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How’s your attitude? How to adjust it to nail your dream job

By Yvette McKenzie | 04 July 2018

You’re looking for a job and hoping to find work that inspires and challenges you. Everything seems to be in order: you have a decent resume, you have some work experience, you may even have an interview or two lined up. All of this will count for nothing if you forget to bring the most vital thing – a good attitude.

In fact, a recent scientific and social study from Stanford University found that ‘positivity’ makes people more successful. “(The study demonstrated) that being positive improved their ability to answer math problems, increased their memories and enhanced their problem-solving abilities.”

Do you have a positive attitude to work? Do you have faith in yourself and your own abilities? Here are a few things you can do to step up your job search the natural way – by building up your own personal brand and fixing your attitude.

Remember: your attitude affects your success. Read these tips to secure yourself the job of your dreams or at least get closer to your goals.


4 signs of a negative attitude

  1. Limiting beliefs

How do you see yourself? Often in life we are burdened by how we see ourselves. Consider past patterns in your life and see if there are areas that you place unnecessary pressure on yourself. Do you feel you are a bad public speaker, terrible at maths or not confident in meetings? All these limiting beliefs can be worked on – but not until you identify your weaknesses.

  1. Negative family and friends

They can be your saving grace in a time of crisis, but often when we are job searching, “helpful” advice can be anything but. Learn to filter out the useful, helpful information you get from your network of friends and family from the advice that is more about their needs and their desires for your life. For more on this, check out 9 Little Attitude Adjustments That Add Up to Success.

  1. Negative environment

Surround yourself with positive people who build you up, not those who tear you down. A negative environment can affect us in ways we cannot possibly imagine, slowing eroding our sense of self. In order to get ahead in life, it pays to immerse yourself in a supportive environment. If you do not have this at home or in your current job, consider joining a community or business group allied with the sector where you are hoping to gain work.

  1. Unsatisfying circumstances in your life

When things go wrong for us, it’s easy to slip into a negative frame of mind. Acknowledging when you are having a hard time in life can be beneficial as it allows you to realise that tomorrow is a new day. Bad circumstances always change eventually so try to look at the bigger picture.

man feeling disappointed


4 things that happen when you have a negative attitude

  1. Negative effects on others

A bad attitude might not only affect your job search but how you relate to others as well. Think about the effect a harsh word or grumpy scowl can make another person feel. Negative attitudes are contagious and your mood can easily be picked up on by others around you – even potential employers.

  1. Holds you back

If you don’t have self-belief you’ll never achieve the things that you deserve. Remember that you are a unique, talented person who deserves the best in life. A negative attitude can hold you back from being your true self.

  1. Destroys your confidence

Eventually, a negative mind-set will start to erode your sense of self worth whereas a great attitude can build you up and smooth over any minor flaws you perceive yourself to have. Just as a bad relationship or a negative parent can eat away at your sense of self-worth, so can your own internal dialogue.

  1. You are not presenting your best self

When starting on your job search, it’s important to present the best ‘you’ that you can. Even if you don’t really believe it, you need to be able to present a veneer of confidence in your abilities, your appearance and your language.


Where a good attitude can get you

By fixing your negative beliefs about yourself, you are setting yourself on the path to achieve the very best you can. If you are currently searching for a job or thinking of entering the job market, a positive attitude is a must.

Believing in yourself is not just a gimmick – it’s essential to a successful life. Rodolfo Costa, author of Advice My Parents Gave Me, wrote, “Cultivate an optimistic mind, use your imagination, always consider alternatives, and dare to believe that you can make possible what others think is impossible.”

A good attitude can make you go places, without one, you will be constantly struggling to prove yourself. Remember that you are a unique human being with a set of talents and skills that are individual to you.


young woman giving thumbs up

10 ways to adjust your attitude  

  1. Smile – putting on a positive face will help people to connect with you
  2. Listen – take the time to hear what others have to say
  3. Take a deep breath – breathing deeply can be a great way to calm yourself down
  4. Think of your achievements, not just your faults
  5. Confront your weaknesses and learn to make them assets
  6. Write a list of your top attributes and keep it with you when you head to interviews – read the list just before you walk in the door
  7. Spend time with a friend, mentor, colleague or relative who is a great support to you and get them to give you a pep talk before you have to complete a task where you’ll be under pressure
  8. Speak slowly and clearly. Remember to speak up and think before you open your mouth
  9. Try wearing something different. Invest in a good collared shirt, a nice tie or a new laptop case to make you feel calm, collected and professional
  10. Show others the respect you would hope for yourself


young woman feeling content


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