3 Communication Tips to Stay Positive

Whether networking, interviewing, or working at a new job, it’s important to remember to stay positive in your outlook.   As cliché and overstated as some might believe this statement is (i.e. “the power of positive thinking!”), it’s an important one to reiterate because it can have multiple benefits to your job search.

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Let’s look at 3 communication tips to help you stay positive in your job search:

1. It energizes your actions. If you are convinced that you can’t or won’t get the job you want, you won’t.  Simple as that.  In not believing that a desired job position is attainable, you probably won’t search for it as expectantly or as enthusiastically as you would if you did believe.  As a result, you may very well miss opportunities that could have turned into the very job you coveted.  In that case, it’s good to stay positive.  (This isn’t to excuse impracticality, though—if your immediate professional goal is to be a Fortune 500 CFO but you’ve only been out of B-school for two years, it’s possible you’re being a bit unreasonable, at least for the time being.)

2. It makes you seem confident in your professional abilities. It’s not uncommon for candidates to apply for new or promotional positions that they don’t have direct experience for.  But they apply anyway (and rightfully so!).  Why? Because on some level they know they can do the job.  They have good reason to be convinced that they can handle the tasks and responsibilities assigned to someone in that position.  If they didn’t, or if they felt there was no hope of obtaining the job, they would not have bothered to apply.   It only makes sense then to sustain that positive, optimistic, aspirational reasoning throughout the entire job application process.  The alternative—that is, losing confidence in yourself as a candidate—will not only become painfully obvious to hiring managers, it will likely cause them to lose confidence in you as well, and subsequently thwart any of your application efforts.

In that case, let’s say a job post asks for proficiency in a skill that you don’t yet have a firm grasp of. Since you applied anyway, you must have had good reason. Maybe you believe you’re a fast learner because, in a previous experience, you quickly picked up a new skill so you could successfully complete a project.  Maybe you are confident that you have the time and resources to brush up on that skill before the job is scheduled to commence.  Something convinced you that not having this skill would be a challenge, but not an impossibility. It’s just a matter of channeling that same positive energy to convince the hiring managers of the same.

3. It makes you more pleasant work with and to be around. Remember what I’m always saying about fit?  It’s not likely that your future colleagues will be thrilled about having to interact with someone on a daily basis who can only be negative. After all, if you can’t even speak positively about yourself, what can you be positive about?   Furthermore, the energy you give off affects how others respond to you.  People tend to respond more cooperatively to positive energy than to criticism or cynicism.  Presenting yourself as an upbeat or encouraging colleague will almost certainly make you a more attractive candidate.

What other tips do you have for staying positive at work or in life? Do you think having a positive outlook affects your communication effectiveness?

By Abena, Wall Street Services Reporter

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