Looking For a Job? Turn OFF the TV!

by Urschel, Harry Thursday, November 19, 2009
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One of the most valuable assets you can have in a job search is a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude).

It makes you a more attractive candidate to any employer, and makes your search much easier to endure. One of the biggest killers of a positive attitude is the TV!

Watching the evening news or one of the 24-hour News Networks, you’d think the unemployment rate was 92% rather than 8%! They obviously don’t believe in putting things in perspective, but focus only on bad news. Every announced layoff, every heart wrenching story of hardship, every declining economic indicator gets featured play 24/7. Even when news isn’t necessarily bad, they have a way of turning it into a crisis.

Last year, new unemployment figures were reported in multiple news stories as a tragic development. New unemployment claims rose by thousands. That is tragic for those that were laid off. However, late in each of those stories, barely mentioned, was another fact. The Unemployment Rate had not risen for the month. Meaning: as many people got new jobs as lost jobs. That’s actually pretty good news! And it certainly could have been reported that way, but it wasn’t. Apparently Bad News Sells, and good news doesn’t.

I’m not recommending putting your head in the sand and becoming ignorant of what’s happening in the world or the economy. However, feeding your mind with a constant stream of bad news is destructive to anyone’s positive attitude. When you’re looking for a job, the economy that matters most, is your own. If you get a new job, that’s a 100% jump in your economic indicators! The fact is, there’s a lot of hirin’ goin’ on! It’s not several years ago, when you could make five calls and get a job offer, but there are a lot of people getting hired into new jobs every single day. You can be one of them if you apply some good job search skills and have a great attitude.

OK”, you may say. “That makes sense, I won’t watch so much news.” “But what’s wrong with...my favorite soap opera, or sitcom, or murder mystery, or reality show, etc.?”

I often enjoy watching TV as well. My wife, kids, and I love watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, or American Idol together. There are other shows I enjoy watching as well. With the exception of a small handful of shows though, most leave you feeling down, or discouraged, or sleazy, or mindless. Sometimes I need ‘mindless’ to help me wind down after a busy day, but it’s pretty rare to come away from the TV feeling inspired, or encouraged, or charged up.

In a job search, there are plenty of things that can leave you discouraged. Why add more? I believe one of the best things you can do when you’re looking for a job...or any time, is to guard your optimism and your positive attitude fiercely. Constantly be looking for ways to build it up, and avoid the things that can tear it down.

Obviously, I’m not expecting any of the TV networks or cable companies to advertise on this blog any time soon! However, this blog is aimed at helping you be as successful as you can in your job search. To that end, consider the old computer acronym: GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out). The same holds true with our minds.

In order to maintain a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), be careful of what you take in!