Searching for a new job is one of those times in life where you have to put your best foot forward and be at your very best in order to sell yourself in the market. However, in today’s economy, the job search can quickly and easily become so frustrating and even demoralizing, that putting on a happy face becomes more and more difficult – yet it has to be done.
A study conducted in 2008 found that those who stayed positive and persistent found a job sooner than those who did not. Lisa Esposito, writing about the results, quotes the study’s co-author, Ruth Kanfer, as saying, "It's very, very tough. It's not like learning a skill, where maintaining a positive attitude can be easier as you see improvement with your effort. You submit resumes, but get almost no feedback on how you're doing or what you could do to improve your chances of finding a job."
It helps to have a personality that is more positive, but even that can be considered as secondary to self-management in terms of the amount of success achieved. “From week to week, those who did the most to develop routines, seek support and keep self-defeating thoughts in check were those who put in the most hours on their search,” Lisa continues. Staying positive from week to week and sticking to a routine is best performed when you are able to shake the poor-ole-me attitude that can easily creep in. This type of attitude can greatly influence the way you act and respond during an interview.
Lacking the self-assurance and confidence that is needed can end up being seen in various ways. Rosa Elizabeth Vargas is the owner of Career Steering, and she comments, “What are your beliefs about your candidacy? What “vibe” are you transmitting during your phone interview, exuding through your body language, projecting with your attire selection, and reinforcing via your marketing documents?” Oftentimes we are not even aware of how our attitude shows through. She goes on to note that negativism and cynicism can be smelled a mile away, and notes that the “concept of reversing negative internal narrative seems simple; however, actually changing what you are thinking, feeling, and exuding is not—but it can absolutely be accomplished!“
Some of the negative thought patterns that tend to eventually harvest into these negative feelings over time can be things like a shame in losing a job to begin with, or dwelling on past failures. However, aside from those, the feelings can come after a while of job searching with no results, especially as desperation starts to set in. Stress and frustration start to take over, and a positive attitude is harder to find. Over time, you may even start talking yourself out of doing the things necessary, simply because you have almost given up.
In an article entitled 15 Ways Your Brain Is Trying to Kill You and Your Job Search, Lisa Rangel lists some of the ways you start to talk yourself out of moving forward. It is almost always related to negative thoughts that drag down any forward momentum you may have. Things like “I’ll never find a job,” or “I can’t learn how to network…I’m too shy,” or even taking it personally when the people you have reached out to have not responded. These things can get you down so that you avoid reaching out to others.
All of these types of negative emotions can drag you down and cause a lack of desire for motivation and forward momentum. If you feel these things may be hindering you, it is important to detect, address, and remove the feelings that are causing this in order for you to stay motivated and focused on the task at hand. “Know this: You cannot sell what you do not believe in and you cannot energize others to believe in you when YOU lack that type of enthusiasm in your own services/skills,“ explains Vargas. Identify these negative thoughts and work to rid yourself of them, replacing them with positive, motivational thoughts that assist you in reclaiming (in your mind) just how good and worthy you really are.
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