Maintaining A Positive Disposition

The right attitude or a positive disposition is certainly a trait that can either make or break your day.  Disappointment and disillusionment are two aspects of life that are waiting in the wings to disrupt your life if you allow them to take center stage.  It is virtually impossible to be continually positive, unless you are being aided by artificial stimulants but balancing one’s life with an appropriate attitude will make that daily teeter totter a little more tolerable.

One of my favorite quotes on this subject comes from Oscar Wilde: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”  Wilde in his own humorous way attempts to remind us that we all can look at the same problem or condition but our reaction is unique, opportunistic and life-changing.   How we respond to a situation is dependent on our attitude.  Our attitude or disposition will take us as far as we will allow it to do so.  It is just as easy to pursue positive vibes as allowing oneself to wallow in self-pity and despair. 

If there was anyone who was qualified to address despair, it was Helen Keller but her positive disposition was just one more reason why she was someone we all should hold in high esteem.  “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

Before you start thinking that you are reading a treatise from W. Clement Stone or Zig Ziglar it is important to note that for those in job search mode it is vital to start every morning in a positive light.  Of course that is easier said than done especially when any job seeker’s number one task seems to be waiting at the computer or phone for a response to that resume you sent weeks ago!  The frustration can be overwhelming if you allow it but keeping the end zone in mind is one of the few ways to keep going during down times.

I know too many job seekers who put all their eggs in one basket by finding the ideal job and having no back-up plan.  You may think you are a natural for that ideal post but unfortunately there are dozens of other candidates who think similarly.  You must always have a Plan B, C, D and even E because in today’s job market, the competition is ruthless and the process can be debilitating. 

Though the process has changed over the years – mailing resumes on the appropriate stationery is no longer needed but I still cannot comprehend from a customer service standpoint why a job seeker can’t receive some level of professional courtesy by receiving an update on what is going on with the search.  If I have heard it once I have heard it a thousand times from job seekers who send off a resume into that dark hole and never hear again from the potential employer.

I know that Executive Search Firms consider the employer their clients, rightfully so since they are the ones who are paying the bills but without qualified and capable candidates the system would certainly bog down.  I don’t think it is asking too much for candidates to be sent digital updates on the process; a standard e-mail is simple and uncomplicated.  Keep the true candidates informed and let those not under consideration loose; it is a business model that certainly can work well for all concerned.

Boards of Directors and Search Committees are in most cases no more sensitive to the needs of the candidates but I must admit that I recently received a written letter thanking me for my resume and wishing me good luck in the future.  I cannot remember the last time I received such a notice in the mail and I am certainly thankful for their sincere consideration.

For years I have contemplated whether there was a way to monetize being an ambassador or “guardian angel” for job seekers but such a scenario has inherent road blocks.  I still don’t believe that individuals should be forced to pay for getting a job despite the obvious need.  Being an Executive Coach is certainly a worthwhile calling and I do know many friends who perform outstanding work  but I still haven’t mastered how one can make a living from those who need the services most while being able to afford it the least.

It is because of those road blocks that those in job search mode must continue to associate with others who find themselves in similar situations.  Such a community can be stimulating, informative and an opportunity for all involved to see that they are not the only one with such circumstances.  I would encourage all to find a community so that you can share your insights while also providing you the opportunity to help others while you are helping yourself.

Above all it is imperative to keep a positive attitude.  I know it is sometimes arduous but without a positive disposition the process can certainly drag you down.  Thomas Jefferson put all this in an appropriate setting when he said: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”


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