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“stickKy” Ideas Can Help a Job Hunter’s Morale for the New Year
By Damona Sain   View more articles by this author
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January 12

“A sticky idea is one that is easily understood, remembered, and that changes opinions, behaviors, or values.” (from Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath)

Here’s a “stickKy idea” for the New Year.  Rather than making a variety of resolutions—you know like  “I resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, and exercise more”—instead make a more global resolution that will have a ripple effect in your entire life.  I’ll explain with a story.

As I was walking across a parking lot the other day, I saw a woman struggling to get into her car.  She obviously had some kind of mobility problem. In addition, she was short and very overweight. The wind was blowing fiercely and the single digit temperature didn’t help.  Her coat billowed about her, making matters even worse.  I had been grumbling about not being as spry as I once was, but as I watched this woman concentrating so hard on what for me is a very simple task, I re-thought my personal grumbling.  I expressed a silent gratitude that I was very mobile and well.  As I walked into the store, I noticed a mother struggling with her cart while trying to hang onto her small child’s hand.  I asked her if I could help her with her cart, and she nodded with a relieved expression on her face.  The entire series of small events turned my earlier petulant attitude completely around and resulted in a win-win connection with a fellow human being in need.  It certainly made the rest of my day go more smoothly.

Such a small observation, resulting in a feeling of gratitude and offering a helping hand—these are the sorts of resolutions that can start a chain of events that often lead to a boost in morale.  Mark Twain said, "Whoever is happy will make others happy, too."  I would add “Whoever you make happy will make you happy, too.” And so the circle of happiness is perpetuated.

Maybe the best resolution you can make, and that you can keep, is to write down every morning three things you are grateful for.  I suggest three because it’s quick and very manageable for the busiest of mornings.  It’s also very quantifiable.  Writing it down in a small & portable notebook you can carry with you makes it tangible. Day in and day out, this builds on itself.  You start the day with a different mindset.  If you miss a morning, do it during the day or right before bed.  We can always use a “gratitude reminder” any time. 

Not only will this reset your attitude, there can be the ripple effect that happened to me.  You will likely find that your day overall goes better.  If you have a particularly stressful situation, try referring to your gratitude notebook to soften the stress.  Sometimes the absence of something (like the absence of a negative finding in a medical check-up or a neighbor’s dog who doesn’t bark) can make you grateful for problems you don’t have.

How does this pertain to the job hunt, you may ask?  I think it’s obvious, but let me state the obvious.  Losing a job is a tremendous blow to your morale, even if you didn’t really like your work.  In a flush economy, there may even be relief, since in those times, it was easier to find new work.  In the economy today that seems flushed away, the relief is short-lived.   So, finding things for which you are grateful is a way to rebuild morale.  

Searching for a job is hard, yes.   Writing down gratitude notes can help raise your mood, hence your morale.  It can also help improve your motivation to make another call or to write another letter to a targeted contact in a company for networking. Or it can help move you to join a professional organization and go to a local meeting for networking.   Using www.stickK.com is also a great way to keep on track and experience supportive help for more specific career goals. 

If your mood is lighter, you have better energy.  Better energy, better everything, including doing the job search better.  Ripple effect again.  Feel it move you to make the changes that can lead to a new, better job.

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Comment by skc557
26 Dec 2015 12:23 PM
Motivating incident. Thanks for sharing.
Comment by Abhisheks
10 Jan 2011 01:03 PM
Thanks for sharing this advice
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