Gratitude and Your Job Search

There’s the old proverb that says, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. It’s pretty much a cliché these days. Change is constant. Uncertainly is constant. How we deal with change and uncertainly is a big determining factor in generating our own personal happiness and well-being.
The news is scary, the government appears unstable. Our jobs, even with traditional loyalty to our employers, rarely feel secure. So how do we navigate the daily grind? The speed bumps? The walls?

To oversimplify things…gratitude. Gratitude is the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.

Scientific research has proven that people who practice gratitude as part of their daily lives will sleep better, experience more positive emotions, express more empathy, feel more alive, and even develop stronger immune systems. Who doesn’t want that?

Here are some examples where gratitude might bring clarity to a particular work-life situation:

  • You hate your job – Be grateful that you have a job.
  • I can’t find a job – Be grateful that you’re reading this on a computer, so you have tools at your disposal to continue your search.
  • I’m not getting any calls from the resume I’ve posted on dozens job boards – Be grateful that there are countless resources online to help you improve your resumes. There are also resume writing professionals, standing by to assist you with your job search.

Yes, it sounds very simple, and almost hard to believe.

Gabriele Oettingen, a motivation psychologist and professor at New York University, calls this mental contrasting. Mental contrasting is a fancy name for positive thinking. You’ve heard of “the power of positive thinking” right? Well…I’m here to tell you. It works!

Your job search, your work life, and your life in general is hard. That’s okay! Don’t fight it, welcome it. Own the challenge, be grateful you have the opportunity to take it on, then go out and find success.

Here are some easy steps to add gratitude to your daily life and job search:

  • Start your day by giving consideration to all the blessings and goodness we might take for granted.
  • Identify a negative that is concerning you for the day ahead, and resolve to switch it to positive or simply set it aside.
  • Commit to not complain, criticize or gossip for the day (or, start small…the next hour). This is going to give you back so much energy that you can use on positive thought.
  • When you think of something for which you’re grateful, write it down. Use a sticky note, or the memo app on your phone. Watch the blessings accumulate.

The buck stops with you, and it should. It’s easy to have a victim mentality when we’re unhappy, but the best way to suppress it is by practicing gratitude. You are in complete control of you. You can have a better resume, a more strategic job search, and ultimately the job you want. it’s all within your reach.
I’m a resume writer. I’m not a doctor, psychologist, or scientist. But I’m human and I face the same daily challenges as you. Six years ago, I hated my job in Corporate America. I dragged my butt from day to day. I was completely indifferent. Every day was a pity party for one. It wasn’t helping.

I retreated within. I was solitary. I felt sorry for myself. Then I learned about gratitude. Slowly, this old ship started turning. I found reasons to be grateful every day. I wrote them down. I had so much, but I was just starting to recognize it. Things started happening for me. My first client, my first speaking engagement, my first client who used a resume that I wrote to get a job. Gratitude begat happiness, and happiness begat success.

Now I get to share my experiences. I’m the proof. I didn’t buy in at first, then the results started happening. Think about it. Sit with it. What are you grateful for? How can practicing gratitude help you achieve your goals? Take a few moments every day to be grateful for what you have. Watch for subtle shifts in the world around you. They will come. You’ll be grateful. I’m humbled and grateful that you’ve allowed me to share these thoughts.

Jeff Metzger is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and Owner of Reflection Resumes, a whole new approach to resume writing and career services. You can visit Jeff online at He is standing by to help you reflect your best self in your job search.

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