Takes More Than Positive Thinking


Stay Positive
In the world where we don't always get what we want it is sometimes very hard to stay excited in a career search, much less keep a positive face. We all hear, "Just stay positive", or " Keep a good attitude". But... for those who have been in a career transition for weeks, months or even years it becomes very difficult to stay in that positive mode and believe we will triumph in landing that next opportunity. This is the time when we must dig deep within ourselves to find the bedrock of who we are and determine the reasons why staying in the fight for this career path must continue.

Have Tenacity
It does not matter why you are in a career search, what matters is that you keep thinking in a positive manner as you go through the process. How does a person keep going when all they have gotten is rejection time and again you ask? My only word to share is "Tenacity". Positive thinking is more than just an attitude or a feeling. Remaining positive sometimes just requires grit to keep going and stay the course. When everything is going in the wrong direction this is the time to reaffirm your commitment and put that self belief to work even harder. Tenacity means we refuse to let the negative influence our thinking and actions daily. It means we refuse to let other's opinions or rejection dissuade us from our goal.

Wear Your Game Face
Tenacity also means that we put our warrior face on as we work to make our goals come true. As a friend once said to me, "No body wants to hire someone with little self esteem or who looks like they are begging for the job." When we have the onsite interview opportunity, the phone interview or even meet people in a social setting we have to be putting forth the image, the face, the attitude and demeanor saying we are positive in our self, our accomplishments and have faith that we will get the job of our choice. I know it is hard, been there, done that more than once! However, if we look determined and assured, then others will think of as such.

Be Strong, Assured and Determined
Staying positive with a tenacious attitude has always won over the negative view and opened doors that were impossible options. In addition to putting on the face, we also have to speak in a positive manner. Using such words as "Maybe" or "We'll see", are not the expressions of a positive person. We must speak with authority on our best known subject... Us. We must be outlandish in our claims to the point that others see us landing our dream job as inevitable. Here is another point, people want to help those who are strong, assured and determined. Think about this, how many times have you wanted to help someone who looks and talked like a powerhouse? Yes, positive thinking and actions draw strong people together.

Keep Moving Forward
So, if you are thinking negative thoughts or acting dejected, stop it now! Pay yourself forward and keep moving in a positive way with positive self image, positive speak and do so tenaciously.

Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Career Advisor & Founder, Career Leverage Advisors

Laid Off! Now What?


Many individuals do not have the benefit of living in an area where career groups and free services abound to help you deal with the monumental issues of a job search. If you don’t have this type of help, here are a few ideas that might be beneficial.

1.  Sign-up for Support

Sign-up with your state unemployment office not only for financial services, but for connections to employers and jobs in the community. The state-run service centers usually have a long list of jobs from entry-level to mid-level roles. For higher-level jobs, you will need to depend primarily on networking.

2.  Move On Quickly

Get prepared for the journey as soon as possible. If you have been laid off or suffered a termination you are in a state of shock or emotional turmoil for a few days or weeks. The feelings you have are normal, but you need to quickly get past this phase if you hope to interview well. If you need help, seek out a local counselor, job coach or at least a friend to talk through the pain.  The longer your dwell on the negative the longer it is going to take to move forward.

3.  Make Time to Contemplate

Now that you have an opportunity to do something different than you were doing (if you did not like what you were doing) take the opportunity to change your career focus. To help in this process you can take the usual Wonderlic or other tests suggested by a coach, but I find the answers are already inside waiting to be discovered. May I suggest you begin this by writing down how you wish your life to look in five years. Just write down words, phrases or descriptions. You don’t have to do long sentences or paragraphs of descriptions. Then you want to meditate or think on the topic of “What do I want to do for a career”. Upon completing your meditation time do a data dump on paper again writing down words, phrases or ideas. After 24 hours or so revisit and organize the info into categories that make sense. Compare the data dump info to the five-year list. See if there are any trends or connections that you can draw from the information. If so, this is your path to the future. 

