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Career & Employment Opportunities

Staying Optimistic During Job Search

Hey everyone, welcome back. My name is Bill Benoist. I’m a certified professional career coach
here in Silicon Valley, and I upload new career tips and strategies every Tuesday. In today’s video, what I want to talk about
is being an optimist or being a pessimist. You see, I don’t think very many of us enjoy
being around pessimistic people. I think they can be a little draining with
the energy, but I also understand that it can be difficult to have an optimistic viewpoint
when you’ve just recently been laid off from work, or maybe you missed that promotion,
or you just didn’t get the job offer, whatever it is. But there’s two ways that you can really kind
of take this viewpoint. One is by looking at it as what I would say
more of a longterm permanent situation, and that’s definitely the signs of being a pessimist,
or taking it as a short term setback, which is more of an optimistic view. Bill: But what I want you to understand is
if you did not get that position, if you did not get that promotion, if you’ve not receiving
any interviews, what you’re thinking about this, that’s your choice. You understand this? That’s your choice, and you have a choice
of either looking at it from an optimistic viewpoint or a pessimistic viewpoint. You may not recognize this, especially if
you are living in a pessimistic viewpoint right now, but it is possible to change to
an optimistic viewpoint. It’s as simple as learning your ABCs, but
when I say simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. So let me explain. When I talk about your ABCs, what I’m really
talking about is adversity, your beliefs, and the consequences of those beliefs. Those are your ABCs, adversity, beliefs, and
the consequences. Bill: The adversity is actually the event
that has occurred. The belief is what you believe to be of that
event and see the consequences of that belief. So let’s take something, for example, a layoff,
a downsize. That’s the event. It’s riled an emotion up, and now because
of this layoff or this event, your belief is, “At my age I’m never going to get another
job that pays as well as this one.” Well, you notice right off the bat that the
negative self-talk there of longterm, of permanent, never and then what is the consequence of
that? Well, maybe right off the bat you just see
it’s pointless. It’s hopeless. Why even try? There’s so many different paths, so many different
routes that you can go on with a belief that is negative, that is long term that could
be permanent and different consequences of that. Bill: Now, it is doable to change your thinking
from being a pessimist to an optimist. Let me ask you, well, if you were an optimistic,
would that mean that you probably would not have been laid off or maybe you would have
gotten a job offer by now? Maybe somebody would start paying more attention
to your resumes. Is that what I mean by being an optimist by
instead of being a pessimists? Not necessarily. You may still be out of work. You may still have gotten laid off. I can’t help that, but there are definitely
some benefits that are involved in being an optimist. Let me share some of these benefits with you. Before we even get into some of the research
and scientific studies out there on optimism, would you not agree, it’s just more enjoyable
to be around individuals who are optimistic in nature? An optimism is not somebody that continuously
lives under this silver lining of a cloud. They too have challenges, it’s just a matter
of how they look at the challenges. Are they looking at them as more longterm,
permanent, or are they looking at them as temporary setbacks? Bill: That’s really the biggest difference
between an optimist and a pessimists, and you too can be a optimist. But what are the benefits? Would you have gotten a job earlier? Would you have not been laid off? Would you have been more successful in your
interviews? I don’t know. I can’t tell you that, but there are some
definite benefits of being an optimist. In one study by the university of Illinois,
they followed some 5,100 individuals who consider themselves highly optimistic, and they found
76% of those individuals had lower blood sugars, lower cholesterol rates, they exercised more,
they had healthier BMIs, and they just ranked higher on individual health scores. Another study that was done by Duke University,
what they found following a group of MBA graduates who believed good things would happen to them
landed jobs more quickly and had higher starting salaries. Bill: In another study by the University of
Pennsylvania, what they found was that individuals that were more optimistic, they actually lived
longer. There was many more [inaudible 00:05:37]. Even with a study in Quebec, they found that
individuals who believed themselves to be more optimistic or demonstrated more optimism
had lower cortisol levels, and they were just less likely prone to stress. So there’s definitely some advantages out
there of being an optimist outside of, like I said earlier, just being an individual that
is enjoyable to be around. Bill: So how do you become an optimist? There are ways. You don’t have to resign yourself to be in
a pessimist. You can change. You can change. And what does that mean? How do you do it? Well, you know what you need to do? You need to learn to argue with yourself. I think we all argue with ourselves, but you
need to become a better arguer, and one of the things that you’re going to ask yourself,
because there’s several questions that you need to ask yourself. One of the first ones is what is the evidence
that you have that makes this belief true? The second question that you need to ask yourself
is, well, what are some alternative beliefs that could also be true in regards to this
belief? The third question, what are the implications
of this belief? What are the consequences of this belief? Then finally, the fourth question is kind
of part of the third question. What’s the usefulness of this belief? What use is it providing you? These are the four questions that you need
to start asking yourself, and that’s going to be the foundation of starting to make that
mind shift from being a pessimist to becoming an optimist. Bill: So a great resource out there that I
want to share with you is It’s on the Penn state website, and there’s
a whole bunch of assessments out there. We’ve talked about the VIA character strengths
assessment in an earlier video. In this video, here are, I’d like you to zero
in on the optimism survey and just take a look at how optimistic you are. I’ll point that out here in this video. But again, the site is through Dr. Martin
Seligman, who is considered the father of positive psychology. I first started hearing about him and reading
about him in my master’s program of leadership. That’s how popular he is out there, and he
has a great book that he’s written called Learned Optimism, and I’ll put that in a link
in my notes section below. So I hope you found this video informative
and useful, and as I mentioned before, definitely subscribe to this channel if you are in career
transition or looking for a new job, as I do upload new career tips and strategies every
Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by, and I will see you
next time.

14 Replies to “Staying Optimistic During Job Search”

  • I really love your ABC formula Bill. Everyone who is job searching should know this to help them remain optimistic during their search and job interviews.

  • Hey Bill, it is so hard for many people to maintain optimistic when they are out of work. Your tips in how to make a choice is very potent – great video made with love.

  • oh, i agree, maintaining optimism takes a lot of work… this feeling can also be felt by parents for their kids.. not getting the jobs they want etc… great ABC approach!

  • I love the ABC formula, I'm definitely going to put this to use when I find those moments where I'm struggling with pessimism (my default thinking is pessimistic, and being optimistic is a choice I consistently make for all of the benefits you cover… and I agree it's better being around optimists)

  • I think my thinking is optimistic , but i do find myself looking at the glass empty side sometimes. And it can change from second to second ! Yipes !

  • Sometimes things happen no matter what. But being positive can help ur motivation to try harder. It is hard though if something really bad happened to u

  • Some great advice in your video. Even though it's hard to be optimistic sometimes, I'm managing to make myself more and more optimistic – but this is a recent thing.

  • Thanks for sharing the thinking process to stay optimistic…good advice for my son who wants to look for a more satisfying job in his industry

  • Was there in the past. Really hard to stay optimistic in this situation. Good advice Bill 👍

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