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Career advice: Attitudes for success

Gloria Sinibaldi

There’s no doubt attitude plays a critical role when you are job-hunting. Famed football coach Lou Holtz said, “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” When competing for jobs, a positive attitude will give you the winning edge. However, during difficult times, staying positive isn’t easy. Anxiety, frustration, self-doubt and feelings of isolation may begin to surface. You’re not alone. With the national unemployment rate exceeding 8 percent and the local rate reported at a staggering 15.7 percent, these are trying times. Instead of thinking about what we can’t change, let’s consider what we can. It may be time to hit the reset button for a fresh perspective. Change your outlook. Change the outcome. Get back on track.

Here’s how.

Set goals and timelines

It’s not enough to set goals; set timelines, too. Make goals specific, measureable and attainable. Review them regularly and use benchmarks to track your progress. Push yourself to achievable heights. Don’t short sell yourself. Visualize your target. Believe in yourself.

Take a reality check

Know your circumstances and work within their parameters. Does the area in which you live support your goals? Are you willing to travel? Can you work remotely? What about family and financial limitations? Be realistic with your expectations. Follow a budget and plan ahead. The perfect job may not come along right away. Why not consider the “bird in the hand?” While it may not be your dream job, it could introduce possibilities you’ve not yet considered. Think outside the box. Be flexible and willing to embrace challenges. Reinvent yourself.

Have a plan

If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t get there. Follow a well-thought-out plan. You may know the job you want but do you know what you don’t want? We all have deal-breakers. What are yours? “I’ll take anything!” I’ve heard it said many times. But will you take anything? Be honest with yourself. Often the answer is no. For planning purposes start by taking inventory of the jobs you’ve held and your skills. List them. Now consider jobs you haven’t held but find appealing. Write them down. Lastly, list your deal-breakers. Know your limitations. Target your desired jobs. Think in terms of transferability. Do your skills have application in another industry? Could they piggyback on a similar skill set? Would additional training benefit you? Where do your strengths showcase best? What are your weaknesses? Put your plan into action.

Learn something new

Keep up with emerging trends and new technology. If you don’t know how to use a computer, learn. Take classes. Explore interests. Stimulate your mind. Motivational speaker Tony Robbins says, “By changing nothing, nothing changes.” View change as a challenge, not a nuisance. Learning increases your marketability and promotes confidence. Read. Information is power. Take interest in current events. An inspired mind is a better mind.

Volunteer

Volunteering provides a sense of achievement. Although you’re busy with job searching, family and other considerations, when possible, think about donating time for volunteer work. It’s a great way to stay connected and learn skills while gaining a sense of pride in helping others. It presents countless networking opportunities and exposes you to new environments. Volunteer jobs fill gaps in your work history and enhance your resume. It could be your gateway to a job.

Stay connected

Keep friends, family and former co-workers close. Don’t isolate yourself. Your support system is critical. Not only are they your cheerleaders, they are ideal networking partners that can serve as job references. Let them help you. Social networking sites provide a broad platform for networking. Sites such as LinkedIn are designed specifically for workplace contacts and are ideal for expanding your contact base. Networking opportunities are especially valuable since you are grouped with people in your specific field. Post your resume and business profile. Join a group discussion. Participate.

Take care of yourself

Healthy eating habits and regular exercise are vital to a positive outlook. Get plenty of rest and keep to a schedule. Get up. Get dressed. Get going. You’ll feel better. Remember to take breaks, too. A lakeside stroll may be just what the doctor ordered. A bike ride or good book can recharge your batteries. Do something you enjoy. Simple pleasures can lift your spirits. Know your community resources. If the blues persist, ask for help. Most professional counselors will work on a sliding scale. Never give up!

– Gloria Sinibaldi is a career professional that has worked in the employment field since 1987. While working for the Employment Development Department in Fremont and San Francisco, Gloria’s clients included professionals, welfare recipients, youth and the general population of unemployed individuals. She is a trainer, coach and job developer. Her accomplishments include launching Fremont’s “Welfare To Work” Success Center and coordinating PRONET, a 250-member job club for unemployed professionals. She lives in Lake Tahoe with her husband, Ralph. For information, email glorialinda16@gmail.com


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