4.  Your Resume

On your resume use “Key Accomplishments”, key words and show metrics where possible. Recruiters today are pressed for time so a resume may only get about 8 seconds of review in the first pass. Make a friend by designing an easy to read document and point to the most important facts using bullet point lists instead of long paragraphs. You will find the recruiters like this style and will tend to read the whole resume more quickly.   

5.  Apply everywhere

Apply on every board, to all services and tell everyone you meet that you are in a job search. Networking is where 80% of the jobs are being found today, but keep working the job boards too. Depending on the level of job you may find the job boards are better, but for the higher-level positions networking is best. If you can connect with others who are in search, use this group as your accountability partners and help each other in the journey.

6.  Stay positive

Your attitude makes a difference and shows in the interviewing process. No one will offer a job to someone who is down, negative or speaks badly about others. So, keep to the high road and paint a smile on your face always believing you will land your next great opportunity. 

Happy Hunting out there!

Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Career Advisor & Founder, Career Leverage Advisors

An Old School Advantage


A Helpful Addition to Your Toolbox
Recently a friend told me about a book by J.N. Whiddon called, "The Old School Advantage" She even gave me a copy since she was so impressed with the author. At first I was skeptical about what this book could teach, but soon discovered a very interesting and helpful addition for my toolbox.

Old Time Skills Needed Today
"The Old School Advantage" is not what I thought it would be...which was a lesson in manners, how to improve my English grammar or other soft skills that are needed in business today. But upon starting the book I found real day to day skills and ideas that made perfect sense on how to improve my verbal style and make others take notice. While the chapter titles seemed simple: Recall, Words, Influence, Reason, Storytelling, Impress, Lead and Learn, I soon discovered that J.N. Whiddon took these concepts and described not only how each worked in the human mind, but also how to use each skill for outstanding success. He even quoted one of my favorite authors, Daniel Pink who is known for his differentiation theories.

Tell Your Story
One of the best chapters instructed on how to tell a story that is memorable, which was a topic that came up in a one of my networking meetings about interviewing recently. After all, isn't storytelling what we do in an interview when asked about ourselves or past experiences? Many people confess they do not tell good stories about themselves which leads to less than outstanding interviews. I think this issue happens because we have never learned how to tell a story that others will be drawn to or remember. We are many generations past the old times when the elders sat around the camp fire and told about their history through stories, which then taught how to tell stories in general. This book can help with this skill.

Worthy of this Quick Read
If you are looking for something to help boost your professional image, make others understand you better, or just become a better influence in business today, I encourage you to consider this book.

You will want to share it too!

Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Career Advisor & Founder, Career Leverage Advisors

Click here to go to visit The Old School Advantage website.

Who gave you the best advice in your career?


Be Brave!
The best advice I ever received was from my Dad.  Upon graduation from graduate school he took me aside and told me that I had the ability and brains to do anything I set out to accomplish. Then he quietly said, "Be Brave".

Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Career Advisor & Founder, Career Leverage Advisors

Review and Plan Ahead for Best Results


Friday's are the day when business professionals wrap up the week and plan for the next. If you are in job search take today to do the same. Here are some examples of what busy job searchers do to keep their activity level high and focus on point:


  • What did I accomplish this week? 
  • How many contacts and introductions did I obtain?
  • How many informational interviews did I have?
  • How many jobs did I apply for or research?
  • Send Thank You notes if not already completed
  • Did my documents help me or hurt me in the search?
  • How many job interviews did I have?
  • Review how grateful I was over the week and how I showed that attitude to others.
  • How many others did I help over the week?

Plan Ahead:

  • Set appointments for next weeks informational interviews 
  • Research two new businesses I would like to work with or for
  • Set meeting times and goals with accountability groups and transition career groups
  • Set aside time to volunteer with non-profit or school
  • Send or give Thank You notes
  • Review resume and other documents for any changes or updates needed
  • Schedule training event, Coaching session or Educational course


Establishing a plan to keep focus on the tasks at hand will not only provide a true view of your accomplishments, but help you cope with the emotional roller coaster ride of your career transition!

Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Career Advisor & Founder, Career Leverage Advisors