June 18, 2018

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Attitude and the Effect it Can Have on Any Job Search

Part 1 of 2

As a manager, before I became a coach I once interviewed a very capable individual and probably would have hired him if it hadn't been for the fact that he spent at least twenty minutes during the interview venting about his prior boss and company, describing with barely concealed hostility how badly run his company had been. It was obvious that he felt hurt and angry at having been laid off, he still hadn't gotten over it, and it dominated the interview. Although he could have done the job, I was thoroughly turned off and disqualified him as a candidate.

Most people looking for a job feel similarly aggrieved, but donít like to admit it openly. They may strongly deny that they have this attitude, but it can creep through and color what you say during an interview, even if youíre not aware of it. It can also affect how you conduct your job search.

My observation is that by the time they decide to hire a coach a significant minority of people are showing signs of depression. They feel as if they are at the end of their tether, financially, emotionally or both. Theyíve been terribly hurt by the layoff they've experienced, as was the person I mentioned at the beginning of this article. Because of the inevitable rejection they find themselves encountering during their job search, they often harbor a feeling of resentment that infuses everything they do. Because of this, they often arenít doing what is really productive to advance their job search. I sometimes wish they had decided to seek coaching before they reached such a state; Iím also glad that they decided to seek help because it represents a step out of their resentment, depression and hostility.

As you can imagine, itís important to recognize and acknowledge these feelings when youíre seeking a job because they can seriously impede the progress of your job search. More than is often acknowledged, these feelings can be terribly corrosive and destructive. So I wanted to discuss it in this article and talk about what can be done.

For those of you who have been in sales or similar work, itís a trite observation: You have to have a positive attitude to be successful. As researchers have discovered, this also holds true in sports. You have to go into an endeavor believing sincerely that you can succeed at it, or your performance will be less than optimal. Creating an internal image of doing what you need to and then making it happen physically is what good athletes do.

Adopt a positive attitude ... Think positively ... These words have been said so many times -- they donít have much impact any more, which is a shame because it is so terribly important to have that mind-set. So much has been said and written about maintaining a positive attitude that the words often fall on deaf ears.

In job-hunting, I believe keeping a positive attitude canít be stressed enough. It is absolutely necessary to build and maintain a positive, forward-looking frame of mind because:

Coming in Part 2: What specific steps can you take to foster a positive attitude?
©2002 Lawrence M. Light, eJobCoach Unlimited
The author, Lawrence M Light, is an experienced personal coach who works with a wide range of job seekers across the U.S. He was on the Board of FortyPlus and is a member of International Coach Foundation and currently serves as Vice President of the Alliance Coaching Group. His website is www.ejobcoach.comand he offers a free monthly newsletter which you can subscribe to by e-mailing

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