Worrying about finding a job? Did you know Recruitment Company REED surveyed over 1,000 businesses and found that 97% of employers would employ an applicant with a positive mind-set even if they were not as strong as other candidates in terms of skills and achievements. So when attending a job interview or event always ensure you convey positivity above all else.
Clearly we don’t always feel positive, especially in this socioeconomic climate. Global recession, inflation, increased tuition fees, public sector job cuts, soaring petrol prices all beg the question ‘What is there to be positive about?’ However the question you should be asking is ‘Why should I be positive?’ because the answer is a much more satisfying one.
Ultimately positive thinking creates positivity. A positive mind-set shapes your interpretations of the world around you. As Winston Churchill said “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” I think this is a great quote that explains how the power of positivity can override negative influences. If you accept the difficulties and look for the positives you will be much more motivated and satisfied in life.
The human mind has astounding capability to affect our lives, though we are not always aware of it. It is widely accepted that stress adversely affects our health and our moods and I’m sure anyone who has ever had multiple deadlines or exams in one week will attest to this. So if stress or negativity can affect us then it makes sense that positivity may affect us in a beneficial way.
In summer 2011 I did a 7 week work placement at a global consumer goods company. This was my first ever experience in a corporate environment and I’m not afraid to say I was terrified. The first week I spent most of the time waiting for somebody to come up to me and say ‘Who are you? You shouldn’t be here,’ and was surprised that the employees were taking me seriously. However I maintained a positive and willing attitude throughout the internship and quickly saw my abilities developing. By the end of it I felt like I had worked there for a year and could cope with any situation. You may think I was lucky and that this won’t work for you and you could be right, but the main point is that by the end of my 7 weeks I could see that all my employers wanted to see was somebody who was pleasant, attentive, and hardworking. My total lack of previous experience in a commercial setting was irrelevant due to my positive mind-set. Even if I produced substandard work but showed that I was putting in the effort and was willing to learn from my mistakes I would have been successful.
From the perspective of employers a positive person will benefit everyone they come into contact with. Having the ability to stay positive sets a good example for co-workers, impresses clients, ensures you are calm, flexible and productive in your work as well as being consistently motivated. I would argue that positivity is our not so secret weapon in life, which the majority of us take for granted. We all know how to be positive and with so many people out there being negative in these uncertain times, positivity will set you apart from others more than ever before.
Actor and singer-songwriter Will Smith talks about his belief in positive thinking. He says our thoughts have a physical force that can affect our lives and that all of us have the power to believe that things are possible, which creates a physical thrust towards the realisation of our goals. There are a few videos of him on YouTube on this subject; Click here to see one.
I’m not trying to say that positivity will suddenly make everything perfect because it won’t, it will not prevent inconveniences, mistakes or tragedies. Being positive involves disregarding the negativity that is inevitable in our lives and being able to move forward. A positive person accepts that bad things happen but resists the urge to become negative in light of this fact. If there is not a lot to smile about, then perhaps that is all the more reason to smile and stay positive because being negative will only perpetuate the cycle.
In the long term I think it takes a lot more effort to be negative than it does to be positive. A negative attitude is like a pair of goggles, easy to put on and wear, but once adorned they obscure happiness and magnify negativity. Even if being positive does not come naturally, everyone has the power to change their own thoughts and actions to this end and it can make a big difference to how potential employers will perceive you.
Tom Wilson – Student blogger