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Staying Positive Helps in Job Search

Looking for a job is a demanding task. Unfortunately, the current economic climate has forced many to be job seekers.

The process can be tiring and, in such a competitive climate, receiving that final job offer is challenging.

In a new study, researchers at the University of Missouri focus on what job seekers need to get ahead of the competition.

During the investigation researchers found certain planning activities and positive emotions have a large impact on success in finding a job.

“We found it most interesting that metacognitive activities — thinking about a plan, acting on a plan and reflecting upon that plan — were important early in the job search while having positive emotions were important later in the job search,” said Daniel Turban, professor and chair of the Department of Management.

The study found that metacognitive activities, including goal setting and plan development, affect resume submission and success in first interviews, while the ability to maintain positive emotions plays a larger role during second interviews and receiving a final job offer.

The researchers also examined how the personality traits of extraversion and conscientiousness affect metacognitive activities and positive emotions. Extraversion, how energetic and outgoing a person is, influenced both metacognitive activities and positive emotions. Conscientiousness, a person’s self-discipline and dependability, affected metacognitive activities and directly influenced the number of final job offers received.

“Perhaps, conscientious job seekers conducted better quality job searches by scrutinizing their fit with prospective employers more carefully or more effectively following up with employers,” Turban said.

The researchers administered three surveys to 327 job seekers. The first survey measured personality and demographic information, while the second survey measured positive emotions, metacognitive activities and employment outcomes. A third survey, measuring tapped employment outcomes, was sent to those still job hunting four to five months after the second survey.

Based on the study findings, Turban suggests job seekers make a plan and continuously assess their progress. It also is important to expect rejections and develop a coping strategy ahead of time. This should help maintain positive emotions throughout the process to improve those chances of getting a job, Turban said.

“Some of these recommendations seem like they are common sense, but they are just not that common. People don’t have strategies, they don’t assess their plans, and they don’t think about their strategies and reflect on whether it’s working or how to make them work better. They just don’t do it,” Turban said.

Source: University of Missouri

Staying Positive Helps in Job Search

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Staying Positive Helps in Job Search. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/09/25/staying-positive-helps-in-job-search/8588.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.