Increasing My Locus of Control – When Job Hunting

I had a revelation while writing my post last week about my approach to new jobs. That is, the revelation came when I realized how I was trying to bring more of the hiring process into my locus of control. It came to me towards the end:

What’s all this mean to folks looking to make moves? Paths can be very different than the traditional apply-interview-offer format. My path has been relatively the same the last several positions. My motivations have changed, but I have aligned goals to the process I felt would be most advantageous to the value I would bring. I don’t “interview”. I don’t “apply”. Though I keep an updated resume together, I have not used it much – certainly not for my last several positions, not even during our early talks. I know my value, and it does not fit on one page.

Figure out what works for you. Then, try to control part of the process to put you in the best position to achieve your goals.

I omitted a line when publishing that went: “Putting a one-pager through a recruiter’s system to filter and highlight and pass along… it’s all outside of my control. I don’t have enough input.”

The revelation is that in a traditional hiring process, so much happens within the hiring company that is invisible to the candidate (me). Much of the evaluation comes to reading and evaluating capabilities via a single sheet of paper – that dreaded “one-pager”. It’s great. I get it. I love one-pagers, too. However, even I realize that if a candidate comes to me with a one-pager AND something that helps showcase his / her ability to deliver, that’s the Shangri-la. That’s what I want to see – confidence, initiative, creativity, etc. It’s not all there on a resume.

My fiancée realized long ago that I can be, in a sense, controlling. My controlling nature comes from a mixture of prioritization and accountability / responsibility. That’s also what makes me more entrepreneurial than others. It enables me to go beyond ideas and into execution. My approach to joining a company falls in line with my need to bring more into my locus of control. It enables me to give my best representation while also evaluating the other side.

My strict schedule of going to the gym at 5AM is another way I bring schedule into my locus of control. I go to the gym early when there is less people in the gym. Thus, I can get first dibs on the equipment I want – the equipment that enables me to achieve the fitness goals that I have. Meanwhile, accomplishing my workout in the morning ensures I put this firmly at the top of my prioritization. I ensure that if I get busy later in the day, I have already accomplished my top priority.

I can’t control everything, and I doubt I would enjoy life if I could. But I can certainly bring more into my locus of control. There are things that I can help influence and shape. I hold myself accountable. And for the greater good (for my team, my family, my friends, etc.), my accountability ensures better outcomes.

The balance with bringing more into my locus control, though, is the ability to let others take pieces into their own controls and processes. There’s the balance.