Empowering Job Seekers

Positive thinking – you can choose to be negative or to be positive

The sooner you change your thinking, the sooner your life will change.

In order for you to thrive - not just survive - during this period of transition, you must be aware of your thoughts, feelings and words -- and if they are in any way negative, you must change them to being positive.

The Law of Attraction is totally impartial; it makes no decisions, plays no favorites and works exactly the same way for everyone all the time.

“My boss was an idiot!” It is amazing how often we hear this type of statement from people laid off from work. It tells us this job seeker...

  • Is focused on the past rather than the future
  • Has a bad attitude
  • Has a chip on his shoulder
  • Cannot forgive and holds grudges
  • May have a problem getting along with others in the workplace

Nothing about this job seeker's statement was positive or beneficial to his goals of attaining new 
employment. We all have times in our lives when we don't get along with our boss or when there is a communication breakdown, but that does not mean it should be brought up or discussed in conjunction with a job search.

When we hear negative statements such as this made by job seekers, the candidacy for the position is immediately tarnished. In the team-oriented workplace that exists in the United States today, companies seek candidates who can get along. Bad apples quickly find themselves culled out and recruiters will not send sour grapes candidates for interviews.

When employers meet with job candidates the job seeker is often unaware that his/her effort to be honest he is coming across negatively.

Some indicators that you may have a lurking bad attitude:

  • You talk more about the people you worked with than the work you did
  • You are focused more on what happened in the past than what you can do at the present or in 
the future for the target company
  • You brood about real or perceived slights or incidents that have happened to you in the past
  • You mention experience or education that you DON'T have first before pointing out what you 
DO have
  • You make excuses
  • You don't shoulder the blame; mistakes are always others' fault
  • You go into an interview expecting to fail
  • You have a history of job-hopping (job-hopping is a major red flag to employers that indicates 
an attitude or maturity problem!)
  • You are late or a no-show for an interview
  • You make no effort to find out about a company before you interview with them. 
A bad, negative attitude is born from the inability to forgive and resentment.

The company for which he worked for 15 years lays off a man. He dedicated many long hours and extra effort to doing his job well, but when corporate profits fell, the ax fell and it fell on him. He is angry, hurt, and resentful. He harbors these feelings and takes them with him in the future. 
When he interviews for a new job, he makes the comment "I worked 15 years for ABC Company and they booted me and many others out with no notice and without so much as a 'thank you.' If I go to work for you now, how can I be sure that you won't do the same?" 
BOOM! A bad attitude has been born. His is angry and resentful at his old company. He has not forgiven. Does his inability to forgive have any effect at all on his old company? NO! The company is not affected by his bitterness. The company is more than likely completely unaware of him or others that were laid off. What ARE affected by his resentment are his attitude and his future. He is sabotaging his quest to find a new job by harboring bitterness over the past. The past can't be changed, but the future can. This man needs to start focusing on the future.

What can you do to right your attitude? Many things!

IDENTIFY your attitude. Think about how you have been answering key interview questions such as "What did you dislike about that job?", "Why did you leave that position?" and "What are your weaknesses?"

FORGIVE past wrongs done to you, whether by individuals or by corporations. You cannot control others but you can control your actions and responses. Make the decision to forgive them and remind yourself of that decision on a regular basis. Do you realize that forgiveness is a decision FIRST and a feeling SECOND? Soon, after making the decision to forgive, you will find you have received a measure of relief from your anger (the feeling) and will no longer be controlled by the past. Luke 17:32 says, "Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife!" Focus on the future. Do not focus on the past. Bad attitude is the lingering stench of the past.

CORRECT your thinking. The world does not revolve around you. Our society has become very selfish and "me-oriented". "What's in it for me?" is the catch phrase of our decade. Start thinking what you can offer others whether it is in skills that you bring to the table, time that you can give to make something a success, or support that you can offer someone in a time of need.

BREAK THE HABIT of negativism. Keep count of how many times a day you make negative comments. You will be surprised. Negativity is a habit. Your grandmother was right when she said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Or as the Bible states it in James 1:19 "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." And one of my favorites-James 3:6, "The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." Pretty direct stuff, there, right?

INVEST in your future. Plan your actions. Dedicate time and effort to finding your career path and job search. Pray for God to guide your steps. "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." Proverbs 15:22. And Proverbs 16:3 says "Commit to the Lord, whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Another good verse is Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Seek counsel, pray, and plan! When you invest yourself in your future, you will find that there is no place in that investment for a bad attitude."

SUMMARY THOUGHT: Pray, have faith, do whatever it takes to have a positive attitude whenever you are around recruiters, HR personnel, hiring managers or the unemployment office. You'd be surprised what God might send your way - but you have to be looking up to get it!

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