Having a bad attitude is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t get a job just as having a great attitude is one of the best ways to get a job because managers like to hire people with great attitudes toward the work that needs to be done.
Smart managers hire employees who have an interest and positive attitude toward the job above all other things, skill sets are important as well but skills can be taught given the time.
Attitude and interest cannot be taught. Have you ever heard of someone going to a class to learn how to have a better attitude toward their job. Those classes don’t exist. As a Manager, I can tell you that I would rather develop the skill sets of someone with a great attitude than have a technical expert with a bad attitude. People simply don’t want to be around someone who is looking for sympathy or begging for a job. So, work hard to get yourself in the right frame of mind before talking to those who can help you in your search.
Make a decision about the attitude that you are going to convey. If you have to, fake it till you make it. Pretend that you have a great attitude about your job search and your prospects and pretty soon you will start feeling that way. Many years back when I was a young man and was looking for one of my first opportunities. I got advise which came with a double edge. Not that is was not good job search advice but it was at least confusing to me at the time.
An older retired professional that I met at a fair in which he was volunteering said to me; “Just approach the companies with a big smile, project the willingness to do anything to succeed, but most of all keep smiling regardless of their response.” I blindly followed his advise and learned that it worked well, people always responded positively towards my attitude but I also misunderstood the message my adopted mentor had given me. I acted desperate and willing to do anything, that part I have to say did not work as well. No one wants to hire someone that does not care what they do and are just looking for a paycheck and the moment they find something they actually like better they may disappear in the horizon without leaving a trace.
I found a job and moved on without thinking much about until I needed to find a position again. This time experience in hiring my own allowed me to see things with a different prospective. Attitude was most of it for me and after that skill, but I wanted someone to fill a position that was happy, enthusiastic but most of all someone with a high level of passion towards the opportunity I was offering.
When I think back, I believe it’s clear to me that he meant exactly that; Have a great attitude and show that you would love to performed and excel at the opportunity. Ask yourself “How would I approach this person, this company or this job if I had a great attitude about it?” Then pretend/act as if you do have a great attitude. Even if it’s for the length of the interview at this point; you need to display positive enthusiasm for the job to those decision makers or they will no hire you even though you may have a better skill set. You read correctly, you may be the best qualified candidate and still won’t get the job.
I had a client (Frank) coming to me because he could not get a promotion after several attempts. Those attempts happen to be with individuals from the corporate office not the satellite office my client worked. The interviewers did not know him at work, just read his accomplishments on paper thus giving him the opportunity to move upward in the company ladder. I remember clearly that I proposed a practice interview. We set the parameters and he came into my office and started taking, believe when I say that it took me two minutes to ask; Who are you and what happen to my charming client? His personality became rigid and unemotional, he came across as a recital full of data (knowledge). That does not sale well. After a few sessions he understood and was able to relax and allow himself to come through and of course he succeeded in his next attempt. Remember you are the best selling tool you have, don’t under estimate it.
Copyright Fernando Ratkoczy
The Successful Job Search Center