Thursday, October 7, 2010

Is a Negative Attitude Hampering Your Job Search?

Job searching can be frustrating, particularly when the search is prolonged. If you’re unemployed, you may be experiencing other feelings, like self-doubt, despair, anxiety, and anger. You may not be aware of it, but these negative feelings may be coming across in your job search—in cover letters, voice mails, networking opportunities, or interviews. Your verbal and body language may convey your annoyance with the process or the bad feelings you’re harboring about a past work situation.

Prospective employers typically steer clear of job candidates they perceive as having a negative attitude; they see it as a character trait that cannot be easily changed. Use the following tips to communicate a positive attitude while job searching:
  • Be grateful and positive: Stay focused on the good in your life. Find a way to keep these thoughts top of mind, whether that means taking a few minutes each day to think about all that’s good or just writing down something you’re grateful for each day and posting it someplace visible. By reflecting on gratitude, you are more apt to maintain and convey a positive mindset.
  • See your job search as an opportunity: If you think of your job search as an opportunity, you’ll have a better chance of finding a suitable job or resetting your career direction. Consider that your effort might lead to an exciting opportunity doing work you enjoy for a company and people who value you and your work.
  • Associate with positive people: Job searching can take its toll, so find a support group you can lean on and surround yourself with positive people who can encourage you.
  • Fake it until you feel it: Even if it doesn’t come naturally at first, smile and speak positively about your job search. Hopefully, over time, that optimistic feeling may become more genuine.
  • Don’t speak negatively about previous work situations: Even if you have legitimate complaints, avoid speaking negatively about a previous employer, manager, co-workers, or job. Rehashing negative situations can paint you as disgruntled, resentful, or difficult to get along with.
  • Don’t consider yourself a victim: Even in work situations where you have little or no control over decisions that impact you, avoid thinking of yourself as a victim. Remember you have a lot of choices concerning your career, and you can control how you perceive your situation and attitude.

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