Focus on the Positive


The message here is to focus on the positive. Emphasize the good and do whatever you can to promote, perpetuate and accentuate a forward-thinking, optimistic frame of mind. You may very well become one of those people who, at the end of their job search, declares that “getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to me.” Without that shove out the door, they might have fossilized in the same boring job for years, maybe forever.

Instead, they discovered a new job or career they could be passionate about, that motivated and inspired them. They stepped out of their comfort zone and into an exciting new life. You don’t have to be fired to be motivated to find a new job or a new career. Stop right now and think about whether you are happy in your current position. If you are, terrific! Know that you are in a minority of employed people. But perhaps things could be even better. It’s always easier to find a job when you have a job. A job search when you are employed means you are the master of your fate. You are being proactive. HR folks like me love that! We love enticing an employed person to leave their current job and join our company. We are very competitive too. We enjoy the sense of victory when we hire a great new employee.

When you are looking for work after being laid off there’s always that lingering cloud that you are damaged merchandise—no matter how unfair or untrue it may be. HR folks naturally wonder why your former employer let you go and not someone else? Why were you not the last one standing? Why should they take a chance? Not to fear. There are great ways to respond to these questions, ways to assuage us paranoid HR folks.

Before you head out on that first job interview, it is critical to prepare. What follows is a simple process that entails taking a series of concrete actions. Some are easy; some are not. Some are simple; some are more complicated. Some may ask only questions requiring impulsive responses with little thought, while some demand that you be introspective, thoughtful and perhaps do a bit of soul-searching.