Career Advice: The Importance of Optimism at Work, in Interviews, and at Home

Career Advice: The Importance of Optimism at Work, in Interviews, and at Home


Optimisim at Job Interviews

By Hank Stringer

Whew, what a month.

One could easily take the downgrade, the downs of the market and the riots around the world and get pretty darned depressed. One cannot be challenged without obstacles to overcome whether it is a person, a company or a country. The road ahead offers plenty of bumps and how we react will affect our work, life and those around us.

So, can we find optimism in this mess we have gotten ourselves into and turn it into career advice? Sure we can.

Career Advice: Steps to Being Optimistic

Take a step back and look at the big picture. If interviewing for a position, understand that employers who are hiring want talent focused on the job at hand. That focus, along with a positive attitude requires understanding that the pendulum swings both ways and that over the long term, obstacles can and do become opportunity. Don’t be the naysayer constantly concerned, but rather, present yourself honestly as the person looking for the silver lining.

Seek solutions…everywhere. Looking for the silver lining in your work when others aren’t gives you the leg up on finding solutions. If you are not looking and are not open, you won’t find answers. There will be plenty of opportunity at work where teams will meet an obstacle and immediately state ‘we can’t’ when you, the person who says ‘we can,’ will start down the path of finding a solution. Being positive and optimistic at work (especially around weeks like we just went through) matter to co-workers and employers. Think about it and find ways to seek positive results.

Smile. Man, it can be hard smiling when the news is bad, negative and prevalent, so don’t listen. Life goes on and it is important that all of us find the things in life we need to smile about. We do have a lot to smile about, right? A good meal, a child’s innocent laugh or just a nice day is more than enough to find good in and smile about. A bit cliché, but stopping to smell the roses really is worth the effort and will bring a smile to anyone.

So, as an old timer used to say, “If it weren’t for bad, we wouldn’t know good”…

Looks like real good may be down the path, just around the corner and not as far away as some seem to think. Think about that, get positive and smile.

Hank Stringer is a member of the, Clearview Collection and CEO of Stringer Executive Search and Chief Strategist to Novotus – a professional recruiting agency. In 2006 he co-authored Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business” (Prentice-Hall. 2006) with fellow Clearview contributor Rusty Rueff. Hank’s experience includes founding, an early Internet recruitment solution acquired by Authoria in 2005. He has also served as a senior recruiter for Dell Inc. and Tandem Computers. This post was originally published on and has been republished with permission. 


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