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Does Job Search Success Lie in Planning and Attitude?

Positive AttitudeYou've probably heard such phrases as "attitude determines altitude" or "proper preparation prevents poor performance." Motivational reminders like these may be more helpful than you think when you're mired in a job search with seemingly no end in sight.

Proper planning and expressing positive emotions during your search can play a big role in landing the job you want, according to researchers at the University of Missouri who conducted a study of more than 300 job seekers focusing on the early and later stages of the job search.

During the early stages — from looking for jobs, to writing and sending resumes and sitting down for the first interview — job seekers who engaged in "planning" activities such as goal setting and developing, acting on, and refining a job search plan, gained an edge over others who were on the job hunt.

In later stages, notably the second interview and receiving a final job offer, having a positive attitude was important. This is where personality can play a pivotal role. The researchers found that a job seeker's planning activities and positive emotions in the job search are influenced by how energetic and outgoing he or she is.

In addition, a person's self-discipline and dependability affected the planning activities and directly influenced the number of final job offers received, the study found.

That says a lot about the value of researching employers before sending resumes and interviewing, which is something we at Pongo suggest strongly. "Perhaps, (these) job seekers conducted better quality job searches by scrutinizing their fit with prospective employers more carefully, or more effectively following up with employers," said Daniel Turban, a professor at the university's Trulaske College of Business.

Planning and Coping

How do you land the job you want, especially in these days of high unemployment? Turban suggests job seekers make a plan and continuously assess their progress with it. They should also develop a coping strategy to deal with potential rejections.

But will they?

"Some of these recommendations seem like they are common sense, but they are just not that common. People don’t have strategies, they don’t assess their plans, and they don’t think about their strategies and reflect on whether it’s working or how to make them work better. They just don’t do it," he said.

What do you think? Are these recommendations helpful for your job search? Are they easier said than done? Or are they just nonsense from academia? Tell us.

RELATED LINKS

10 Inspiring Quotations for the Discouraged Job Seeker
Feeling Rejected? 7 Tips to Take Back Your Happy Place
Two Minutes of Research Might Have Saved My Interview
The 5 'Must Knows' of Job Interview Preparation

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