Remaining positive while on the job hunt and being persistent may be the most beneficial traits among job seekers, and could ultimately help those out of work find a job sooner, according to a new study based on the actions of unemployed people for five months.
"It's very, very tough," said study co-author Ruth Kanfer, a psychology professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "It's not like learning a skill, where maintaining a positive attitude can be easier as you see improvement with your effort. You submit resumes, but get almost no feedback on how you're doing or what you could do to improve your chances of finding a job."
HealthDay reports that the results of the study show job seekers with a more positive, ambitious outlook fared better than those who were constantly unsure about where their job search was taking them. However, these traits still took a backseat to self-management styles when it came to successfully finding a job.
The researchers concluded that week after week, those who put together routines, asked for help and checked a negative attitude at the door were the same who dedicated the most time to their job search. The results were published in a recent issue of the Academy of Management Journal.
The study was conducted in 2008, and found that 128 of the 177 people followed, or 72 percent, found jobs. The research was compiled at a time when U.S. unemployment ranged from 4.9 percent to 5.6 percent, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
"Over the years, especially in the last few years, I have talked to quite a few executives who have been laid-off or downsized in an organization," said Eva Parsons, executive coach, recalling one client she had. "He was a pretty senior executive in a global company and he was laid off. And he went right to work and he said, 'I'm approaching this as if this is my job now.' He was at his desk every day and he had a list of things he wanted to accomplish."
The researchers wrapped up the study by saying that when it comes to finding a job, those who keep their head up and their eyes forward will have the best chances.