What's Your PACE? Attitude & Its Influence On The Job Search

The job search process comes with a lot of uncertainty, like not knowing how to go about finding a job, not knowing what the hiring manager is looking for in the ideal candidate or how long it's really going to take to get a job. This uncertainty brings with it a lot of emotional ups and down. There are times of excitement and successful action, as well as setbacks and disappointment.

It's understandable that the job search can easily get you down and keep your mind focused on what's not going right. However, it's so important to keep any negativity during your search from affecting your attitude. For example, if you show up for the interview and exude a negative attitude you can be sure the hiring manager will pick up on it and likely pass on making you an offer.

A survey of hiring managers at 115 franchises of a staffing firm (Express Employment Professionals) indicated that ATTITUDE is KEY in landing a job. They ranked attitude as the highest/most important trait when considering a candidate for hire.

So, if you've never considered your attitude when preparing for an interview or any other aspect of the job search, it's time that you do. In fact, your attitude may be what's holding you back from getting the job offer.

Why is attitude so important?

Attitude, as defined by the English Oxford Dictionary,  "is a settled way of thinking or feeling about something or someone". 

And as Thomas Jefferson said,  "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goals and nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."

Having a positive mental attitude during your job search will:

  • Keep you motivated, focused and energized 
  • Give you confidence 
  • Enable you to take action
  • Help uncover career opportunities you might otherwise miss
  • Allow you to find your job quicker

Operating with a negative attitude:

  • Causes you to procrastinate and second guess yourself 
  • Prevents you from taking action
  • Makes you feel stuck and overwhelmed
  • Lowers your confidence and self-esteem
  • Sabotages your interview - because the hiring manager will pick up on this
  • Keeps you in job search mode for longer

From the hiring manager's viewpoint, he/she wants to hire the candidate who is very interested in the organization, who is excited about the position, and happy to do whatever it takes to help the department overcome challenges and achieve its business goals. Being able to convey this in an interview is part of what it means to exude a positive attitude and this is what will help you stand out from other candidates.

Your attitude also gives the hiring manager a snapshot of what it would be like to work with you, how you handle stressful situations and it helps them determine whether or not you'll be a good fit for the department/company.  You see, the hiring manager will hire the candidate who is eager to work for the company and radiates positivity because that is who the hiring manager wants to work with day in and day out.

How do you tap into & maintain a positive attitude? "Keep up the PACE"

You're in charge of your attitude and PACE is my acronym for remembering the 4 key factors that make up a positive attitude.

P - Positive energy - Staying positive throughout the job search will keep you engaged, productive, and moving forward. And remember, the hiring manager is looking for the candidate who is positive and happy no matter what's happening during the course of the work day.


A - Authenticity - Be your true self during the job search. You want to work for a company that allows you to be yourself, that understands who you are and what you have to offer and gives you the opportunity to use your talents and skills to grow and enhance the company. By being authentic, you'll be more focused in your search and arrive at the right industry, company, and position more quickly. And when it comes to the interview, don't try to be who you think the hiring manager wants you to be or whom others tell you to be. You and the hiring manager don't want to find out a few weeks into the job that it's not the right fit.

C - Confidence - Even though you can't predict who you'll be working for or how long the search will take, when you're confident in yourself and abilities, you'll work hard, manage the setbacks along the way, and stay the course until you land the job that's right for you.

E - Enthusiasm - Having enthusiasm means being excited about your profession, showing up for the interview thrilled with the possibility of working for that particular company in that particular role. It's expressing a "can-do" attitude" and being a team player, all things the hiring manager is looking for.

Remember, you're in charge of your attitude...and if you PACE yourself, you'll keep a positive attitude, stay the course, stand above the competition and land the right job faster!