Don’t underestimate the role your attitude plays in landing a job. Even if you’re feeling challenged in your job search – or perhaps especially if you feel challenged in your search – take the time to evaluate your attitude. That alone could make or break your job hunt.
Have you heard of the Law of Attraction? We attract things in our life by the type of energy we give off. What we talk about, think about and spend time doing all contribute to the vibes we give off, and consequently, what we get back in return.
For example, people with a positive attitude tend to focus on what’s working in their lives, feel less challenged and often have more opportunities come their way. People who spend a lot of time talking and thinking about what is going wrong in their lives tend to struggle more.
Of course, when you’re stressed out about paying your bills and finding a job, it can be difficult to focus on positivity. But at the very least, it is possible to shift your attitude out of being entirely negative by consciously shifting your words, thoughts and behaviors.
Here are some suggestions for how to coat your job search with an attitude that is more likely to support you in getting the results you want:
1. Talk about what’s positive in your life.
Make a commitment right now that you will no longer engage in conversations about the terrible state of the job market and economy. If you regularly talk about how hard it is to find a job, how much you hate being unemployed, how you feel cheated by the government or educational system, or whatever else has you fired up, that could actually be more of a hindrance than a help.
As you talk more about what you like in your life and what is positive, you will notice your overall attitude begin to shift. And your attitude is an incredibly important factor when it comes to your job search.
In fact, a new Millennial Career study conducted online for American Express revealed that hiring pros say that overall attitude and personality counts almost twice as much as a candidate’s skill set and previous work experience. And it’s difficult to fake a great outlook in an interview, so practice hitting it off with your future boss and colleagues by shifting your attitude now.
2. Visualize a future of possibility.
If you find yourself consistently full of anxiety about the future of your career, your powerful thoughts are probably adding stress to your life. Worry uses your imagination poorly, so stop with the negative future fantasizing!
Unless you are 100 percent psychic, you’re making up everything that hasn’t yet happened. And if you’re going to predict the future of your career path, at least make it good! Really see the ideal job that you want and visualize yourself doing it. Write out your ideal job description and read it everyday.
This may not be a magic formula for getting the job, but it can’t hurt, especially as your thoughts begin to shift from panic to possibility.
3. Fill your time with actions that move you forward.
If you have been looking for a job for a while, it’s easy to simply go through the motions of searching, submitting and following up with little structure in place. But that only reinforces the feeling of being unemployed and stagnated.
When you’re in between jobs, engage in actions that make you feel like you’re working. Treat finding a job like a job. Set aside a designated period of time each day when you focus on certain activities that support your job search, such as making phone calls, networking online, writing customized cover letters and conducting informational interviews.
Make yourself accountable to show up for yourself, just like you would be accountable to show up for your boss. And consider working with an accountability partner who checks in with you each day, so you can report whether you completed the responsibilities you committed to.
How else can you keep yourself engaged? By doing activities that are aligned with learning. Fill your time by furthering your education, obtaining certifications or enrolling in specialized training programs, all of which will make you more attractive to potential employers.
Take advantage of free online tools such as the 10-day online financial and career bootcamp programs from American Express and LearnVest.com, which cover a range of topics from setting career and financial goals to learning communication, networking and salary negotiation skills. Consider getting a part-time job or spend some time volunteering or interning.
Filling your time with activities that move you forward is not only important because it fills gaps on your resume, it also keeps your actions aligned with the energy of work and contribution. And the more time you spend projecting that energy, the more likely you are to attract energizing opportunities.
Christine Hassler is a Life Coach, Speaker and Author of Twenty-Something, Twenty-Everything and The Twenty-Something Manifesto who supports Millennials in navigating their careers, relationships, finances and identity. Christine is also the Spokesperson and key resource for the American Express Millennial Advocacy Program.