The pressures that come with a job search can make it hard to feel grateful. But in reality, gratitude is a powerful way to attack negativity. And negativity without a doubt can impede job search success. So how do you conjure up and keep that attitude of gratitude?
An overlooked power
“I can’t find a job.” I’ve heard this comment from job seekers more times than I can count. And I understand how those feelings may surface. The job search takes time. It’s more often than not sprinkled with a good-sized dose of rejections and what seem like dead ends. It’s easy to blame others, oneself or situations. My coaching with clients frequently includes integrating gratitude, because it energizes, creating a positive outlook and a clearer perspective despite difficult times. It really does work! When you give thanks, your life and career become magnets that attract positive outcomes.
Is it really a bad thing?
Petra and I had a fabulous session last week. She had struggled with a downbeat attitude. She came to see that she was in an attitudinal rut – a fixed pattern of negative behavior. She worked at – and remarkably succeeded – in shifting her focus to a glass-half-full outlook. She shared a bit of her new thanks mantra with me. Very cool!
I’m thankful for …
- These difficult times. I’m stretching where I would not have.
- When I don’t know something. It gives me the opportunity to learn.
- Each new challenge. I’m building character and resilience.
- My weaknesses. They’ve given me opportunities for development.
- My mistakes. Life lessons are good teachers.
- Everything hasn’t fallen into my lap. I appreciate things much more.
Five ways to show gratitude
It’s fascinating that when we feel gratitude, we are primed to show that gratitude and spread kindness. I’ve picked clients’ minds to find out ways they’ve done this. There are too many to mention in this post; here are seven – all true and recent:
- Told my grown son face to face how much he meant to me.
- Called a friend in a tough situation and listened for over an hour because she needed it.
- Smiled at everyone I saw for a day. It was circularly contagious.
- Left an “I love you” sticky note on the fridge for my family.
- Called 3 people and let them know the impact they’ve had on my life.
- Took that coat I never wear to Goodwill for someone who needs it.
- Took money saved for a night out and gave an anonymous donation to a local church.
It’s often the small stuff
The world certainly needs people to spread kindness. I’ve recently been inspired by others I know who are modeling that sentiment. George is preparing turkey sandwiches and fixings for people who are homeless – and George is unemployed and carefully managing limited finances. Jen is babysitting free of charge for a friend recuperating from major surgery. Grace, who recently landed a great job, decided to pay it forward. She formed a job search group at her home for people she knows who are still looking.
An attitude of gratitude
- What are you truly grateful and thankful for?
No rules here. Your answers can range from landing a great job, to waking up each day. I believe that the simpler the things we find gratitude in, the more we are bathed in it.
- What unique mark are you making on the world?
- What are your success stories?
- What simple things could you do to bring a smile to those around you?
Instead of focusing on the things that have gone wrong (those dead ends with research, roadblocks with networking, the sure job that was offered to someone else), what if we are just grateful for what has gone right (the opportunity to learn a new skill, knowledge you picked up from a new contact, extra time to spend with loved ones, etc.)? In a world where many things are beyond our control, attitude is a controllable and lifelong power!