“I would never do that job” ”I deserve this job” ”I’m overqualified for this role”
Have you heard these words before? Perhaps you heard it from a friend, or a family member, or maybe even… yourself. These words are not only detrimental to one’s job search, but they demonstrate that a poor attitude is holding you back from securing and enjoying a meaningful career. Next time you talk to someone who you consider successful- take notice of how they talk. It’s likely they are talking positively about their jobs, their lives, and the people they interact with.
We are covering this topic in our first post of our “How To Get A Job” series because attitude is the basis of EVERYTHING you are going to need to do after this. If your attitude is off, it doesn’t matter how great you network or how awesome your resume looks. You will get into that first interview (or maybe even your first day of work) and your negative attitude will REEK from miles away! So let’s dive in.
Where The Attitude Comes From
Modern society has transformed our expectations dramatically over the past 100 years. In 1900, you were considered “privileged” if you had indoor plumbing, let alone electricity! In today’s society, we have it SO GOOD that we have come to expect everything be handed to us. Here’s some of the reasons why you might feel entitled which results in a bad attitude:
- Your parents told you to “follow your dreams”- Your Baby Boomer parents told you this because they regret not following theirs. The reality is they went to work and provided for their family, which is what you need to do too!
- You remember a time when “it was better”- If you’ve been around a while, you might remember a time when the world was different. That is fine and dandy, but the world IS different. If you want a job, you need to confirm to the world, not wish the world would conform to you.
- College was your “ticket to a great job”- Sorry kids, but your degree is only as good as what you do with it. Add to that the poor economy and the academic inflation factor, and your education is just another necessary step in the process.
- If you follow the rules you will get a good job and retire early- I guarantee you that I will have an entire post on pensions at some point. The harsh truth here is that you HAVE to assume that there is no such thing as a secure job, and most definitely no such thing as a publicly funded pension to keep you safe. Just like the above points, the rules of the game have changed, and just going through the motions at your job and in life won’t allow you to achieve your goals. You need to be exceptional and work your butt off! This will involve MAKING the rules, not following them.
How To Make Sure Your Attitude Is Positive
Your attitude can be the determination between finding a job and keeping it, or living the perpetual nightmare of job applications and living in your parents basement. To make sure you are on the positive side of this equation, I recommend the following exercises:
- Remember how good you have it- If you are reading this post right now, you are AT LEAST in the 78th percentile of the worlds income. That’s right… only 32% of the world’s population has internet! If you have internet, I would assume you probably aren’t starving, so that automatically puts you ahead of the nearly 1 billion people who can’t even afford to feed themselves. Let’s put it this way- You have 1st world problems. GET OVER IT and be appreciative!
- Always contrast your situation to the worst case scenario- Whenever something “bad” happens, I always ask myself “What is the worst case scenario?”. When you put it in the context of the world statistics above, it’s really easy to realize that there are people in the world who would KILL for your worst case scenario.
- Cut the cord on negative people- You know that friend or family member who is always complaining, or blaming other people, or acting like they are the victim of some government conspiracy? These folks are not only taking themselves down, but they are taking you down with them. You can’t always choose who you have to be around, but when you can, avoid negative people who only want to complain… because misery LOVES company.
- Ask people you trust to give you feedback- Since you won’t have any negative people left, talk to someone who you have a good relationship with and ask them about your attitude. What do they think of you? Are you a happy person? Is it fun to be around you? Most people aren’t used to asking for feedback, but you would be surprised at how forthcoming they are and how insightful it can be.
Remember that your attitude is the foundation not only for your job search, but for your life. If you’ve ever worked or lived with someone who’s had a bad attitude, you know that it’s not a good time. Make sure you are a person who people want to be around and work with, and you will already be miles ahead of the competition!!