The level of competition in your industry or sector. Even though the demand for executives and professionals in certain industries has increased dramatically in recent times, competition for the best positions in high calibre organisations is still as intense as ever. The number of employers in almost every industry or sector will continue to shrink as a result of industry shake-ups and consolidations, mergers and acquisitions, corporate collapses, international or multi-national companies closing or downsizing their Australian operations, companies outsourcing or contracting out many non-core or even core activities to lower cost offshore suppliers, the impact of technologies on the requirement for people, cost cutting measures and so on. Therefore, expect intense competition for the best jobs in the best companies. If you are finding the competition too intense, a solution favoured by those willing to leave their egos out of the equation is to identify niches, sectors, organisations or roles where you have a distinct competitive advantage and where the competition is less intense. The fun of bashing your head against the wall soon diminishes. Seeking to work for a high profile, blue chip organisation without a strong competitive advantage is a recipe for frustration and disenchantment.