E Book Chapter

The Power of Positivity in Achieving Success

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence.” –Helen Keller

We have all known the negative person who taints all their interactions with their downcast thought processes.  No one wants to be around them for very long. Negativity is a drain on the psyche that is insatiable. Positivity on the other hand is a way of being that when combined with solid goals and actions, makes you a force of nature. People are attracted to positivity. Opportunities are attracted to positivity. Many things are out of our control; our attitude is not one of them. We can control our attitude. Positivity is a choice, just like negativity is a choice.

A job search can be fun. Change is exciting and empowering; constant learning takes place. Without positivity, the job search is excruciating and draining, particularly in a tough market. Positivity reflects in your interactions with your contacts and certainly on your interviews. It is self-motivating. With positivity, you are clearer and your concentration is acute. Positivity makes us better people. We think in terms of “we” rather than “I”. You are more open to others opinions and you are more productive.

Erin moved from Boston to Orlando to get into the hotel business. She had some experience working with people in retail, but no direct hotel experience, and her degree was not in business or hotel management, but she was determined that this was her field. She procured a front desk job at a local motel and there was told numerous times her attitude and drive was going to take her far. She had her sights set on a “real hotel” with suites, waterfalls, and fine dining restaurants.  While she was getting her initial experience, she visualized her next job and believed without doubt that she would get her dream job.

After six months at the motel, she started to seek her next position and she went to a construction site for a luxury suite hotel. The hotel was open on a limited basis and she secured an interview, believing this was the opportunity she was looking for. She landed a job on the front desk at this new hotel which had suites, waterfalls, and formal restaurants. Six months later, she was promoted to the sales office due to her attitude, her service level, her product knowledge and her very apparent sales ambition. This promotion launched a career in luxury hotels that spanned decades. Her vision was realized. Had Erin not had positivity, she would probably never have made it past wanting to change jobs never mind moving fifteen hundred miles and getting her dream job within a year.

How to Develop Your Positive Mindset

“The pessimist sees difficulties in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” –Winston Churchill

Life is easier and more pleasant if you are an optimist.  There are many factors at play in an optimistic view of a job search. And while there are many things out of your control in a job search, you do have control over your choices. You choose what skills to bring to your perspective employers. You choose what answers to give for commonly asked questions during an interview. You choose whether to see your job situation as an obstacle or an opportunity. Your job dissatisfaction or loss can be a terrible thing, or it can be the start of a journey of self- discovery that results in new-found satisfaction and happiness in a job you never imagined having before now.

One way to start thinking more positively is to create a gratitude journal or blog. You recount at least five things that you are grateful for each day. Gratitude, like positivity is like a muscle that needs to be flexed and used or it goes slack and atrophies. The old saying “count your blessings” is wise and true.  It is fundamental to making yourself see the good in a situation.  No matter the circumstances, there are always reasons to be grateful contained in the day. Sometimes it is very hard to find them due to negativity, but they are there if you want to see them. Your gratitude journal can be as simple or as ornate as you want it to be. A blog of gratitude is a very public participation in the process but good if you seek community with followers encouraged to list their gratitude’s alongside yours.

Sometimes, it helps to learn what others see in you. This is true when you are trying to adopt a more positive viewpoint. It is helpful to create a strength statement. Ask your trusted friends and family to write out five strengths you have. Not only can you use this to help with your vision, you can use this to bolster your self-confidence and to help get you through the challenging times in your job search. Along the same lines, create a positive job statement by writing out all the positive input received from your job; evaluations, letters of recommendation, client letters and emails. This will give you something to focus on when you start to feel distracted by negativity. It will help bolster you when you feel discouraged.

