Career Help: The Rule of 5

Do you find yourself cynical in the face of positive attitude and glass half-full quotes? Maintaining an effective attitude is something many of us struggle with. Here is some simple career help that might improve your attitude.

This challenge gets compounded exponentially when we are conducting a new jobs search. Currently I am trying to land a full-time job. These tips have helped me stay balanced during this difficult process. No, it doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it makes a difference more often than not.

What I have to offer combats negative attitudes, outlooks, and what-if worst case scenarios. It is the Rule of 5.

5 Minutes
Take five minutes to have an all-out pity party about your situation. Worry about job search frustrations, fears about your income, and career prospects. Go all the way in on this. Imagine and feel the worst-case scenarios and then push it another level. You will reach a point where the situation becomes ridiculous—even comical. Then set these thoughts aside. Make a commitment to yourself or others to spend the rest of the day taking steps toward a more positive outcome.

5% Improvement
Instead of being on one end of the spectrum of always maintaining a super positive attitude or being paralyzed by fear, despair, and negativity, try this: Acknowledge your current outlook on life no matter how dark it is. Then commit to just a 5% increase from where you are at right now. Brainstorm what it would take to achieve that small improvement. Then do your best to take action. It may be a building block or a little uptick. Note that you might have to repeat this activity several times during the day.

Give yourself permission to validate your current take on things—your struggle to remain optimistic, times you have been successful, setbacks. Just try to make little improvements or adjustments and be okay with whatever success you achieve.


Beth Kelzer
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