They say your attitude determines you latitude. Well, that is true. Want to find out how this can relate to your job search? Keep reading.
You will often hear that attitude is everything, and this is very true. I can hire you for a job and teach you all the skills and tools needed to solve the problems of the job. But the one thing I cannot teach you is to adopt and always have a positive, hardworking attitude. Google defines attitude as “a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.” Zig Ziglar, one of the most famous professional speakers and salesman, said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” I could not have said it better myself.
Your attitude is the calling card of your brand: It verbally and non-verbally communicates your brand to others. It teaches people what you stand for and it educates others how to treat you and how to perceive your value. And since every interaction you have with someone reflects on your brand, your attitude must always be positive. If it is not, others will perceive your brand as something it is not – perhaps something that is negative and not of value to them.
This concept can be sometimes challenging to understand, particularly in the sciences and engineering. After all, we are taught as early as our undergraduate studies that what is most important to progress in a STEM career is your STEM outputs, as mentioned above. And we see, comically in academia, professors with “bad attitudes” all the time and yet these people have attained professional success. Although they may have bad attitudes now, I can assure you that when they interviewed for their jobs, they did not display any sort of negativity in their discussions. Furthermore, as they advanced, they may demonstrate inappropriate etiquette or behavior in certain situations, but I can almost guarantee that they did not get tenure based solely on their outputs. In fact their outputs were shaped and propelled by their overall positive attitude towards science or engineering.
But the fact is that people around you at all times are making snap decisions about your brand and the benefits (or non-benefits) that you can provide them based purely on your attitude. You can especially see this manifest itself during networking receptions. You and I engage in a conversation, having never met before. As we shake hands and offer introductions and then proceed to chat, I am consciously and subconsciously making mental notes about the way you are interacting with me. In other words, I am sensing your attitude and then digesting this information to provide me with a conclusion about what your brand is. Your attitude tells me volumes about who you really are, or, more importantly, let’s me perceive who you are.
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