I used to have an office on a busy street, with a sign in the window that said 'No Soliciting.' Once in a while, a salesperson would come in and see if I was interested in what they had for sale. Sometimes I bought from them--even though I had that No Soliciting sign in my window.
Your attitude is everything. If you can develop and maintain a good attitude, you have mental strength that keeps you going when things get tough.
This can be a really difficult thing to do in a job search, when you're uncertain, uncomfortable, possibly feeling rejected, and maybe even scared about your future. But, you'll always be better off with a positive attitude instead of a negative one.
You'll be happier, you'll reach out for opportunities more often, and you'll be more appealing to employers (which means you'll get hired faster).
Always know that if you're unemployed, this is a TEMPORARY situation. You will get a job.
If you need a little help with this (and don't we all, sometimes!), use these resources:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was speaking of big problems and big hopes in the struggle for civil rights when he said, “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness,” but this is wisdom for us all in every area of our lives.
The temptation to be bitter can be strong for a lot of reasons when you’re in a job search if:
you’ve been laid off or fired, or forced to look for a new job because of problems in your current one
you’re older and you know that you’re being passed over for interviews because of your age
you think you’ve been passed over for interviews or jobs because of your skin color, name, ethnicity, religion or background
You can be completely in the right; you can be treated unfairly; the deck can be stacked against you…but your answer is not to be angry or bitter.
Bitterness will keep you from going after opportunities, and it will make you say things in job interviews that hurt you (trashing your old boss, not speaking in a positive way about failures or setbacks, etc.).
What is the answer? Keep moving. Move on to the next opportunity. Widen your net. Contact more hiring managers. Find the place and the position where you and your skills will be valued.
American inventor, scientist, author, printer, and Founding Father Benjamin Franklin is known for his wise and witty advice--his tips for your new year are a great example.
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man. - Ben Franklin
I believe we ought to do something every day to make us better and stronger than we were before. Read self-improvement books, spend time with a mentor, invest in time with a career coach, watch helpful videos, attend a webinar or other class to learn from experts. Lower your stress, start working out, eat healthy foods, and grow your friendships. Replace bad habits with good habits.
Here's the key:
If you want to have something different than you had last year,
you have to do something different than you did last year.
I never want anyone to dwell on times that they failed or didn't do something as well as they could have. If you lost your job last year, if you've been searching for months, or if you bombed a big interview--it doesn't matter now. You can't go back and change it.
What you CAN do is learn from it. Take away something that makes you stronger, wiser, or better than you were before. And then move on, do better, and enjoy your new chance to get it right.
Are you ready to tackle your job search?
January is one of the best months to be in a search. Hiring is happening now.
What are you going to do this week, this month, or this year that's different from last year?
Remember - you've got to do something different to get different results.
Never put the key to your own happiness in someone else's pocket. I like this quote for job seekers because too many people believe that they can't do something--typically, people tell me that they can't contact a hiring manager because the job listing says not to.
When you follow the system and apply for jobs online, you are putting the key to your happiness or success in HR's pocket. You are giving them control.
When job seekers tell me that they are afraid to contact a hiring manager for this reason, I always say, "We don't care about what they want. We care about you and what you need."
It's a simple concept but a true universal principle.
When you lift up others, you get multiple benefits ranging from feeling great about yourself right now to reaping the reward of that emotional capital investment later. That person you invested that effort into will return the favor in one form or another later on.
So maybe you say, "Hey, I'm looking for a job. How can I possibly lift up someone else when I'm doing everything I can to keep my own head above water?"
Think of your job search like this: If you have to look for a job anyway, you might as well do it with a positive attitude.
A positive outlook really will make things easier--you won't be as nervous sending out your resume, because you know you'll have many opportunities. You won't be as nervous about interviews for the same reason.
You will expect your conversations to go well, which makes it more likely that they will.
We have some great posts to help you in developing your own positive thinking muscles:
For more motivation and practical tips and job search strategies, attend Career Confidential's free Job Search Training Webinars. Hear the best tips to get you hired and join in the Q&A session at the end. Bring me your questions!
The way we talk to ourselves has a huge impact on how we think and what actions we choose to take. So ultimately, what you say to yourself has a dramatic impact on your success.
Change your self-image (and your success) by being good to yourself. Say great things to yourself. Some of us have an 'inner voice' that isn't doing us any favors. Change that voice. If you wouldn't say it to your friend or your child, don't say it to yourself.
Watch the video for a smile this morning and see what great things you can tell yourself today.
As always, I invite you to attend one of my free Job Search Training Webinars where I show you what you need to be doing to get hired. (Plus we have question-and-answer sessions at the end--bring me your questions so I can help you!) Job seekers tell me that they come away from these training sessions with renewed enthusiasm and motivation!