Happy, optimistic people are more likely to have jobs they love. These strategies will increase your confidence AND yield positive results in your job search.

You want a new job? Start being optimistic.

Would you be surprised to hear that happy, optimistic people have jobs they love? Probably not.

Would you assume that people are happy and optimistic because they have a job they love? If so, you’re probably wrong. It’s the other way around.

If we’ve ever worked together, or if you’ve attended one of my workshops, you’ve likely heard me say, “Sure, I can give you career advice! But it won’t help you if you’re not good here {pounding my chest like a gorilla}.”

I was pleased to see an article earlier this year in Counseling Today which discussed optimism as a predictor of career success and job satisfaction. This isn’t surprising. Optimistic people seem to have an uncanny ability to succeed, not only in their careers, but in school, in their relationships, in overcoming obstacles.

So what IS optimism?

In short, optimism is the belief that good things will happen. Optimists focus on solutions, not problems. Optimism is, in fact, the focus of positive psychology.

“If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you won’t.”
–Henry Ford

So, if you believe you’re going to screw up that interview, you probably will.

According to a study by researchers at Yale and Duke universities:

  • Optimists have a more efficient job search process
  • Optimists obtain jobs more quickly and more easily
  • Optimists are more likely to be promoted after 2 years

Optimists, more than others, are likely to believe they will get jobs.

Why is this?

  • Optimists have better coping skills
  • Optimists are more resilient
  • Optimists are more likely to be hopeful and have faith

Optimism and Unemployment

It’s no surprise people will become less optimistic and more depressed longer they’re unemployed. Does this sound like you?

  • Have you been spending hours online applying for jobs, only to get a standard “we’ll contact you if your skills and background meet our needs” response, or no response at all?
  • Have you gone on several interviews, only to be given the “thanks, but no thanks” line?
  • Have you spent valuable money or time on networking events, only to come away empty-handed?

The truth is that it’s really REALLY hard to be optimistic when you’re unemployed. Or when you hate your job.

It’s also true that being pessimistic isn’t likely to yield positive results.

“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
–Winston Churchill

Finding a job you love is like a pyramid. The base includes optimism. Without it, day-to-day functioning is possible, but the upper sections are likely to collapse without the weight of the base to hold them up.

Many people believe that self-esteem is inborn. It’s not.

A Top Career - Finding a Job Pyramid

To strengthen your pyramid base, try these 5 things:

  • Be sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise, and that you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Monitor your thought patterns and make note of what you worry about. Acknowledging these negative thoughts is the first step in letting them go.
  • Spend your time around positive people and in positive environments. Optimism is contagious!
  • Stop regretting past events. There’s nothing you can do about them. Focus on what you CAN control!

Most importantly, *** BE GRATEFUL*** for the things that you have. There are proven benefits to expressing your gratitude.