If you’re in the middle of a stressful job search, even if it’s Thanksgiving, gratitude may be the furthest thing from your mind. If you bring it a little closer, you may find that your job search – and your life – will be easier.
What good is gratitude?
Do you feel any of these things regularly?
- Critical of yourself and/or others.
- Lack of money, love, or appreciation.
- Worried about the future.
If so, it could be that your focus is on the negative or on what you do not have. What we focus on is what we receive. Or stated another way, if we feel and think a certain way, we look for evidence that it is true and that we are right. When we focus on lack, we create more lack.
If that rings a bell, you might try incorporating a gratitude practice in your day. Gratitude can short circuit the process and begin a circle of positive thoughts and feelings instead.
A gratitude practice can be as little as a quick prayer of thanks in the morning or as much as a full hour of journaling each day. Do what you’re comfortable with. Here are some ideas:
- Say a prayer of thanks upon arising for anything or anyone who comes to mind.
- Make it a practice to notice three or more things you are thankful for each morning.
- Write a list of each thing you are grateful for each day.
- Journal for a set amount of time each day about your feelings of gratitude for something specific in your life.
Notice the attitudes and actions that arise as a consequence of this change in your life. You will likely see a shift toward the more positive. You will notice less lack. You will find it easier to think of things you are grateful for and easier to express your gratitude.
Why should I apply gratitude to my job search?
Most people like polite, respectful, positive people. They are certainly the ones we want to work with.
When we practice gratitude in our everyday personal lives, it is likely to show up in our professional lives, as well. This is a bonus in a job search when we are attempting to find a workplace culture that fits our own. If we project the positive side of us, we are more likely to find people who respond to it. The opposite is true as well, so if you really prefer working for negative, complaining, mean folks, then gratitude is not for you.
How do I incorporate gratitude in my job search?
When you meet with someone who gives you a referral, an informational interview, a company tour, or an interview, thank them. Let them know you value their time.
Be reliable. Be at the right place at the right time. Pay attention. Show respect for others’ schedules by sticking to the agreed-upon amount of time for the meeting.
Snail mail or hand deliver a hand-written note of thanks to everyone with whom you spoke during the interview. Everyone receives too much email. Most of us don’t receive many thank you cards. Yours will be remembered.
Show you value the relationship by maintaining the connection. Invite them to your LinkedIn connections. Email them an article that will interest them. Invite them to an event, program, or webinar that might interest them. Remember their birthday. Send them a holiday greeting.
When you land the job, tell the people who helped you along the way. They are interested in your progress and will celebrate with you. Tell them again that you are grateful for their assistance.
When you practice gratitude every day of the year, you will find that the obstacles and difficulties seem smaller. Thanksgiving can truly live in your heart.