Positive Attitudes Change Everything

I’ve never thought of myself as a positive person. I *have* been known to have my head in the clouds, to be detached from reality, or to be overly optimistic about my chances of attaining a particular goal — usually monetary or career-oriented, like raising $5000 to go on a choir trip to Europe during high school, or getting a totally kick-ass job right out of college. But no one could accuse me of having a generally positive attitude.

That said, I’ve been noticing that a lot of people around me have been particularly negative lately. Sure, Aaron and I don’t seem to have very many friends who hang out with us anymore. Sure, my job is most likely history by July. But I don’t need to wallow in it all. I need to find alternatives.

I keep telling myself (and anyone else who will listen) that this recent turn of events with my job will probably end up being one of the best things to happen to me, once I look back on it in about three years. The key is getting past the awkwardness of the moment, getting past this whole woe-is-me crap, and jumping into the fray feet-first and running.

Not to say that I’m going to bail as soon as I find an alternate employer who will offer me a job. No, I plan to do some research, take my time, get all my proverbial ducks in a row, make sure my portfolio isn’t something I’d be embarrassed for my ideal employer to see, retool my resume, all the normal job-hunting accoutrements.

That said… and please indulge me while I shift gears… I *hate* job hunting.

It reminds me that I’m not as good as I want to be. It reminds me that there are so many other people out there that are so much better at what I’m supposed to be good at. It reminds me that my self-esteem has never been the most stable thing around. It reminds me that I haven’t fully developed my own unique style of design (although I may finally almost have a photographic style of my own). It reminds me that I’d wanted to work out of the home once upon a time, but have since realized that a home business is more trouble and more instability than it might be worth.

*deep breath*

I can market myself to these people. I can make myself look appealing without stretching the truth (too much). I can code SQL and PHP and VBA and javascript and HTML/XHTML. I can find a typo a mile away. I can make a visually appealing interface. If my Typography professor is to be believed, I can even do decent layout.

So why am I so hard on myself?

8 thoughts on Positive Attitudes Change Everything

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  1. We are often our worst critics. When I mess up at work, life, ect–it’s the proverbial end of the world in my head. At least that is how it used to be. Now, not all the time, I can step back and take inventory of what just happened and decide whether boulders are going to start falling from the sky! I have low esteem and with a lot of work I will regain it. But did I ever have it to start with? Take the things that you KNOW you can kick ass at and build from there.

  2. One of my little mottos is “It’s not what you know, it’s what people THINK you know” and I recommend this for interviews. I mean, you’re smart and can tell every time you screw up, but most people can’t. And as far as design skill, you’re well above most of the people who will ever interview you. I mean, just look around myspace and you’ll see what most people think is a good layout. It’s not about being the best, it’s about portraying competence, friendliness, and cleavage.

  3. it’s about portraying competence, friendliness, and cleavage.

    I can do that… on all counts. 🙂

    I may have a stop-gap measure in place, though, through some unexpected networking. We’ll see next week.

  4. i finally learned to stop angsting about my lack of experience and focus on attitude during interviews – a can-do can really help. what has gotten me hired these last 3 jobs was, “no i dont have experience with that, [i’ve heard of it,] but with a book and google i can figure it out really quickly.” showing them you know how to learn can get you really, really far.

  5. Yeah I’ll agree. I can tell an employer that I might not have any experience with something, but that I learn quickly. Sometimes it has paid off.

  6. That’s something I can really play up, too, is my ability to learn on the fly. Now that I’ve done the Access database for work under just that very premise, I have proof that I can work that way, too.

    I really think that working in a computer lab helped me learn to think on my feet and problem-solve in a generic sort of computer-based way. I used to BS my way through interview questions about being able to learn quickly by pulling that out, but I think it really did help.

  7. the fact that you had very little DBA training and were able to pretty much push a huge system deployment out shows that you have initiative, responsibility and both the desire and ability to learn. you should definately bring up in an interview the fact that you did that. 😀

    also i’m getting good at this resume thing, so if you want me to take a look at yours i’m more than willing!

  8. Yeah that is something for you to blow your horn about…the database. Granted I know your goal isn’t to be a database programmer; but if you can present in your interview a concise(!) description of what you and your partner did, that would go a long way to showing initiative. See you’re not that hard on yourself, just need a little help from your friends.