To become more positive, you must become aware of negative scripts running through your thought processes and then challenge those negative thoughts and beliefs with positive ones. This should be a gentle process of awareness. When you become cognizant of a negative thought, write it down, and think of the positive thought to contradict the negativity.  Write down the positive thought. Then, when that negative thought crops up, end the thought before it gains momentum, and replace it with the new, positive thought. Do this for a week and look at how much negativity you put upon yourself and with some gentle effort, you can change the scripts running through your head to ones of positivity. Negative: “I can’t do anything right.”

Positive: “I made a mistake and I learned from it.”

Negative: “No one will hire me.”

Positive: “I am making progress each day, it just takes time.”

Negative scripts can be firmly entrenched in your psyche dating back to childhood. It will take time to re-program yourself. There is sense of freedom that follows this work, the burden of debilitating negativity being banished and a new lightness of being taking its place.  This process takes time and may never truly be done, but it is worth the effort.

 

A statement like “Get a Create Your Vision for Job Search Success

“A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.” Mahatma Gandhi

A vision is the big picture. A vision allows you to get a feel for what your career and life will look like. A vision gives you direction and structure, but it is also fluid, adapting to change, but providing a guideline for your efforts. We change constantly, we grow and learn and adapt and purge. Our vision can change as well.

To formulate a vision for your life, you have to ask yourself some important questions:

What are you doing? Where are you? Are you alone or part of a team? Are you in charge? How many hours a week are you working? How much do you make? Is what you make important? Where do you live? Do you travel? Are you using technology? Is the company you work for cutting edge or more “tried and true?” Are you making a difference? Do you have everything in place to make this vision come to be, or will you need to fill in gaps in skills, education or experience?  Not only do you ask yourself these questions, you must answer them as honestly as possible because this is the blueprint for your success and happiness.

Time spent creating a vision is time well spent. You can create a strategy from a clear vision. You can define goals from a clear vision. You can chart progress from a clear vision. You have a sense of purpose with a clear vision.

Creative visualization techniques help to win sporting games, and they help with a job search and creating a vision statement. Your mind is extremely powerful and without getting new agey about this, if you can manifest the end result, you will act in a way to make that picture come to be. In sports, you picture winning the event, and when that is clear enough, and the work to train has been done, then the likelihood of that win coming to be is higher than if no visualization work has been done.  If you do your research, prep for your interview questions, and you picture in your mind’s eye the interview going well, imagine how it feels,  hear your interview answers flow, meet the challenges head on…the likelihood of that interview going well is extremely high, better than if you hadn’t visualized it at all.

Creative visualization works in the planning stages of formulating your vision for a new job. By taking the time to ask yourself the important questions that define your vision and then actually sitting down and visualizing it in your head so that it becomes something real and concrete. It shows you your purpose.

Your vision must be that: Your vision. Not someone else’s. It is OK to take other people’s suggestions and opinions into consideration, but in the end, for you to feel truly motivated, the vision must belong solely to you.

Setting Your Goals to Meet Your Vision

“You have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to play better than everyone else.” –Albert Einstein

Cynicism happens when you set unrealistic goals and have unrealistic expectations. Like unrequited love, cynicism can taint your search and leave you bitter and unfulfilled. And cynicism has no place in a job search today. So by keeping your goals realistic and attainable, you make the way for positivity. If you do not plan your course of action it’s easy to get discouraged and go nowhere.  Goals make for little successes along the path to attaining your vision. Action makes the way for positivity and action taken towards goals keeps you focused and moving forward. Goals are a roadmap to success.

Goals should be short term and long term.  Short term is one to three years; long term is three to five years. They need to be well defined, measurable and achievable with effort on your part. They need to be positive, written in positive language, and be written down. They support your vision and provide the framework for your job search efforts. Well defined goals insure you do not wander aimlessly or waste your efforts. Goals provide momentum for your search. As goals are achieved, you experience a sense of exhilaration and satisfaction, knowing you are accomplishing the work of your vision. Someday, you will have that job. Goals mark the time spent pursuing it. They take you from a five year concept right down to a to-do list for today.

new job” is too vague. It is not defined, you cannot measure your accomplishments and it says nothing about the effort needed to make it happen. “Obtain a managerial position in the human resources depart of a Fortune 500 company where I specialize in high tech presentations utilizing cloud-based technology. This will take a year.” This is a defined goal that can be broken down into manageable steps over a course of time. It can also be revised to accommodate unforeseen changes.

