It’s the one thing out of the entire process you can control. That’s what makes your attitude vitally important in the job search. You can’t control when someone is going to call you back, or if the person liked you, or what the economy is going to do, but you can control your attitude and how you conduct yourself throughout the process.
The job search process inherently comes with ups and downs — moments of excitement and anticipation blended with feeling defeated and beaten down. It’s crucial that job seekers keep the negativity of the process from affecting their attitudes. If negativity starts seeping in and you feel defeated and hopeless, the hiring manager will see and sense the baggage, and will likely pass. They want someone who is positive and upbeat; someone who says, “Give me the ball and let me run through the line.”
While you’re in job search mode, think about the way you ask for help, whether it’s from friends, work acquaintances or potential employers. Stay away from, “I know you don’t have time for me.” and instead say, “I have a lot to offer and would love to be able to share what I know and what I can do.” If you are sitting in the room anticipating the end of the play before the first act, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even when you’re frustrated, you can ensure it doesn’t come off as a liability — that’s when you pump yourself up, keeping yourself from going down the negative road.
Your Attitude Can Persuade Your Potential Employer
Conversely, a great attitude can make you stand out from all the candidates for a job opening. If you want to impress your potential employer, think carefully about the possible things going on in his or her work life that cause stress and anxiety. Talk about how you can go into that job and make things easier and better for the manager. Think, “I’m here to lighten your burden and load.”
Accentuate your value at all times. Talk about demonstrated skill sets, not just, “I’m a good guy.” Instead, “I’m a good manager of people; I’m a good problem solver; I’ve been ahead of quota every year.” And in talking about past jobs, never criticize anything or anyone. Maybe you were let go, and that is emotional. But that shouldn’t bleed into your presentation — it’s negativity that the hiring manager doesn’t want to deal with. Your attitude and story need to always come across with positivity and confidence.
How do you impress a hiring manger with your attitude? Here’s a few phrases that can be used as mantras as you navigate the job search. You might try repeating these to yourself if you become frustrated, or perhaps write some of your own that are personal to you.
- “Give me the ball; I don’t have to have my hand held.”
- “I’m an awesome team player; not a lone wolf.”
- “I take initiative.”
- “I am fiercely loyal; I run through walls to get the job done.”
- “I’m aware of politics in the field of play around me and can navigate effectively.”
This article was written by Dave Sanford of Winter Wyman (New York). Dave helps clients design hiring stategy. Thanks Dave!