Graduates: Why Positive Thinking Outweighs Experience

The modern-day job search for graduates is becoming an increasingly competitive environment where an individual can find themselves pitted against hundreds of other applicants all in the same boat. The string tying all these graduates together is most likely limited industry knowledge and experience. However, as important as having experience is for any job search, there is one undeniable truth: that having and maintaining a positive attitude is crucial. Employers are looking for candidates that can add value, meaning that they are seeking future leaders that can inspire and promote business longevity. A positive frame of mind not only affects the way you view the world, but your environment and the people around you. This leads us to the big question: what defines a positive thinker?


Positive thinking and mental fortitude outlast skills

Skills get outdated over time as industries shift and change, companies are constantly re-skilling and providing ongoing training for their employees to build value in their business. Skills can be attained and bought whereas attitude cannot. Attitude, when compared to a skill set is timeless. Without the right attitude, you can’t form solid working habits which have to be practiced over time. Without the right attitude, you’ll be missing out on learning new things as you are unable to see past the mistakes. Without the right attitude, you won’t land the job you want as you are hindering your own self growth.

Mental fortitude is the ability to pick oneself up from life’s failures and capitalizing on them as lessons and opportunities. Possessing it will not only carry over into the workplace, but into your personal life as well. By viewing problems as an opportunity, you would find that focusing on finding a solution is a more productive use of your time and energy. Being proactive keeps your brain switched on and like a muscle, your brain will be more effective if trained over time. One cannot expect to attract or impress potential employers if one does not exhibit the energy associated with gaining success. Walking into a job interview can be an extremely nerve-wracking and intimidating experience for newcomers, so when a candidate with limited to no industry experience is being judged, having a resilient and positive attitude is a good start.

Setting goals sets you up for success

Goal setting is a way we can break down the bigger picture into manageable chunks. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the notion of “Finding a job”. By breaking down these goals into something you can control and visualize more clearly, you are not only able keep up the positivity but set yourself up for success. For example, if the overarching goal is to “Find a job”, then you would want to divide that up into mini goals like: ensuring your resume is up to date, knowing what field you want to work in, apply for x amount of jobs a day, etc. Completing these smaller tasks allows you to cross off a list, giving you a sense of achievement and keeping you motivated. By focusing on putting together the individual puzzle pieces, you’d find that the bigger picture will slowly come together in the process.

Don’t forget to reset

Maintaining a positive attitude is easier said than done. There will be some days that will test you, where you find it difficult to keep a smile on your face or to go about your day without any worries. We are human and are imperfect beings. Burnout is inevitable if we expect ourselves to endure everything life throws at us without taking the appropriate measures. Ask yourself: what can you control and what can’t you control? Sometimes we can’t control the negative things that happen to us but we can control how we react to them. When you start to feel like you are burning out, it is important to reset yourself and take a break. For instance, you have been to a few interviews, and haven’t heard back from any of them yet. Take a step back and think objectively: it most likely isn’t personal. By taking a break, you stop whatever it is that you are doing that is causing your burnout, and replace it with a totally unrelated activity. This allows you to leave the baggage and negativity behind and start anew with a fresh state of mind.

Student mentality and work ethic go hand in hand

Continuous self-improvement is essential if you want to stay relevant in the workplace. Every day is a school day, and there is always something new to learn no matter the context. Having a student mentality means that you are always asking questions and constantly analyzing yourself in order to understand how you can always do things better. Being self-aware is a highly sought management skill that establishes your work ethic and desire to progress. Through maintaining a humble attitude, you can only improve on where and who you are now. The journey of personal growth is after all, based on progression, not perfection.