This is something I have to remind myself all the time. Or well, not all the time, when things are going well there is no need to try to hold on to hope because things are great. But currently with the economy in state it is in and everyone’s job security being up in the air. It’s a rather tense environment in general. With more people being laid off every day, sometimes it is difficult to keep your spirits up.
I’ve noticed that even in my social circle (friends, family, coworkers etc) there are a lot of people that have been getting rather down about it. And I’m sure listening to my pep talk isn’t always helpful considering I try to be a bright ray of sunshine all the time. But there is actual logic behind it. I’m not just trying to be an ass, I do believe that having a positive attitude about the whole job search process is really important. If anyone you are speaking with can detect that you are defeated or unhappy they are far less likely to want you on their team. I mean think about it logically. Would you rather have someone who is confident, bright and positive on your team or someone who is self-effacing and doesn’t have much confidence? Sure the self-effacing person might have better skills but it is hard to see that in an interview. I mean if you bring personality to the interview it can last twice the time it would if you don’t. And let’s face it the more time someone has to get to know you is probably better because a 20min interview is not doing anyone justice. The basic idea of this is that when you have a winning attitude and can keep yourself positive no matter how bad things get then people can’t tell just how bad things are.
I think it’s somewhat like an Asian concept where you have the face that you show your family and the face that you show the rest of the world. It’s actually fairly prevalent in India and China, I’m not sure about elsewhere but I believe many Asian countries have this concept. It’s like that old adage “don’t air your dirty laundry in public”. Sometimes people find these practices antiquated but I still believe there is some value in these practices. Perhaps not quite as extreme as they used to be but it is far more pleasant to speak with a well-put together, organized, attractive person than it is with someone who is clearly downtrodden.
I think the most difficult thing to maintain through job searching is maintaining a positive self-image. In today’s society it has become ever more prevalent that our self worth is reflected by what our “position” in society is which is generally tied with your career. So when that is gone or is difficult to maintain it generally has an impact to one’s ego. The key is to make it appear as if that isn’t true. Or not just to make it appear so. I like to believe that I have value regardless of what anyone else thinks. I think having a good sense of self will keep that value regardless of the economic troubles and whatever hardships one has to go through. I’m not saying it isn’t difficult to maintain, it takes a toll on everyone. But if you have a good sense of self it is harder to take away.
So essentially, I am trying to keep my faith that things will get better. And that some day I will find the dream job that I am looking for. In the mean time I will try to hang on to what I’ve got for now and make the best of a bad situation.