June 25, 2018

Jobseekers: Sign In | Sign Up Recruiters

Career Advice

Share this article:
Bookmark and Share

Attitude and the Effect it can have on any Job Search

Part 2 of 2

So, given that it's an absolute imperative to have a positive attitude, what steps can a job seeker take to foster one?

One person I worked with told me, "I need a dose of your coaching -- because Ive reached a dead end and I realize Im off track." We had worked together for a time, and then he dropped out of coaching. I smiled when I told him, "You make it sound like some kind of patent medicine or a quick fix." He came back to coaching because he had begun to realize that his job search was going nowhere, and it showed in the hostility in his tone when he talked about it.

During our coaching session, I glanced at my notes and saw that our last coaching session had taken place in January, and it was now seven months later. I suggested that regular weekly coaching could keep him on track and that, in turn, it would bolster his morale. "No," he said, "I really am very independent and don't like to be coached. Let's just lay out a plan and I'll follow it myself." After analyzing where he went off the track, we laid out a plan that basically replicated what we had worked on seven months earlier, and that ended our session. Needless to say, I felt badly for him because, unless he was very lucky, with his negative attitude and hostility (which he didn't want to confront), he would in all probability find himself once again in the same position, facing the same dead end, and hed be even more resentful in the long run.

I'd have recommended a therapist to him; I often do with such clients. In his case I don't believe he would have been open to such a suggestion.

Job hunting for those who have been "downsized" also often carries with it a self-imposed stigma, a sense of shame, that starts with the internal belief that anybody who's been laid off has done something wrong. After all, some of the others weren't laid off. Remember, this isn't a rational belief. Combine this sense of shame with the widely held belief that job hunting is by its very nature a solitary endeavor, and, whether you're a man or a woman, it can get quickly translated into being very macho. I've encountered many clients who start off feeling they have to do it all themselves, alone, without anyone else's assistance; and, if they can't, they believe they're failures, weaklings, and don't deserve to find another position. Ironically, for both woman and men, this epitomizes the "macho" go-it-alone approach.

I'd sum it up by saying: Getting help from someone else, accepting help, is not a sign of weakness; it's a sign of strength. And: A positive attitude and knowing what to do are the keys to peak performance.

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 and he offers a free monthly newsletter which you can subscribe to by e-mailing

Top of Page