausting the process can be. This is the time when it’s even more important to stay in a positive mindset. You’re going to overcome your all-or-nothing thinking if you can reframe the situation. For example, look at how much you’re learning from each interview or discover more about the reason you were turned down for a job. Use this information as fuel to send out that next résumé.

Don’t skip over any steps.

While you’re continuing to work on that résumé and improve it for new applications, realize that it’s typically going to take more than just making a few calls to find a job. While activities like networking are vital to knowing what opportunities are out there, that contact you make may still ask for your résumé, a cover letter, or a list of references. They will also likely still want to interview you so preparing for that process remains important.

Every candidate looking for a job is in their own unique situation. Some have been forced out of their position while others are just looking for a higher salary. Where you’re coming from will also shape your thinking. So it’s most important to manage your expectations and know that this process could take a while. If you find yourself falling into the habit of all-or-nothing thinking, understand how toxic that is for the job search process and use these tips to start thinking a different way.



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