5 Secrets to Using Realistic Optimism to Find a Job

There is no question that a job search can be discouraging, but it is ultimately your expectations that predict your momentum toward landing the right job, or the perfect job for right now. If you think a position will be easy to find, it will slow you down each time a rejection comes through and surprises you, because unless you tap into a lucky star, you will definitely experience rejection. In fact, the average job search lasts seven months.

Knowing the facts and aligning your expectations to them is called realistic optimism. Realistic optimists succeed more than either blind optimists or pessimists because they expect and plan for setbacks and maneuver through disappointment with preparation and contingency plans that keep them afloat.

A blind optimist with unclear goals and a perspective anchored somewhere near Alpha Centauri will pursue a goal with recklessness and naivete. Eventually failure and disappointment will lead to abandoning a job search too early or settling for an undesirable position because they refused to acknowledge realistic factors that determine how a job is usually acquired.

According to psychologist Gabriele Oettingen who studies the link between attitude, beliefs and goal achievement, a realistic optimist will work more diligently to find a romantic dating partner, rehabilitate following an injury and lose weight. She has found that blind optimists and pessimists do not express concerns, nurture fear and misunderstandings or focus on obstacles to the detriment of the goal.

A pessimist is similar to an unrealistic optimistic because the expectations going into the job search will be unreasonable, this time too low, and a negative attitude can result in a self-fulfilling prophecy that makes a bad impression and ultimately will slow job seeking efforts.

Keeping the following job seeking facts in mind will give you a balanced perspective.

Sources: http://psych.nyu.edu/oettingen/Oettingen,%20G.,%20&%20Wadden,%20T.%20A.%20(1991).%20Expectation,%20fantasy,%20and%20weight%20loss.pdf; http://careerchangechallenge.com/50-job-search-statistics-you-need-to-know/; http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/17/7-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-your-job-search/

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