career-happinessEvery one of us can choose our attitude and it’s often self-fulfilling – the way we think about a situation can change the way we experience it. It could be the difference between you getting, keeping or losing your job and finding a fulfilling career.

And it does wonders for your health. Research shows time and again that positivity helps you to be more productive and build resilience. Shawn Achor’s message in his well-known TED Talk is simple. Happiness is the foundation for success, more than success is the foundation for happiness. Positivity gives you an advantage in the job market and your career.

“Don’t aim at success – the more you aim for it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success like happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”

Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor 

The challenge comes in adopting positivity more often than not, in the face of setbacks, other people’s difficult behaviour and events beyond your control during times of uncertainty.

How can you build your positivity?

Here are 14 practises that work if you sustain them over time:

  1. Acceptance: that things don’t always go according to plan
  2. Persistence: never giving up if it’s really important to you
  3. Hope: knowing that there is place for you and your talents waiting for you
  4. Gratitude: for what you have, what you are and the generosity of others
  5. Giving: doing good is feeling good
  6. Strengths: being at your best more of the time
  7. Visioning: the sweet smell of success
  8. Reflecting: on the good times, seeing and celebrating you and your achievements
  9. Anticipating: having something to look forward to
  10. Action: doing something to change or make things work
  11. Enthusiasm: mixing with positive people will rub off on you
  12. Mindfulness: staying in the present, leaving regrets behind
  13. Exercise: filling your body with endorphins and strengthening neural pathways
  14. Smiling: changing how you feel and how people respond to you

Making Positivity Work for You

If you’re applying for a job, think of an example where you showed a positive, ‘can do’ attitude to tackling a task or challenge. Some commonly asked questions at interviews that may be a test of your positivity include

  • ‘Tell me about a time when you made a difference to (an issue/team/project)”
  • “Tell us about a time when you overcame a challenge by being proactive”
  • “What would you do if …?”

The ‘can do’ attitude can – and will – work for you. Go into every day with a positive outlook, an infectious smile and a kind word. You – and your current or future employer – will see the difference.

‘Can do’ can be done!

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