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Accentuating the positive in job seeking and career thinking

Accentuating the positive in job seeking and career thinking

Accentuating the positive in job seeking and career thinking

Regulating our intake of negative news is regarded as a healthy habit for keeping out outlook on life positive and balanced, and maintaining a more optimistic view of the future. This principle translates well to the way we think about ourselves, when there are demonstrable benefits to our enjoyment of life and to job seeking and our career prospects, of keeping in mind our skills, our achievements and the positive potential for our future.

I’ve lost count of late of the number of posts and articles I’ve seen on self-care and wellbeing strategies that recommend limiting your intake of news media.

If news media are there as a service to keep us informed and up to date with what’s going on in the world, why should we limit our consumption of it? I guess one obvious answer is that with 24/7 rolling news media on tap, we can easily let it consume our time and distract us from doing other things that might be more productive.

A second reason is that much news media-reliant as it is on ratings-has a bias towards the dramatic How Negative News Distorts Our ThinkingPsychology Today (meaning negative more often than not) which can affect our view of the world and in turn our mental health. The media exaggerates negative news. This distortion has consequencesThe Guardian

This is not to deny that the last year has presented us with more than enough bad stuff-the pandemic and all its social, economic, and health consequences. Yet, there is value to taking another perspective and thinking of the resilience, creativity, and acts of kindness that a crisis like our current one can produce. I was very heartened to come across The Year in Cheer article from Reasons to Be Cheerful, sharing 112 items of positive news stories from 2020. There are some real gems here that you won’t have seen covered in the usual media outlets- some great examples of human creativity, resilience, and kindness.

If it’s worth looking beyond the mainstream media for some hidden gems of good news, it will also be worth going through a similar process with yourself.

If you’ve had a rough ride, jobs or education-wise, in recent times, negative thoughts and feelings are a natural and understandable response. But it can be incredibly valuable to work on finding the positives in yourself and your situation.

Some suggestions to help with this process:

  • Make a list of all the people in your personal network; people who can vouch for you, write a testimonial, remind you of your skills and personal qualities, or just provide emotional/psychological support. See this article from Glassdoor on how you can use your networks to help you 4 Ways to Leverage Your Network To Survive The Current Job Market – Glassdoor
  • Write a list of your successes from previous jobs, courses, voluntary or community work, leisure activities. Times when you’ve helped someone, made or saved money, created something new, been part of a winning team, overcome a big challenge. If you’re struggling to remember them, get the people above to remind you.
  • Use the above to revamp your CV and Linked In profile (if you don’t have one-time to create one)
  • Find out what sectors are doing well and growing. There are always some that are-and they will include roles that aren’t necessarily obvious to most of us.
    Here are some articles you can use to help with looking;
    Jobs on the Rise | United Kingdom linkedin.com
    Edge publish latest Skills Shortage BulletinEdge Foundation
  • Identify people in these sectors you can approach and message them
  • Develop a routine to make all of the above regular actions

I know from personal experience that all of this is not easy, that maintaining positivity about ourselves, especially in challenging times like these, can be tough. But I also know that by doing the above regularly, we can get a more positive perspective on ourselves, our value and qualities, and in turn our opportunities.

Remember to keep focussed on the good news about yourself – your skills, your personal qualities, your successes, and your potential.

Paul's Pricing Guide

Discovery Session
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Career Consultations -
Includes email follow up & career resources

£50

Job Interview Preparation -
Interview preparation consultation

£45

Job Application checks
Includes free guide to social media networking for emloyment

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Career Decisions: ‘Undecided’ vs ‘indecisive’ – What’s the difference?

Career Decisions: ‘Undecided’ vs ‘indecisive’ – What’s the difference?

Career Decisions: ‘Undecided’ vs ‘indecisive’ – What’s the difference?

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
Rush-Freewill

Have you decided you need a career change? Has a Career Change been forced upon you by recent circumstances? Are you feeling undecided about what to do next and what career path you should follow? Or are you in a state of indecisiveness? For important life decisions such as committing to a potential job or learning opportunity or identifying what kind of work you might do in the future, the difference between undecidedness and indecisiveness is useful to consider.

‘I’m undecided, what should I do’?
Being undecided is a temporary state. If you are undecided, you’re in a normal and natural place when it comes to important life choices. Not that being  undecided is going to feel pleasant, when you may just want to get the decision settled as soon as possible, or when you have a looming decision deadline.

For a decision such as choosing between potential career paths, simultaneous job offers, or college/university courses, there are inevitably many factors to take into consideration, and if we push ourselves to choose just to relieve the temporary state of being undecided, we may neglect to investigate important factors. Thus ending up dissatisfied with the decision we’ve made. So, it’s useful to give yourself as much time as you can to consider the options as coolly as possible from a number of different perspectives by, for example:

  • Making a list of pros and cons for each option and giving each an ‘importance score’ (e.g. if short-term pay level is a less important factor for you than long-term potential to progress this will be reflected in the score you give)
  • Talking to a range of trusted friends, and family
  • Paying attention to what your gut or intuition is telling you
  • Doing online research about the organisations, job roles or courses
  • Think back to previous decisions you’ve made and reflect on what
    worked out and what didn’t and why

‘I’m indecisive! Aaaagh!!! What should I do?’
OK, so being indecisive is more problematic when it comes to making big decisions. Why? Because it’s less of a temporary state, and more of a developed character trait. When we have an established behaviour pattern of being indecisive, it can turn most decisions into ordeals, and can stop us from taking advantage of windows of opportunity that may not open again. We may end up not deciding at all, which is a decision in itself (a choice to avoid making a choice!). If you think you’re indecisive by habit, it’s definitely worth thinking about how you can eliminate, or at least reduce, this trait.

I like these tips from Psychology Today, including the benefits of stopping ‘overthinking’ on decisions; revisiting past decisions that worked out, and the intriguing idea of the ‘miracle question’.

Mindtools has some good resources on decision-making, and here is an interesting take on what makes up The Anatomy of a Great Decision

Do any of these ideas particularly resonate with you when you think about the decisions that are on the horizon for you?

You can get in touch if you’d like some personalised support with an important decision or two.

Paul's Pricing Guide

Discovery Session
20 minutes - No commitment

Free

Career Consultations -
Includes email follow up & career resources

£50

Job Interview Preparation -
Interview preparation consultation

£45

Job Application checks
Includes free guide to social media networking for emloyment

£35