There is buzz developing now about an uptick in recruiting during the second half of 2011. Which group are you in? Group A thinks - "I'll position myself now to pounce on this window before it opens." Group B thinks - "I'll believe this when I see it." In this economy, Group A will have the advantage, leaving Group B to scrounge for leftovers.

One of the unseen risks of the slow recovery and lackluster job market has been the deterioration of people's hope and readiness to compete. Beat down jobseekers develop a wait and see attitude that shifts their mindset into reactive mode. The deeper you go into this mode, the more difficult it becomes to spot opportunities and jump on them before someone else does. Not a good idea since in this job market, it seems there are more jobseekers than jobs.

The assumption most people have is that a reactive mindset is the byproduct of discouraging news, the lack of hiring activity and rejections. After all, why should you knock yourself out looking for jobs if there are no jobs out there? What is the use of staying vigilant to potential opportunities if you seem to lack what employers are looking for? Why not kick back and wait it out until the job market finally improves? In the meantime, the jobseekers with proactive mindsets are creating opportunities and sucking them up long before the others can react.   What puts you into a reactive mindset and keeps you there is not discouraging news, the lack of hiring activity or even rejections. These are convenient excuses. Instead, it is how you think about those matters, and then how you begin to believe your own self-talk. You unintentionally persuade yourself into reactive mode, and your beat down thinking contributes to prolonging your unemployment.

This is the bad news. The good news is, when you learn how to think non-negatively and keep your thoughts optimistic no matter what happens, you can just as easily put your mindset into proactive mode and keep it there for as long as you like. Your readiness and eventual success in locating a job depend on how you choose to think about your circumstances. Develop a Git-R-Done attitude.

Here is the point. In this economy, you can find many excuses to justify not proactively looking for work. However, this type of thinking does not help you maintain an optimistic attitude, which is what employers are looking for. Employers do not begin recruiting with the intention of finding people who lack emotional stability, or the mental resolve to persevere by rising above their difficult circumstances. Recruiters assume that if you lack the right mindset while looking for work, you will lack the right mindset after you begin work. You are a risk not worth taking. You will not Git-R-Done.

This is my advice for finding jobs faster. Realize that what you think causes how you feel, which in turn, urges what you do or not. Therefore, pay attention to how you feel as an indicator of how you were thinking. The very moment you start to feel down, blue, hopeless or uncaring, realize this is an emotional warning signal to switch your thoughts to better ones before you innocently cause yourself to slip into reactive mode.

Resolve not to live in response to your circumstances. Whatever your circumstances may be, they are always secondary or subject to your thoughts about them. Make them smaller than your will to prevail. Keep yourself in proactive mode by thinking non-negatively about your circumstances, or in a manner that causes you to feel intentionally upbeat, optimistic and ready to Get-R-Done.

As a West by God Virginian, I can attest that hillbillies can often be wiser than they lead you to believe. Thanks for the inspiration, Larry. You are a Group A thinker.


About Jeff Garton

Jeff Garton is a best-selling career author, organization consultant, career coach and speaker. He specialized in Human Resources for the Philip Morris Companies where he led the global staffing functions for Kraft Foods and the Miller Brewing Company.

Jeff is noted for pioneering the field of Employment Mindset to achieve Career Contentment. These topics show you how to have and enjoy a meaningful career despite challenges and circumstances that can't always be made satisfying. His groundbreaking research, published works, and innovative training programs are helping struggling workers and the unemployed rise above challenges posed by the stagnant economy and difficult job market. His efforts to increase people's hope, optimism, and resilience have been featured on Fox Business, ABC Sunday Morning, NPR Radio, the Wall Street Journal, Modern Medicine, Chief Executive Magazine, and Chief Learning Officer Magazine.

In addition to servicing his corporate clients, Jeff is on a mission to expand the existing job search training currently being provided to returning veterans and their spouses by the Department of Labor's One Stop Career Centers. His Employment Mindset training goes beyond the same old employment tips and tools used to find a job, and teaches you how to fulfill an employer's unpublished expectations related to right fit and chemistry; things that if you don't know, you don't get the interview or job offer.

Jeff lives in Chicago with his wife and two teenage sons. You can visit his website at and his Facebook page at If you would like more information about Employment Mindset training, or would like to voice your support for veterans to receive this new training, send an email to:

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