The Importance of Adopting a Positive Attitude

30 September 2013 By Alastair Cleland

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Last month my colleague John detailed how honesty in applying for a position is a vitally important aspect of the recruitment process and obviously honesty in all aspects of life goes without saying!

Preparing your CV, presenting yourself and being honest are just a few things that go into looking for the right job and securing it. However from my experience, the most important thing to consider is the reason you are looking for that next opportunity in the first place.

There are many reasons why someone may decide to look for a new job and that decision may not always be taken from the wonderful position of being in a secure position already. Those in work will typically search for a role that brings new rewards and challenges, but for those who are unemployed, attaining the ‘perfect’ job may not seem the primary aim in the current market.  Getting ‘any’ job could be more important.

Although some situations are more difficult than others, it is important to remember that we are all going through the same hard times and nobody’s job is exactly ‘safe’. So, how do we get through this slump? It might sound clichéd, but a positive mental attitude is key. Looking for a new position with a negative attitude will inevitably affect the quality of your search. The writing of your CV will become tedious and your interview skills will suffer badly due to your poor demeanour. This is where it is vitally important to question yourself and identify your main motivation. Of course, Money is always near the top of the list, but from speaking to hundreds of prospective candidates it is clear that the outstanding motivating factor for most is the desire to be part of something, to be productive, to make a difference and to overcome challenges. 

As a prop in rugby in my playing days, I was never going to score numerous winning tries and I was never going to be the poster boy for the team, especially after any of the more unfriendly matches! However, what I thoroughly enjoyed was being part of something bigger, adding to the dynamic and enjoying the basic facets of the game.  It is the same motivating factor that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning and get into the office, and more importantly work other people to achieve something.  The only difference between work and the great game of rugby is that I don’t now need to have a physio on stand-by!

Preparation is again a very important factor when it comes to applying for jobs.  Being prepared gives you confidence, which in turn leads you to be more positive.  Knowing that you are applying for a position that suits you and that you can achieve and progress in will give you a positive mind-set from the beginning. Researching the company to which you are applying and talking to existing staff are also great ways of fine-tuning your attitude for better results. Maintaining a positive attitude will be truly beneficial when you go into that all important interview as you will have the confidence of knowing you have made the right choice. You will also feel confident knowing that you can answer all the questions you will inevitably have to face.

If you have got yourself into the right frame of mind and you are raring to go, then the process of applying for a position will seem much easier and more enjoyable.  As with anything in life, if you have a strong desire to do something it becomes a lot easier to do. This is your chance to choose what will in turn come to be a big part of your life.  Work does take up a lot of time and that is why it should be time you enjoy.  If you are anything like me, weeks off work (unless they are filled with countless new things to do) would get incredibly tedious very quickly, especially if it is just a holiday at home. Work gives me the satisfaction of being productive and of being part of something – we are social animals and a common purpose always brings people together.  Work is a place where you can meet new friends, share a common bond and get the remuneration for doing so!  Money is a motivator and I don’t dispute this, but if you can combine this with other good reasons, you have something that will benefit your whole life.