The Desk

February 11, 2011

Career Tip: In the Positive Mode

Going through a job search while unemployed has its pitfalls. If we’re not careful, they can easily consume us. One of the things that feeds them is becoming discouraged and then allowing bad habits to invade our routine. Avoid them as much as possible.

It’s extremely important to stick to the formalities of the brick and mortar workplace in attitude, dress, and speech. Otherwise, we lapse into complacency and a too-relaxed attitude about ourselves and our work. We lose credibility and create mountains to climb, instead of small hills, to our summit of success. Staying ready to go and ready to present the professional side of yourself is critical.

Keep yourself to a schedule. This includes maintaining records, developing materials unique to your endeavors, as well as housekeeping. Make certain that you stick to the regimen of rising at the same time as you would to go to work. Put shower and dress in the same time frame as brush your teeth (and hair). Grooming is important. A little make-up, well-trimmed hair (facial and head) do wonders for attracting people to you. Be certain you get enough rest at night. A well-managed look accompanied by a well-managed schedule makes a powerful statement about the positive you.

Make a budget for yourself and stay within it. Be certain to include a small amount for some type of entertainment – even if it’s a small as a latte, a bouquet of flowers, a new CD/DVD, or a bottle of fragrance. It’s encouraging to know you really do have some financial margin available that’s devoted to a little bit of enjoyment.

Make a point of attending at least one morning business meeting per month and dress appropriately. “Go out” doesn’t need to be all day; an hour or so is sufficient to create a break in being a household hermit but also keep you circulating in the public. It lets you see what the trends are in your real world so you’re in gear for immediately starting things.

Make certain you dress in business casual attire and go out at least three times per week. Wearing business casual doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Two tops and two bottoms can be interchanged so that you always have a different look. Wash and wear is more sensible than dry clean only (which should be used sparingly).

Keep up your reading about current affairs (newspaper), literature (international or national magazine), and industry chatter (industry journal or newspaper). It’s good grist for conversations as well as keeping you well informed. It’s also useful to keep up your recreational reading in whatever areas interest you. The more well rounded your reading, the more informed and interesting you are.

When we keep ourselves well groomed, we feel better physically and psychologically and therefore do a better job. It attracts people to us because we make them feel better about themselves, their environment, and the choices they make for themselves. Speaking of physical, it’s good to make time for exercise (at least walking) 10 to 20 minutes each day. It keeps the body well tuned, under control, and also promoting a positive attitude.

The interesting part of all these recommendations is the vast number of ways that they can be accomplished. What are you already doing to stay in the positive mode. Given what was discussed here, what types of things can you think of doing to make it happen for you?

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