Don’t worry, be happy

frown smile

or at least pretend you are…  One of the hardest concepts to convey to someone who has been unemployed and is applying and interviewing for jobs is to keep a positive attitude.  The reality of unemployment, spending more than you earn, or hating your current job can be depressing (literally).  Ironically any hint of you as the job seeker of being desperate, unhappy, down, or feeling sorry for yourself is a quick ticket for rejection in the workplace.

The folks who are in control of the hiring do not want to bring someone in who might “share” this caustic attitude with current employees.  What can you do to ensure you are in a good place mentally when applying or interviewing for a job?

  • Be in a good place– What you are conveying on paper (resume, cover letter, and/or application) changes depending on your mood.  Try to psyche yourself up and be in that “King of the world” place when writing your job search materials.  If not, set them aside until you can be mentally ready.  Note:  This is not an excuse to never start writing.  Be proactive in trying to be in a good place.
  • Do something for yourself– Before the interview do something that might add joy to your life.  Take a walk in a park, put bubbles in your bath, go to the library, visit a neighbor, call a friend, read a book, play a board game, listen to or play music, smell a flower, or some other small gesture that improves your being.
  • Make a list and refer to it–  When you are in a positive mood, make a list that includes talents you have that you will share in the work place.  When you are feeling blue, bring out the list and reflect on ways in which you will make a difference.  Understand the reasons why you would add value to any company or organization.
  • Fake it til you make it–  You always want to be true to yourself and honest in your job application materials and during interviews.  With that being said, remember a time when you were happy and be that person during the interview process.
  • Seek professional help–  If finances allow, find a mental health counselor or therapist to help you deal with the challenges you are dealing with.  A good career coach or counselor can help you create a solid resume and critique your job interviewing skills but is not the right person to help you sort through “life” issues.

Give the impression that you are a resilient person no matter the circumstances.  People want to connect with positive people and go out of there way to help if that confidence appears to be there.

Check this out: J.D. Roth at GetRichSlowly has an excellent post that focuses on the happiness factor with a review of Tal Ben-Shahar’s book, Happier.

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