The Attitude Shift Pattern

My philosophy is that when bad things happen, there must be something in it to learn from or apply to the rest of my life’s journey.  Call it a spiritual outlook if you will, but that’s what keeps me going.  That’s what helps me deal with the negative stuff when it comes up.

I see it so often and have experienced it myself, so I’ve learned about an obvious pattern, which I call the “attitude shift pattern”.  Here’s how it typically shows up… A person comes to see me, confidence low, negative about the job search.  Needing to figure out why, something has to be blamed. “It must be __________ (fill-in-the-blank) why no one is hiring me.”  No, it can’t be something as simple as the competition for jobs is tough or that something else needs to be tried.  Instead, I hear, “I think it’s my age.”  Or, “I’m sure I didn’t get that job because I’m a woman.”  I’ve even had one person tell me that she thought it was because of her weight that no one would hire her.  Now, I’m not denying that discrimination is alive out there.  I know it exists because I have had pointed requests to send “a woman for the front desk”, “a strong man to unload a truck” or “a recent college grad to fit the company culture” from clients whom I’ve had to remind that I would help them hire the best qualified candidate regardless their age, sex, gender or religion.  To the job seeker I say this – it doesn’t matter if you think they won’t hire you because you’re over 40.  Let that be their problem, not yours!  Go in and prove yourself – be energetic, positive, and indispensable.  If they still won’t hire you, they will be the ones missing out on the wonderfulness you can bring to their workplace.  Besides, you don’t want to work for people that stupid and close-minded anyway!

Please take heart and know that for every one of those unenlightened hiring managers, there are many more who don’t consider discriminatory factors at all.  Just as the majority of company leaders notice and reward the attitude of the individuals who work for them, hiring managers also notice how the candidate’s personality comes across during the hiring process.  People hire people with a can-do attitude, and I can vouch for the fact that all the skills in the world won’t make the hiring manager budge like a good personality fit will. 

If you’re still confused about the attitude shift pattern, I’ll spell it out more directly:

No results→ come up with something to blame → develop a “chip on the shoulder” (negative attitude) → still no results→ get to a point of desperation and surrender in some sort of fashion (shift) → then lo & behold, opportunities start popping up (positive attitude). 

When the shift occurs from negative to positive, the positive attitude tends to attract positive things and events just like the negative attitude attracted negative prior to the shift.  You go from stagnation or backward movement to forward progression.  Suddenly there are multiple job interviews to schedule.  A job offer or maybe more than one presents itself.  Is there some sort of positive/negative energy attraction law in the universe to account for this?  Could there be something to the whole concept we’ve heard from the motivational gurus that your attitude dictates everything that happens to you?  Hey, in case you haven’t heard, scientists are proving that the neural net patterns in your brain physically change when your thought patterns change!

Your shift can occur in different ways.  You can be proactive.  You can pull something new out of your job search toolbox you haven’t tried.  For example, take advantage of a networking opportunity you’ve been resisting.  You can take a class to improve your skills set or finish your degree.  You can look into hiring yourself out as a consultant.  The shift can also be some form of surrender.  In other words, you could simply say “Que sera, sera” and open your mind to what will unfold.  Believe it or not, the act of surrender is very powerful and quite effective.  Trusting your path and having faith that things will look up as soon as you let them does really work.  I’ve seen situations when someone just proverbially shrugged their shoulders and opened themselves to possible opportunities they hadn’t already considered and doors just started opening where they’d been closed before.  It’s as though they just got out of their own way.

Of course, I’m pointing out the attitude shift pattern in reference to a job search, but apply this principle in all areas of your life, and you’ll be amazed at the changes you’ll see – the doors that will open to you!

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