Dealing with Change
By Matt Lowney

There are several key tools to finding a new job, like a resume, references, and a pressed suit, but the number one tool is your attitude. Having the right attitude can sometimes be tough when looking for a job, but you must stay positive throughout the process. Many hiring managers subscribe to the mantra “Hire for attitude and train the skills,” so giving the appearance of confidence is very important. Here are a few tips on how to keep a positive attitude throughout the employment process.

Transition. According to mental health therapist Ashley Franklin, transitioning careers can be one of the most stressful events in life. She states that managing this stress is an important key to moving forward. You must learn to accept change in a positive way before you can put all of your emotional energies into finding new employment.

Preparedness. One of the best ways to manage the stress of getting a new job is creating a plan. This plan can include creating a list of companies you plan on contacting about employment, as well as how many positions you are going to apply to in a given day. By managing your activity, you are accomplishing two things. First, you are keeping yourself distracted from the stress of not having a job. Secondly, you are diligently working at actually finding a new position. As part of your game plan, you should create a structure to your day and implement an award system for accomplishing your goals. Setting small, achievable goals for yourself along with enjoyable rewards will help you maintain the motivation to work for them. For example, once you contact 25 hiring managers and send out 10 resumes, you can watch an hour of television or play a round of golf.

Positive Interactions. Each time you speak with a representative of a company you are making an impression. You need to make sure this interaction is positive. Even if you are having a difficult day, you need to convince the person on the other end of the phone that you are having a great day and you are happy to be speaking with them. No one in the interview process, from the administrative assistant to vice president of the company, wants to hear about the difficulties you are having in life. They don’t want to hear about your old boss or the stresses of looking for a job. These folks will assume, right or wrong, that you are a complainer, and no one wants to work with a negative attitude. You need to leave the impression that you are the best candidate they have for their opening.

Disappointment. No matter how good you feel about a potential job or how well you did in an interview, you won’t be offered every position. Handling disappointment gracefully and moving forward is as important as following up with a thank you note or outstanding references. Leaving a good impression with a hiring manager can lead to opportunities down the road.


Matt Lowney is a corporate recruiter and career consultant specializing in the areas of healthcare and information technology. He can be reached at [email protected] for additional information about his services.

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