Have you been unemployed for a long time? Do you want to find work, but things aren’t going as you expected? Do you want to change occupations, but you fear that age might be an impediment? Did you leave the workforce temporarily and now you don’t know how to return? Are you concerned about keeping the job you have? These types of questions are not uncommon, and many people find themselves thinking about these issues as soon as they get up each day.
Finding work isn’t always easy. However, experts like Fernando Abadía remind us that finding and keeping a job isn’t so much about presenting an ideal curriculum full of accomplishments as it is about presenting the ideal attitude and mindset.
Fernando Abdía, the author of a book on the topic (currently available in Spanish, Tu actitud es tu llave maestra), sketches out the profile of the type of person whom an employer is most likely to hire.
Four key attitudes
Our overall disposition includes many attitudes, but we can group these in four general attitudes according to Abadía:
- Positivity: having an optimistic outlook
- Proactivity: having a desire to contribute something valuable
- Commitment: being engaged because you care about the outcome, which is why you want to do a good job
- Sociability: going about your work taking into account the people around you – your customers, clients, and colleagues
Where the rubber hits the road
These attitudes manifest themselves in different concrete ways, which Abdía explains more in depth as follows:
1. Acting constructively
It’s okay to offer a constructive criticism when warranted, but we must always be ready with some suggestions for improvement. Tearing down is quite easy, whereas building is for the wise. Having a positive outlook will help us think better and more deeply.
2. Fostering a good atmosphere instead of generating unnecessary stress
The difference is huge: working in a negative environment puts you on the defensive and reduces your ability to concentrate and develop mentally. On the other hand, working in a positive environment is like a magnet: it attracts talent. Everyone will want to work with you.
3. Motivation and resilience
Certainly, there are times when the climb seems uphill, but human beings are wired to face challenges: what we need to do is exercise our ability to be strong. Keep your motivation at the forefront of your mind, knowing why you’re looking for work or are working. This will help you stay motivated and feel better every time you have a hard task before you. You know there is a reward for your labors and you’re looking forward to it. The better the reward – whether a paycheck, recognition, or a heavenly reward – the happier you’ll be in your pursuit of it.
4. Gratitude and generosity
Value what others do, and not only for the achievement itself, but for the effort they put into it. Be generous with your time, especially when someone asks you for help – but be careful not to use that as an excuse not to fulfill your own responsibilities toward your family and toward other endeavors you’ve committed to.
5. Creative restlessness and generation of ideas
Don’t settle for what has already been done. Think about new ways of doing things to make life better for people and render a greater service to humanity. Brainstorm and foster a climate in which others too can express themselves freely without fearing they’ve made a mistake just by speaking up.
6. Search for and make good use of new opportunities
Broaden your horizons so you can be better prepared to recognize opportunities, which can show up in our daily lives.To help you do this, spend some time studying every day. This will allow you to learn about unfamiliar subjects and stay up to date. Furthermore, it’ll allow you to make new neural connections that will keep your brain strong and creative. You’ll also get more out of your own talents.
7. Think before acting
Before you launch into something, stop to think. Analyze. Ponder. Realize that the fastest route isn’t always the best. Of course, the virtue of prudence doesn’t mean going through life with the handbrake on at all times, but thinking twice can save us work later on.
8. Attitude of an achiever and overcomer
Employers tend to want people working for them who exhibit a willingness to grow and to work hard. So, dream out loud, no matter how old you are. Say “no” to discouragement and wage war against pessimism. While writing your resume, think to yourself: “Gee, I’m really valuable!”
Believe you are capable of great things even when working on your own. Show that you don’t need to be monitored with a surveillance camera in order to work hard and do a good job. Show that you’ll work as if the company were your own.
10. Performance and responsibility
Be responsible for your own duties, while also taking into account how they relate to the work of others. Always be willing to contribute to the work of the team.
11. Communicate with respect and empathy
Good manners are essential, so exhibit these at all times, always. Everyone appreciates being respected. Be respectful toward everyone, whether they are above or below you in the chain of command. Look people in the eyes, and show interest in what matters to them. It’s not a waste of time; rather, it’s key to making friends and team-building.
12. Work as part of a team and share
This means having the ability to adjust your perspective to see beyond your own aspirations and achievements. What can you contribute to the team? Are you a good wingman? Do you prefer to give or to follow orders? Are you more a person of action or better at abstractions? In any case, there will always be a place for you on the team.
Need a new job? Here’s a prayer for gainful employment
You really can’t succeed in work or life without this one skill set