Re-developing a Positive Outlook on Life

James Ryan

Change is stressful.

Changing jobs (or being unemployed and job searching) can be even more stressful, particularly if you have major responsibilities in your life such as a mortgage to pay for or children to feed. The emotional toll of joblessness can weigh heavily upon a person’s shoulders and this can deeply affect a person’s ability to obtain new employment.

There is an old expression that in my experience rings true: Moods are contagious.

For those of you, who are unfamiliar with this concept, allow me to briefly explain the theory.

A person who is in a good mood will give off an upbeat energy that will positively influence the moods and behaviours of those around them. The opposite can also be true. If someone is feeling stressed, depressed or pissed off at life in general, than that energy can also be felt by those around them.

To say that a negative frame of mind is not ideal for job searching would be an incredible understatement.

Have you ever just had a bad feeling about someone but couldn’t really explain why?

Imagine for a moment that you are in the shoes of a prospective employer. A new applicant walks into your place of business, carrying all of their personal stress, and they inquire about a job.

They lack self-confidence.

They lack enthusiasm.

They lack a positive, friendly attitude.

They fail to impress you with the ever critical – First Impression.

Basically, you ask yourself “what can this person bring to my business?”

Subconsciously you have already answered: “nothing”.

With the exception of Clinical Depression (clinical depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act), anyone can be in a position to control and alter their own mood for the positive with the right mental attitude and a little bit of self-awareness.

First of all, start each morning by “choosing” your mood for the day and remember that the only person that can control your mood is you. It’s easy to be in a bad mood. Anyone can do it. Being positive however, requires a little more energy and a little more effort.

In remembering that moods can be contagious, it is also important to note that moods can be “self-contagious”. In other words, if you “pretend” to be in a good mood long enough, eventually it will just happen. Before you know it, you will be laughing and enjoying your day and putting your stress and problems behind you (for the time being at least).

Second, remain optimistic about yourself and who you are. Remember that you haven’t always been down on your luck and try to remember the good times in your life and all of the great things that you have done to help other people and give back to your community. Karma is for real folks!

Third, network with old friends and stay away from negative people.

“You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.”

Finally, embrace change as a fundamental fact of life – an evolution. If you’re not moving forward (life certainly does), than you are in fact going backwards. You cannot stay standing still.

Self-confidence is your single greatest weapon when job searching.

“To become very successful, you will need to certainly develop your soft skills – your body language, clear communication, use of language, dress, confidence level and handshake.”

Present yourself as though life is great and maybe someday (soon) it will be.


James Ryan
James Ryan



  1. Great article, James!

  2. Paul

    Where's #2?

    Its been 22 days!

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