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Accentuating the positive in job seeking and career thinking

by | Jan 25, 2021 | Career Planning, Job seeking

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.

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