The Power of a Positive Attitude
Lately, I’ve been encountering a lot of disgruntled, discouraged and downright negative people who are part of the job-seeking world. I’m talking about the “community” (and I use that word loosely) of people from all professions, all economic levels, and all different personality types who share one thing in common … they are all seeking employment during one of the toughest economic climates in anyone’s memory. They attend meetings, networking events, and job fairs. They send messages via email, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and post comments on newsgroups and blogs. They talk to lots of people about their job searches, and they apply and interview for jobs!
It’s not hard to understand why so many unemployed people have negative attitudes. No one enjoys being out of work, or being rejected or ignored or treated rudely by hiring managers, HR people or recruiters. Such things can certainly get a person down, and cause them to feel bad. That’s only natural. The problem is this: projecting a negative attitude is a self-fulfilling prophesy! Every interview, every networking conversation, every email or online comment transmits a message (overtly or subconsciously) to the recipient that says something profound about who you are, and what type of employee you’d be. We’ve all heard the advice to never speak ill of a former employer during an interview. The reasons for that should be obvious. However, beyond that simplistic advice, it’s much harder to suppress an overall negative attitude if it permeates and colors your entire outlook on life. Try as you might to “hide” sour grapes, if you feel it … it will likely come through. The bottom line is this: no one wants to hire or work with a negative person! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered candidates who ooze negativism and discouragement. People with chips on their shoulders, who blame others for their plight and project negative vibes almost never get hired. This rejection then feeds their negativism, and the cycle repeats itself.
I’ve coached thousands of candidates for interviews during my many years as a recruiter. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the interview process that holds true for almost every industry and every position, it’s this: the number one most important factor that determines who gets hired and who doesn’t is NOT who is best qualified, who has the most experience or skills, or who has the best résumé. It’s attitude! People hire other people that they like, and want to be around. Real enthusiasm for a position or a company, true passion for your work, a sense of humor, and a genuine projection of positivism and optimism are the qualities that make a person attractive to others. It’s nearly impossible to fake those qualities.
I wish there was a magic button to push that would transform a negative person into a positive one. It’s certainly not that simple. It is, however, an incredibly important issue for every job-seeker to think about and to try adjusting within themselves.