When analyzing a goal, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I need to accomplish this?
  • Do I possess the necessary knowledge?
  • What resources do I need?
  • Can it be done differently?
  • What is the realistic timeframe?
  • Is the goal based on your effort or is it susceptible  to events out of your control

Staying up to date on procedures related to your job and your job search is vital to the goal setting process so you are working smart, not just working hard.

Zack’s story embodies all the power of well -defined goals. Graduating college with a BS in business, he set his goals up to get work experience; His experience was designed to show him what he liked and what he did not like about corporate cultures. His first company was a Fortune 100 insurance company where he learned he did not like large corporations. His next goal was to work for a company that will pay for his MBA; work for the two years at that company, then look for a position in a small start-up. He then made travel a goal, something he and his wife loved to do, but with the kids had not done in recent years. He also wanted more challenge. He found it at a mid-size tech company specializing in productivity software. At this job he was promoted within six months to sales manager, and then a year later he was asked to head up the expansion to Europe and open an office in London. He and his family traveled extensively throughout Europe, while he utilized his previous experience. Now, he is reassessing his goals as he plans his return to the States. None of this was possible without clear goals.

If you set a goal and it is not achieved within the timeframe you allotted for it, then a review of that goal is in order. Was the goal reasonable? Did something out of your control influence its attainment? Did you work hard enough to get it? Were your skills lacking in some way?  Not all goals are attainable first time out. Some goals go through a revision process at least once before they are achieved. What is important is the positive belief in their power and the consistency of action to review and regroup, then pursue again.

Consistency and Routine

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” –Willie Nelson

-The Benefits of Consistency

Consistency is the discipline required to achieve goals and realize a vision.  Consistent action gets you past starting something and never finishing what you started. Consistency is what holds you together for the duration it takes to procure your new position.  Consistency is what will make your resume and online branding tell a cohesive story that will imply reliability and trustworthiness. Consistency is the thread that weaves all the elements of a job search together.

-The Benefits of Routine

A job search is a full-time job in and of itself. If you are employed, you have to work this job into your schedule with your regular job and life activities. If you are unemployed, your job is looking for work, but you do not have the inherent structure that a workday provides. You must make that structure yourself.  The most effective way of tackling a job search is by getting into a routine. With a routine you develop a rhythm and you take the appropriate action towards your goals and ultimately achieving your vision.

Balance is the key to a successful life and certainly to a successful job search. Your basic routine should include:

  • Getting seven to eight hours’ sleep a night.
  • Eating three balanced meals a day, making sure you do not skip breakfast, especially on interview days.
  • Keeping regular hours.
  • Showing your job search time in your calendar; book appointments with yourself to do research, work on your resume, your branding profiles and your interview questions.
  • Taking breaks throughout the day to stay refreshed.
  • Working out regularly. This does not have to be in a gym; walking or riding a bike is fine.
  • Socializing with friends and family.

Establishing a routine that covers all aspects of your life is healthy and sets you up for success.

Routines are important to have in place when you sit down to work at finding your job. Reading email, researching companies, working on your branding and presentations, practicing your interviewing skills, making your networking calls and developing your contacts are all activities that should be in a routine. It is the repetitive action of a routine that serves as the structure for the work necessary to get the job done. A routine keeps you grounded.

How to Commit to Consistent Action and Routine for Your Job Search Success

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” –Zig Ziglar

You have created a vision statement, created a list of goals and you are taking action towards your future. But what is propelling you into action? If you’ve lost your job, your driving force is the need for a new job and money coming in. That is simple. If you are employed and seeking to change, what is motivating you towards making the change? Figuring this out will be key to motivating you to take the consistent action of a routine to achieve your vision. If you have created a strong vision for your future, that should serve as the motivation to conduct your job search. Setting aside distractions in favor of job search activities is the commitment necessary to get the job done.

