Our greatest New Year’s wish for both employer clients and job-seeker candidates, and for ourselves as well, is that we all not psych ourselves out. It’s easy to get pulled into the current of negativity that is driving a lot of media content, whether it’s in print, broadcast/cable, or online. Just as a smart swimmer will avoid the invisible undertow, we observe that our smartest colleagues and clients avoid absorbing the negative — and instead see them creating their own positive energy and opportunities.
Every day we are encouraged at the news of people hiring and being hired, taking the leap to start new businesses and new careers, and following through on long-planned dreams. We know there are sectors of the economy that are doing well, local employers who are flourishing, and eager talent waiting to be tapped. But when we’re all hearing so much bad news, we temporarily lose our uniquely American competence for getting on with it.
Here’s what we remind ourselves of on a regular basis:
1. Hang around with positive people. If you’re getting bummed out by the news, change the channel. If the friends you usually hang out with are too negative, get together with someone who has a terrific positive attitude or a great sense of humor. I remember a year when I resolved to make three new friends who were cheerful and glass-half-full types, and it changed my life forever.
2. Get back to the basics. Example: making personal connections, whether it’s for networking, sales, or job seeking. Person-to-person connections are the building blocks of all commerce. Another example: making an honest assessment of the impression you make on others, and adjusting where necessary to make sure there are no barriers to connection. Appearance, posture, manners, and articulate communication go a long way.
3. Try one new thing. When frustrated at lack of progress, pick one simple change you can make. Or, choose one new activity to add into another area of your life. Feed your brain. Or just focus for ten minutes on a task you’ve been putting off. Making tiny changes can freshen the energy of the entire enterprise.
So, what are some things that you do to feed positive progress? And what are your New Year’s intentions?