A Job Search is About Possibility, Not Probability

A Job Search is About Possibility, Not Probability

28/11/2019 Off By pauldrury

When you are trying to work out whether something is worth doing, a little computer inside your brain clicks into action. What are the odds of a certain action leading to the desired outcome? What has worked so far? How do you need to refine your approach?

You work out the probability and try to find the most efficient route.

Let me explain in terms that are close to my heart:

My daughter is a 13-year-old netball Goal Shooter. Her contribution to the team is mainly based on scoring goals, and the closer she is to the posts, the more likely the ball is to swish into the net. She shoots at 96% accuracy (sorry, dad boast…) but she sometimes doesn’t shoot if she feels that she is a little too far away. She might pass to a teammate, for example, and get herself in a better position. Every now and again, this will result in her team not taking a shot at goal at all.

Much of sport (and life) is about weighing up the odds, but I would like to suggest that a job search is totally different.

If I told you that you might have a chance of securing your dream job, but you have to keep “shooting” and missing from the edge of the shooting circle for ages before that chance comes along, would you keep risking rejection? Everyone has a good probability for getting an average job, but is the possibility of securing that dream role enough to motivate someone to carry on despite the failures?

Sadly, few people are brave enough to shoot for the stars.

They understand that the odds are stacked against them, but they know that if they centre their search around the possibility (rather than probability) of getting their dream job, they will do so much more to move towards making it happen.

My daughter is starting to take more long shots in game situations, and she is realising that she is converting far more of them than she thought she would.

The issue with this in a job search is that they are relatively infrequent. If job seekers had more experience of the power of “possibility” in a job search, then they would have that little bit more trust in pursuing what seems like an improbable outcome. Job searches don’t come along very often, there is a lot riding on them, and people often make the job search choices that result in them probably getting a job rather than possibly getting THE job.

That is a good line actually (if I don’t say so myself).

The possibility of getting THE job is always there.

You just have to believe in the possibility.


Every job seeker should follow these #HRvoices on LinkedIn (just click their face!)

(If you post career-oriented content and would like to be included here, email: paul@outplacementwriter.com)