One way to commit to your new routine is to get a job search buddy. This can take the form of a job search support group, a friend or a spouse; someone you are accountable to.  Local churches often sponsor job search groups. Professional networking associations are available to join and they provide training and opportunities to meet potential prospects and build your contact base.

Job-Hunt.org – http://www.job-hunt.org Is an award winning site that contains information, links and information on organizations and support groups.

If no support groups exist in your area, consider starting one. With the power of social media, it is a project that could prove to be beneficial on many levels:

  • The experience of starting a group is a good addition to your profile.
  • You can meet new contacts.
  • You can give back to others while helping yourself.

Tips to Maintain Your Job Winning Mindset

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” –Winston Churchill

Practice positive affirmations on a daily basis. Affirmations are positive quotes and sayings that bring you to a positive place.  They serve to fortify you as you take on the challenges of your search and your life. An affirmation can be anything that speaks to you in a positive way. It allows you to counteract the barrage of negativity that assails you on a daily basis.

Take courses to fill in gaps in your education and skill set or to explore new areas of interest. Don’t forget enrichment classes to delve into non-career interests, like photography, cooking, and art. Learning is a very motivating activity. If money is tight, take an online class for free:

www.about.com  has a variety available.

www.sba.gov/training/index.html  Small Business Administration provides links and information on all topics related to starting and running your small business.

http://h30440.www3.hp.com/learningcenter/Classes/ClassAll.aspx  HP learning center online for classes pertaining to professional and personal life applications.

Stanford University has a limited selection of lectures available on iTunes.

Read books about your job search to increase your knowledge and gets tips on actions to take:

How to Find a Job On LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, My Space  by Brad Schepp (Nook, Kindle formats)

The Resume is Dead by Nelson Wang (Kindle format)

How to Find a Job; When There Are No Jobs, 2012 Edition: A Necessary Job Search Book and Planning Guide for Surviving and Prospering in Today’s Hyper Competitive Job Market by Paul Rega and H. Savage

What Color is Your Parachute? 2012: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles (Kindle, Nook and traditional bound formats)

Everyone experiences discouragement. Allow yourself five minutes to feel the discouragement. Only five minutes. Then launch into an activity and resume taking action towards your goals. If you cannot shake the discouragement, then read your positives’ and the strengths’ statements you created.

Try to limit your TV exposure unless it is a positive program.  There is a lot of negativity on television, especially in the news.  Limiting this negative exposure helps to keep you in a positive mindset. If you are looking for a new job while employed, turning off the television is necessary to get your job search work done.

Take up meditation. It is a powerful tool for stress reduction and promoting well -being. It can be done easily, without expense as you can take a book out of the library or go to YouTube to learn how. Meditation is something that is practiced over time, and it can be done almost anywhere. Yoga has a mind/body connection that incorporates meditation and movement. Tai Chi is another mind/body movement activity that when practiced regularly reaps many health benefits.

Use lists daily. Write down what you are doing and cross off the item as you complete it. It gives you a sense of accomplishment to cross off each item.  Use an app to gather your ideas for a to-do list. Evernote is free and a powerful tool for organization and can be used in your phone, tablet or PC.

Volunteer to give back to your community, to gain perspective on your situation and to improve your profile. Volunteering your services in an internship program can afford you with the opportunity to see if indeed your target company is a good fit for you. It will also give your target a unique view on your capability to fit in and do the job.

Make sure you surround yourself with positive people and make time to see them. If friends or family are negative, limit your exposure to them until after you have secured your new position. If you do not have a mentor, look over your contacts and see if there is potential for a mentor there. Be upfront about approaching the individual you admire and see if they will mentor you.

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