I recently noticed some of my friends on Facebook taking advantage of apps such as “my year in status” that analyze their status updates and list out their top-used words. If you use Facebook, no doubt you’ve seen this, too. How would your updates look? We all have friends who seem to post about their every headache and punctuate every status update with “UGH” and similar exclamations that tend to be negative. Then, there are those whose posts stand out because they are always positive – and hopeful – even when facing really tough circumstances, including illness and joblessness.
Think about it. Are you more likely to want to hire Debbie Downer or Sally Sunshine?
Clearly, it is easy to feel discouraged and hopeless if you are in the midst of an unsuccessful job hunt.
The nation’s jobless rate has been hovering near 10 percent for many months now, but one of the most disturbing statistics is that as of October, 6.2 million, or four in 10 unemployed Americans, had been out of work for 27 weeks or more. That’s the highest number on record, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, keep in mind, as Eve notes in her post: “Feeling hopeless — and appearing hopeless to others — can actually keep you from landing a job, according to Savitri Dixon-Saxon, associate dean of the School of Counseling and Social Service at Walden University.”
A study led by Ron Kaniel of Duke and reported in MIT Sloan Management Review found that “Optimists fared better than their less-optimistic peers in some important ways…For one thing, the optimistically inclined MBA studentsÃ‚Â found comparable jobs to their peers — but found them more easily, with less-intensive job searches.Ã‚Â Even better,Ã‚Â two years after graduation the optimists were more likely than their less-optimistic peers to have been promoted.” (Hat tip: Maggie Mistal.)
Sandra Naiman, author of The High Achiever’s Secret Codebook: The Unwritten Rules for Success at Work, points out that while this certainly is a challenging time, there are steps that can help people stay upbeat. “The key is to engage in activities that provide self-satisfaction and build self esteem,” she says. She offers the following suggestions:
- Engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself.
- Achieve tangible results. It can be as simple as cleaning out a closet, organizing the garage or waxing the car. It can also be related to volunteer or family activities, such as writing a neighborhood watch newsletter or making cookies with the kids. Make sure, that at the end of each day, you can point to something you accomplished.
- Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Avoid the people who always see the glass as half empty or those who drain your energy.
- Keep promises to yourself.
- Reward yourself. Children aren’t the only ones who need a “gold star” at the end of the day.
- Follow a healthy routine. Eat well, exercise and take good care of your body.
- Allow yourself some down time. You can’t be up and optimistic all the time, so give yourself permission to have a bad day. If you diligently follow the above suggestions, you can count on tomorrow to be better.
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It might be easier to stay positive if you have a coach in your corner! Need help getting your job search jump started? Not sure you can put all of the great tools at your disposal to good use? Need a great resume? Learn how I can help you propel your job hunt forward.
photo by Proggie