HealthStyle: Improve your employment attitude and employment chances

David Gannon

You have been looking for employment for months and just face one disappointment after another. You don't have enough experience, training or education or you have too much. There were too many applicants for too few jobs. "Who wouldn't be discouraged?" you say. You are right about that. It can lead to depression, too much sleeping and eating and substance abuse. But some people in these circumstances seem to manage better than others. It may be due to two factors: attitude and resilience.

Attitude is the way we think about setbacks in life. People with a positive attitude will think about their difficulties as setbacks. People with a negative attitude will refer to the same circumstances as defeats.

Resilience is related to attitude. It is the ability to be strong and successful again after something bad happens. People who have the quality of resilience see themselves as having the power to affect their lives and the outcomes.

It is not sufficient to have a positive attitude and the quality of resilience but these qualities are more likely to lead to action. Personal action is necessary to change one's circumstances. If you have stopped looking for employment and now sit and wait for your circumstances to change you are much less likely to find success than someone who takes some action, any action, to try to change their circumstances.

Below are some tips to follow while you are creating your next job or career:

• Get up as if you are going to work: Get up in the morning, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, take a shower and put on nice clothes.

• Make a daily schedule: Do something. Make a schedule of activities and follow it.

• Be healthy: Avoid alcohol or drug abuse, get some exercise, and eat healthy foods. Eating high-fat, high-carbohydrate and high-sugar foods may lead to even more fatigue and weight gain.

• Be sociable: Keep contact with people to prevent isolation.

• Try a new skill: Learning how to do something new can keep you busy and possibly lead to a different kind of job.

• Go to the library: Read about subjects that might help you for the next job.

• Think positively: Think about the current circumstances as a phase in your life. Nothing lasts forever. While you are unemployed you are looking for the next opportunity.

• Keep trying: Just because an employer said "No" yesterday does not mean the next one will turn you down.

• Set realistic goals: Your next opportunity may not pay as well as the last job but it is a step in the right direction.

• Live within your needs: Get rid of expensive services and items that you want but don't really need.

David Gannon, Ph.D., Psychological and Family Consultants, Canton, Ohio.