the problem:

When your expectations don’t align with reality, you fall into the Valley of Disappointment (VoD).  The same goes for #jobseekers conducting a job search.  When you start searching, you might make monumental efforts for a week or two, maybe a month. Hundreds and hundreds of applications. With the expectation that you will see returns on the fruits of your labor. When you don’t get the results within the timeframe expected, you often settle for something while in the VoD.

According to a BLS 2018 report, a professional changes their job 12 times throughout their career on average. Unless you’re a consultant working on short-term projects, you don’t conduct job searches enough to gain expertise.  Most likely, you’ll stay with an employer for 2-5+ years and conduct job searches that often. As a result of the inconsistency, you do not perform our best.

Compounding the fact is that there is a significant gap in the education system. Schools do not provide you with a course in career management, job searches, and interviewing. You graduated without the necessary knowledge to conduct a successful job search. As a result, you learn job search and interview skills through trial and error. 

When you start something new or have little experience, you struggle to set realistic expectations.  Your job search is no different.  Like any skill, it takes repetition.  All too often, your expectations do not align with reality in the number of repetitions it will take to breakthrough. So, we enter the Valley of Disappointment. We get frustrated, feel rejected, and we give up to early and more often then we should. 

the solution:

In this article, I’m going to cover the three key components to help you avoid giving up in the Valley of Disappointment during your job search. I will be focusing on creating a growth mindset, setting your intention, and your routine.  How you approach something from a mindset perspective

Growth Mindset:

Your mind is a powerful asset to leverage to help avoid the VoD. In my 60-Day Successful Job Search course, I start by focusing lessons on how to create a job search mindset. Lessons like confidence building, remaining positive, and emotional intelligence.  Also, you take personality & strengths finder assessments to learn more about yourself.  A lot of your job search success comes down to your mindset. One of the most important aspects of your mindset is how do you process failures or setbacks?  They are learning lessons like any other aspect of your career.

Let’s face it. You’re not a job search or interview expert.  You most likely don’t interview all the time and seek out opportunities. Until you learn the proper steps to land your next role, you will fail. But again, you’re learning and with that mindset, you’ll to view failures as growth. 

As mentioned, the education failed us.  For those who don’t seek out a career coach or class on job searching and interview your search experience is the classroom for all your lessons.  Whether it’s getting interviews, what you’re saying during interviews, and how you’re closing them. The experiences that will teach you what works and what doesn’t.  Every step that you take until you land in that next role is a lesson.  Having this mindset will help prevent you from getting sucked into the VoD.

You must view those sometimes-painful failures as steps needed to land your next role. Remind yourself that each time you conduct a job search or interview it will get easier over time. You now have a growth mindset versus a fixed one.

To help you focus your mindset:

I want you to set clear goals and have 100% commitment to achieving them. The reason why it requires 100% commitment is that there are no alternative choices. Doing so takes any decision-making out of the equation. There is no plan B, so your dedication doesn’t waver at all.  Also, clear goals allow you to increase mindfulness to stay present and determine how you will best react.

First, to help you focus your mindset, you have to commit to achieving your goals. I want you to write out your commitment to your goals and why they’re essential to your career.  You need to define your why, so you can leverage it for motivation on days that you don’t feel like it.

In Stephen Covey’s book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” one of the concepts is between stimulus and reaction. There is a choice. In that split instant, you get to choose how you react. Elevating your mindfulness and awareness of self as well as others (EQ) allows you to determine how you should respond.

In your search, unexpected challenges and distractions will show up. Yet if you’re present, then you will be able to handle them in stride. Having goals will help you determine whether it adds value to your efforts or not. Making it easy to determine what action take.

Setting Intentions:

Professionals enter their job searches hopeful. Often, they take more of a passive approach to their searches. Compared to those who set their intentions. Setting intentions provides better clarity. when you need to make decisions on the actions to take throughout your search.

Because you have set your goals you now have a guide to set your intentions. It’s essential to set your intention to work through the “Valley of Disappointment”. Especially, while conducting your daily routine working towards your goals. Again, look at the image of our expectations versus reality. What causes the breakthroughs we desire?  It’s all the things added up overtime on a consistent basis that leads to success. Not our unrealistic monumental linear expectations.

Also, your intention should be specific and targeted. Aim small miss small. Otherwise, without the focus your likely to land a role that’s less than ideal. Set your intention on finding the next role no matter what it takes.  This will help you tremendously in your job search.  

Once you have set your intention you should know the action steps that you’re going to include into your day. Which leads us to your routine.


Let’s face it we are creatures of habit. Our brains look to conserve energy and create habits. Your routine provides the small incremental steps towards landing your next role. Let’s be honest. You don’t know what submission will lead to an interview. What interview will lead to an offer? What offer will long term employment?

Hence, you have to remain vigilant to committing to your routine. It’s your routine or habits that you instill that will lead to success over time in your job search.

A couple of things to include in your routine. Applications, Professional Branding, Networking, Interview Prep & Skills, Eating Healthy, Exercising, and Destressing.

(*I’ve create a unemployed job seekers routine blueprint. For your complimentary copy send an email to info(at)henningcoaching(dot)com.)

You must get ready to perform when it matters most.  Prepare by conducting research before every interview. Continue practicing your elevator background pitch, STAR stories, and answers most common questions.  Having this as a part of your routine will help you set a positive tone at the beginning and interviewing with confidence. 

Again, 100% commitment to your daily habits and routine is essential.


In summary, success in your job search comes from your mindset, 100% commitment, setting intentions, and your routine. Having the proper mindset allows you to set your intentions/goals. Once you have clear goals you can set your routine and then review for improvement. Through repetition and experience, you will soon land your next role.

Review through your day and look for opportunities to improve. How often are you scanning through nonproductive social media? How much television do you watch per week? How can you instill better habits to get the results you want? 

Take the time now to review through your mindset, intentions, commitment, and routine.  Start deploy these techniques to ensure you avoid the Valley of Disappointment. 

Remember you’re 100% committed so there is no other alternative!

What are your thoughts?


Best of luck in your searches!

PS. Interested in what's possible for you? Here are 3 ways we can work together so you can gain an Unfair Advantage!

One-on-one Coaching

People come for answers and inspiration because we help them achieve the results they want.  At the same time, you’ll get a customized solution to fit your needs.  Want to grow your career and joy at the same time?  View our sessions and packages below.

Career Launch University

Online self-paced job search and interview coaching platform with different courses to provide options depending upon need and budget.

Discover How You Can Excel In Your Career - Take a Free Personality Assessment