How can your Attitude Determine your Career?

As you embark on your career, your attitude will be a crucial component that will either enable or hinder your success rate.

What is attitude? Attitude is a way of thinking or feeling about something.  As a graduate recruiter, I consistency experience a range of different attitudes from our candidates. You would be surprised how quickly an employer can determine the type of attitude you have. Employers definitely look for someone with a typical ‘right’ attitude- an individual who is hard working, committed, responsible and enthusiastic. Looking for a job is often a frustrating and disheartening process, yet you can improve your chances by simply considering how your attitude comes across. A personal awareness for the type attitude you exude is important and necessary.

I can broadly identify the main two types of attitude that can be problematic when seeking employment. Both are at completely opposite ends of the spectrum: yet may prevent you from gaining the opportunity you desire.

1) Self-doubt

Graduate unemployment is all over the media- as a graduate you are repeatedly reminded how difficult it is to get a job and how fierce the competition is. Therefore, there is an overwhelming and undeniable pressure that can often be discouraging. Repeated failure and rejection can naturally have an effect on your attitude. The frustration behind finding a job can leave you with a perceived lack of confidence when entering interview situations.

However, a lack of confidence translates to an employer as a lack of initiative and drive. This is unappealing to employers, who are seeking candidates that can prove that they are self-assured and determined individuals. Self-doubt is damaging- it crushes your sense of ambition and prevents you from achieving your goals. Enter interview situations thinking you are the right person for the job and you could make a valuable asset to their company.

Learning how to sell yourself is important. It involves identifying and appreciating the various skills and qualities that you have to offer. If you approach interviews and assessment days with the attitude that you aren’t good enough, you definitely won’t look good enough. A shift in attitude is needed to help you shine above other candidates!

2) Self-entitlement

I have also encountered many graduates who have a seemingly ‘bad’ attitude when it comes to pursuing a job opportunity. A sense of self-entitlement- perhaps as a result of their academic achievements, which suggests that they care more about what the job can do for them than what they can do for us. This attitude will not be appreciated; employers seek people who are grateful for the opportunity they are being offered and will work hard to impress their superiors. Although a degree or a masters is no doubt an impressive achievement, unfortunately nowadays it places you alongside thousands of other applicants. Employers are looking for what makes you stand out, and will therefore assess you on your people skills and soft skills. Recruiting graduates eager to pursue a career in Investment Banking, there is a common expectation that one should be immediately entitled to a high salary and high level of responsibility. But creating a successful career is relative to what you make of the opportunities at hand, and the right attitude will quickly get rewarded with responsibility and accountability. The attitude of graduates who expect to ‘get rich quick’ is often damaging when it comes to finding employment. Employers want hard workers, not people who think they should have it handed to them on a plate.

In conclusion, your attitude is how you present yourself. Ultimately, it is important as it determines your likability. Put simply, you will not get hired easily by a recruiter unless you have an attitude that will be appreciated and admired. Employers are looking for individuals that believe in themselves, and can acknowledge their own value and worth in an engaging way. In this sense, I believe that reflecting upon what attitude you give off, may sometimes help to drive a successful career.

Olivia Conway

Talent Management Executive @ Vantage Point Global

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