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Home > Blog: Job Seeker Tips > Sugar, Spice, and Sarcasm Ease a Tough Job Search

Sugar, Spice, and Sarcasm Ease a Tough Job Search

Let's see those big Job seekers, it's time to take a deep, cleansing breath and channel our inner Pollyannas. (You know, the sickeningly sweet girl who found something to be glad about in even the bleakest situations?) I don't usually go for soft and frilly advice, but the overwhelming amount of news about the terrible economy has been pushing people to give up on finding a job. And that's unacceptable.

Yes, times are tough. Prospects seem dreary. The economy is swirling down the drain. But despite (or more likely because of) all that, you have to find a job.

So here are some wise and (I hope) uplifting words from people past and present to help you get your Polly on.

Let's start with this one by King Whitney, Jr:

"Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better."

I led with that quotation because two out of three of the options (hopeful and confident) talk about things getting better. And it's important to remember that they will, indeed, get better. Heck, gas prices are WAY better than they were a few months ago. 

But let's take a step back and ponder what Herm Albright (1876–1944) said:

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."

Still not feeling it? Here's another thought: Turn job hunting into the lesser of two evils. As in, "I either have to climb up to the roof and clean the stinky leaves and sludge out of the gutters, or I have to make an appointment to network over drinks with some former colleagues." See how that works? When your job-hunting activities are framed as procrastination tactics for more onerous tasks, they sound much more desirable. That's because, as Robert Benchley (1889 - 1945) explained it:

"Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment."

Moving right along, who better than Han Solo/Indiana Jones to help us see the current situation in a rosier light? Yes, Harrison Ford has been heard uttering these words:

"We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance."

Heh. Maybe "second chances" will become the next corporate euphemism for layoffs. But frankly, we all know that you just have to try, try again if you want to succeed. Or as Calvin Coolidge put it:

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

Congratulations, you've just been given the key to solving the problems of the human race with a mere slogan. If that's not something to feel optimistic about, I don't know what is!

But seriously, the job market is no fun today. So if you can find a way to be a little Pollyanna-ish and focus on the positive elements among the economic detritus, you'll stand out as a resilient, resourceful candidate with the upbeat, can-do attitude employers want.

And rest assured that soon enough, all will be back to normal. In case you've forgotten what "normal" looks like, columnist Ellen Goodman has been kind enough to remind us:

"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it."

Please share any quotes, tactics, jokes, or other tools you find helpful in keeping the negativity at bay. We could all use a bit of sunshine and bunny rabbits and rainbows lately!

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