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Apples & Oranges: Why You Shouldn’t Compare Your Job Search to Others

When it comes to competitiveness, I win! Just kidding, but in all honesty I have a major competitive streak. I’ll be honest with you, I can’t play fantasy sports because my competitive streaks- for my fantasy and hometown teams- often collide. A competitive streak is critical to your job search, but it’s also key to remember who you are competing against. While it may be tempting to compare yourself to friends and family, don’t. Comparing yourself to your friends is dangerous and can actually be hurting your job search.

Confidence is key in your job search. You can’t be a successful candidate without knowing exactly what makes you a unique and vital asset. Though comparing yourself to your friends, especially those with jobs and those who found more success in their job search, can make you second guess your own abilities. Just because your best friend found a job right away doesn’t mean you don’t have the skills to also find one. She may have known someone, may have been lucky or maybe her skill set is more uniquely suited for that specific company and job. That doesn’t mean you won’t find a job just the same. Finding a job can be tough. Just remember that you bring something different to the equation than everyone else.

Did your parents ever tell you it doesn’t matter how everyone else does, it only matters how you do? Mine did. They didn’t see a grading curve based on my friends as an actual academic scale. Well, sorry to say, they were right- especially in the job search. Having that kind of attitude leads you to settle- a critical mistake in your job search. You should constantly be trying to improve and better yourself. Thinking that just someone else got a job with the same stats as you means you should too is damaging. Instead, focus on what you can improve rather than why you are already such a great job seeker.

I realize some friend comparing is almost impossible to avoid, especially with social media. Limiting it, however, is key. Your friends should be allies in your job search giving tips, offering introductions and providing support. If you get caught up in thinking why everyone else has a job and you don’t you may lose confidence in yourself, or wind up bitter towards your friends.

Do you stay away from comparing your job search to your friends’ job search? Share with us in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by TheBusyBrain

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Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.

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