Pin Credit and Blame – Accountability and Your Job Hunt

Pin Cushion
photo by Wade from Oklahoma


Wikipedia defines it (in part):

Accountability is a concept in ethics with several meanings. It is often used synonymously with such concepts as answerability, enforcement, responsibility, blameworthiness, liability and other terms associated with the expectation of account-giving. As an aspect of governance, it has been central to discussions related to problems in both the public and private (corporation) worlds.

Ultimately, focusing on accountability pins both credit and blame where it is due.

What does it have to do with your job hunt?

When you are in the workforce, typically you are accountable to someone. There is a supervisor or board of directors overseeing what you are doing and offering guidance, constructive criticism and an incentive to get the job done.

A lot of people
need to be
to someone (else)
in order to be successful.

This (in part) is why some people are not well suited to striking it out on their own in a business or may not be successful working at home. Without someone to oversee their work on a daily basis, they are not as successful. In a job search, most of the time, you are only accountable to yourself.

Here are 5 tips to help you hold yourself accountable in your job hunt.

And 1 tip if you’d rather not.

1. Set achievable goals. Clarify your expectations. Look at your job search in the context of your life. If you are job searching full time without other responsibilities, you should be able to set the bar higher for what you can realistically achieve. If you are still working or responsible for your children full time, your goals should reflect that reality. Decide how much time you can spend on your hunt and focus most of that time on networking (in person and online).

2. Track your progress. Hold yourself accountable to your goals. Personally, I love a check-off list; make a list of things to do and check them off as you go.

3. Give yourself incentives. We all work best when we have incentives. You went to that “work the room” event that you knew you’d hate? You even talked to three people (your goal number)? Give yourself the afternoon off the next day!

4. Consider getting a job search buddy. This can be an in-person contact who goes to networking events with you or an online contact to commiserate about how long it takes to hear back from employers. Consider joining Secrets of the Job Hunt Network, a social network for career professionals and job seekers. You can message other job seekers and also view posts by career professionals. (I’m a regular contributor.)

5. Note your successes and less than stellar performances. I have a client who charts his performance in interviews in order to learn from his mistakes and repeat his successes. Focusing on what you are doing well and learning from your mistakes will help keep you accountable to yourself and keep your job search moving forward.

So, you’d rather not hold yourself accountable?

One tip for you – hire a coach to guide you through every step of the way! You don’t want to update your resume for each job? Cover letters bore you? You’re not sure what you have to offer or even where to start with your search? I am here to help encourage, enlighten and empower you for success in your job hunt. Contact me at


1 Response to “Pin Credit and Blame – Accountability and Your Job Hunt”

  1. 1 segan123 June 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Some very strong advice here, words everyone should listen to!


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